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City Wide Strategic Vision for Chemnitz

A city vision and development strategy grounded in participative processes


Europe and Northern America




Citywide Planning and Urban Transformation

Festival der Meinungsverschiedenheit - Festival of Opinions - Chemnitz

Project Details


  • Chemnitz (Germany)


  • Commission


  • Zebralog GmbH



Chemnitz is in Transition

This is not new for the city since the residents are, so to speak, “transformation experts”. Until the 1930s Chemnitz was an economically aspiring city with 360,000 inhabitants and seen as the “Manchester of Saxony“. During the GDR period, Chemnitz was transformed into the “socialist model city” of East Germany. Then after the reunification of Germany in 1989, the city repeatedly transformed and built a new city center for the third time in seventy years.

After the racist attacks and right-wing populism events in August 2018, the urgent need for social and structural transformation in the city became inevitable. For a successful change, it needs the involvement of the citizens to create a new shared social identity. 

The goal and aspiration of the vision is to bring together the perspectives of urban society, administration, and politics on the goals and guidelines of Chemnitz’s urban development.

The vision thus mediates between the diverse wishes and lifeworlds of the citizens, the peculiarities of the city, and global processes of change, to which answers must be found together. 

The city of Chemnitz
The city of Chemnitz

Participative Processes

To develop a spatial vision for Chemnitz, together with Zebralog, TSPA conducted a participatory process using different formats to target diverse citizen groups.

By mapping the results of the participation and formulating six overarching goals, a citywide vision that defines the existing qualities and areas for future action for development was visualised in an easily communicable format.

Kick-off dinner

Chemnitz Now

Spatial analysis and visualisation was used to bring together spatial references from the overall process. Locations from selected concepts and plans of the city, spatial references from the specialist processes and suggestions from the public participation were recorded. The map was continuously updated. It shows overlaps and thus spatial focal points, thereby highlighting the different levels at which the feedback was received.

The spatial location of the potentials and challenges in Chemnitz played a key role in the development of the objectives, strategies and focus areas. Overall, the map shows that areas with potential are particularly evident along the green corridors

Map of location from the Exemplary Strategy Process
Map of challenges and potential

The overlapping of the different regions shows that although Chemnitz has a strong triangular relationship with Dresden and Leipzig, its immediate surroundings are strongly oriented southwards towards the Ore Mountains. To the west, the city is oriented towards Zwickau, to the east towards the university town of Freiberg and the university location of Mittweida.

The map also locates relevant destinations in the region, such as universities, tourist and cultural destinations. This information is the result of the strategy process and has been enriched by public sources.

The city-wide strategic vision serves as a basis for the creation of future urban development concepts in Chemnitz.

The vision functions as a compass that helps promote innovation in the city and shapes the necessary change. The vision not only consists of stated goals but also selected tools and projects that will make a particular contribution to achieving each goal. 

It shows which topics will be important in Chemnitz in the next twenty years, which goals the city has set for itself, and which adjustments need to be made in order to advance the strategic development of the city.

Chemnitz Vision 2040

Six Strategic Goals

The vision for the year 2040 consists of six strategic goals to guide urban development over the next twenty years, as well as selected tools and projects that will make a particular contribution to achieving each goal. 
Overview of the focus areas

Goal 1: Productive and Connected

Goal 1. Productive and connected

Goal 2: Urban

Goal 2 - Urban

Goal 3: Discussed and Designed Together

Goal 3 - Discussed and designed together

Goal 4: Conscious and Healthy

Goal 4: Conscious and healthy

Goal 5: Renewable and Green

Goal 5: Renewable and green

Goal 6: Sustainably Mobile

Goal 6: Sustainbly mobile