Where fox and nightingale say “good night”

text: Rosa Hauch

Some were curious to find out. Around 30 interested people came with their children and bicycles to be shown and explained the new funding objectives on a tour of the Swiss neighbourhood in Dresden’s Südvorstadt district.

Since the 1990s, around 350 million has been invested in 20 areas in Dresden to promote urbanity and community. These include the Outer Neustadt, Friedrichstadt, Pieschen and now the Südvorstadt neighbourhood has also been included.

Three years ago, the city began researching eleven areas to find out exactly where the challenges lie and whether there is a need for so-called upgrading, says Tobias Voigt from the Office for Urban Renewal. In 2021, around 400 residents then took part in another online survey. This revealed that people are living apart, there is a lack of a meeting place, there is a high number of long-term unemployed people in the neighbourhood and the challenges of migration cannot be overcome alone, says Voigt.

By 2032, 14 million euros will be invested in a specific programme to upgrade the neighbourhood and revitalise social cohesion. Südvorstadt will have a neighbourhood manager, an office and new meeting places.

For example, a community garden is being considered on the corner of Wielandstraße and Hohe Straße. The aforementioned nightingale can be heard there and Master Reinecke roams the urban wilderness.

Residents report that this corner is unfortunately often misused as a place to relieve oneself. This draws attention to the problem that there are not only enough traffic-calmed recreational areas, but also too few quiet toilets. And Tobias Voigt adds a third: “When we receive funding, it is used to create and install new projects, not to operate them.” So if the all-important toilet were to be installed now, it would also have to be operated and these costs would come from another, unknown pot.

It’s all still a long way off, but the instruments are already being tuned. Together with the Foreigners’ Council, which regularly visits the inner courtyards on Budapester Strasse, ideas are also being developed on how to improve integration and create a community in which people understand each other better and better.

Dresdner Nachbarschaften – sichtbar, vernetzt, engagiert!

Neighbourhoods are everywhere – we are right in the middle of it. With district walks, conversations in the green, creative workshops, exhibitions and much more.

Supported by

The project is funded by the State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion. This measure is co-financed with tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon state parliament within the framework of the state programme Integrative Maßnahmen.