Schwarzatal, Resilient Region

Schwarzatal, Resilient Region

Regional stakeholders develop a shared vision for their region

Up until the reunification of Germany, the Schwarzatal valley on the northern edge of the hilly Schiefergebirge region was one of the most popular holiday destinations in the GDR. Highly-prized for its cool climes, it had been a flourishing summer retreat for holiday guests since the 19th century.

To develop a sustainable vision for the region and its landscape, the ›Zukunftswerkstatt Schwarzatal‹ association organised a cooperative workshop in 2018 in collaboration with the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt LEADER action group and with support from the government’s MORO spatial planning action programme and the IBA Thüringen. Four international landscape architecture offices were invited to work together with local stakeholders, from which a concept emerged – developed by ›MAN MADE LAND‹ and ›fabulism‹ – that envisages the 140-kilometre-long Schwarzatal Panoramic Trail as a connecting element. The landscape architects proposed a range of smaller and larger interventions to bring out the qualities of the landscape. The first of these acupuncture-like insertions is to be realised in 2019.

The landscape is the uniting element that fosters local identification and shapes the image of the region. To attract new guests to this traditional cultural landscape, with Schwarzburg Castle at its centre, the Schwarzatal is reinventing itself – at a regional scale.