Leipzig 2020 – Integrated City Development Concept (SEKo)
After German Reunification in 1990, the City of Leipzig was faced with a large set of challenges: a changing economy, insufficient housing, decaying infrastructure, etc. Much was accomplished in efforts to upgrade housing and adapt to the changing marketplace, but after nearly 20 years, the City decided that updates were needed to guide the city's development goals for the next decade. Changes in demography, the economy and the environment required attention in the form of a new plan that was sustainable and comprehensive. Thus, after years of planning and preparation, the City Council passed the Integrated City Development Concept (Integriertes Stadtentwicklungskonzept, or SEKo) in May 2009.
The Leipzig 2020 Plan included public input from residents and businesses to create a well-rounded and extensive concept for the future development of the city. The SEKo was designed to be reworked and adapted to changing conditions within the city and region. The SEKo utilises the EU's Leipzig Charter as a model and orientation. The Charter itself was drafted and signed in Leipzig and focuses on sustainable, integrated development and strengthening underprivileged areas.
The plan is the city's basis for the application for federal funding and includes the following concept areas:
- economy and employment,
- green spaces and the environment,
- civil society,
- traffic and technical infrastructure,
- historic preservation,
- sport, and
- higher education and research institutions.
For each concept area, a separate plan was prepared and coordinated within a hierarchy and made to collaborate and work in tandem with the other concept areas. For example stabilising the housing situation in eastern and western Leipzig was a major priority, and the coordinated efforts included specific economic development strategies and an increase in recreational offerings. This integrated approach was a shift in policy making from a more sectoral and piecemeal planning strategy and was derived from the planning principles of the EU's Leipzig Charter.
The SEKo was designed around a framework of socio-demographic data and tendencies, which led to the aforementioned ten concept areas. The main goals of the SEKo are the improvement of national and international status, increased competitiveness, the maintaining and strengthening of the high quality of life, and the assurance of social cohesion and stability. The main goals were placed in the context of all city districts, which were then placed in a prioritised hierarchy.
There are some areas that are identified either for their community and/or regional importance or their need of investment. The five disadvantaged areas include Grünau, West Leipzig (e.g. Plagwitz), Georg-Schumann-Street (Gohlis), Schönefeld, and East Leipzig (e.g. near Eisenbahn Street). The four areas characterised as having municipal or regional importance include the city centre, the wider central area to include the stadiums, the southeast (which will vastly improve transportation connections with the completion of the City Tunnel), and the northern industrial areas (which includes the airport and new manufacturing and shipping centres).