Communities create spaces and spaces create community – that’s the idea behind the “Making Space” initiative. To this end, the people of Chemnitz put forward 25 unused sites and areas around the city with ideas for re-purposing them. Around 3,000 Chemnitz residents have now voted on the projects and picked their favourites, which will be implemented this year.

The plan to undertake five projects in each of the next five years ‒ creating a total of 25 new favourite spots in every corner of the city, designed to Chemnitz residents’ specifications, by 2025 ‒ has already got off to a flying start. Thanks to Klub2025, an initiative formed by regional businesses, chambers of commerce and financial institutions to support the city’s application to become European Capital of Culture in 2025, it has been possible to fund not five, but ten projects.

Every project has a budget of EUR 2,025, an amount that will make it both possible and necessary for people to be proactive. The aim is to create a community project that brings together a wealth of local talent – a way for people to interact and share joy, an expression of the city’s creativity and can-do attitude, and a symbol of #2025TogetherOutside

(photo: Fabian Thüroff)

The projects currently come to fruition:

Green spaces near the River Chemnitz

In Nordpark, close to the River Chemnitz, members of the regional BUND environmental association have created a “community garden for the use and enjoyment of everyone, to be cared for by everyone – an interactive urban space to enrich the lives of animals, people and nature itself.” This is what the project outline states – and what is being gradually achieved.

(Photo: Kristin Schmidt)

Gallery of electricity feeder pillars

The first electricity feeder pillars in Brühl have already been designed: “The motifs are supposed to evoke the shops that have vanished from Brühl and which form part of the district’s history”, says Hendrik Gransee, an active and enthusiastic resident of Brühl. He presented his concept at the Making Space event in January because he felt the electricity feeder pillar designs were a “wonderful addition to the large-scale murals that are already in situ along the boulevard. It will take Brühl one step closer to being a real-life outdoor gallery.”

(Photo: Ernesto Uhlmann)

The Zietenpark

In the beginning, there was rubbish. A lot of rubbish. But members of the SDB e.V. Association for Solidarity, Democracy and Education knew how much work the project would entail. Indeed, their office is located directly opposite the area and they were therefore confronted by the empty little site between the buildings on the corner of Zietenstrasse and Jakobstrasse every day. They had long since decided to turn it into an outdoor meeting place. “We fixed notices to the surrounding houses and asked the community to get involved. This meant that we had around 15 people, including the members of our association, and together we set about clearing the rubbish, then mowing the grass before removing more rubbish from the site. Then we created seating areas around the edge and installed litter bins. It’s already looking much better cared‑for. Planting will begin in the spring.”

(Photo: Ernesto Uhlmann)