Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dresden - UNESCO World Heritage exchanged for bridge


Good morning,

in a few hours at the UNESCO World Heritage Meeting in Quebec it will be decided whether Dresden will hold on to its world heritage title (given in 2004) or not.

The reason for being put on the "red list" is the planned -and already well under way- construction of the so-called "Waldschlößchenbrücke" over the river Elbe right in the middle of the phantastic river landscape.



Despite constant discussion -over the last ten years- whether the new bridge really is suitable for the sensible area due to its large dimensions and concrete, bold and rather modernistic construction.

Actually there are pretty diverse parties arguing whether the bridge is necessary or not or which other way of crossing the river could be appropriate to hold on to the World Heritage Title as well as keeping the landscape as exceptional as it is now.

The pressure to build the bridge comes from the fact that the most southern bridge of Dresden, the "Blaues Wunder" ("Blue Wonder") (a steel construction perfectly fitting into the landscape) is reaching its end of use time (no trucks allowed any longer, busses are crossing with a mere 30 km/h). There has to be a new river crossing - that can't be denied!

What is not clear what will the future impacts of the "Waldschlößchenbrücke" for Dresden and the tourism. Especially intangible effects have not yet be taken into account especially in comparison with the benefits for the car owners (that would have easier river crossings available).

Let's hope for the best and that holding onto the World Heritage Title will make a major shift in the bridge planning inevitable. If holding on to the "Waldschlößchenbrücke" should be preferred than the World Heritage Title should be taken away - in order for the UNESCO to stay to its word !

Let's create the future we would like to see

Ralf



PS.: By the way, how can the effects of the World Heritage Title on a region be measured? Isn't this what Richard Florida says about "Who's My City" and what makes regions special?
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