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Volume 3 Supplement 2

Rural Heritage: Value, Conservation and Revitalisation

The Promotion of Building Culture in Rural Germany


Over the past two decades, building culture has increasingly caught the attention of the architectural and planning professions. The building culture is to be understood in the broadest sense as the sum of all cultural, economic, technological, social and ecological factors influencing the quality and process of planning and construction. While the revitalisation and promotion of building culture is central to discussions on urban areas, these are generally ignored in regard to rural areas. This article aims to provide an overview of how building culture has been promoted in Germany’s rural areas, thereby contributing to international research on this topic. The paper adopts a general descriptive approach in examining the promotion of building culture in rural Germany. It provides background knowledge on institutional promotion and demonstrates the diverse approaches implemented in representative villages as best practices examples. The German experience confirms that the promotion of building culture is a meaningful and effective measure to help revitalise rural areas. Moreover, the three selected rural municipalities show how stakeholders from civil society are increasingly involved in measures to implement and promote building culture in the local context.


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Correspondence to Xiaoping Xie.

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Xie, X., Krüger, T. The Promotion of Building Culture in Rural Germany. Built Heritage 3, 37–49 (2019).

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  • building culture
  • Baukultur
  • rural Germany
  • institutional promotion
  • rural revitalisation
  • civil society initiative