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With the resolution of 1957, the former medium sized town in the coal and energy region develops into a centre of industry. Rapid population growth allows new residential areas to be developed – at first in traditional styles and then, around 1965, in the style of industrial modular construction that increasingly involves the use of prefabricated housing elements.

The transformation of the inner city area between 1965 and 1980 promotes an architecturally exciting, if not contradictory, development of the city: in addition to the historic city centre, a second, modern centre develops whose architecture is intended to fulfil socialist ideals as well as a range of needs such as housing, shopping, medical care and recreation.

At the same time, much attention is also paid to the fine arts: numerous contemporary works of art shape the cityscape. In the immediate vicinity, a modern campus of the “Hochschule für Bauwesen“ [i. e. Institute of Civil Engineering] opens in 1970, a factor which turns out to be important for the cultural development of the city. In the 1970s the “Staatliche Kunstsammlungen“ [i. e. Cottbus public art collections] and the Blechen-Galerie open. An active music scene forms – the artistic awakening is combined with an architectural comeback.

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