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The city of Brandenburg an der Havel, renowned for its historic city centre, reflects in particular the trends in urban planning and architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries. From 1918 to 1933 the working-class city of Brandenburg is predominantly designated as social-democratic. It is ' characterised by buildings close to the city and apartment buildings with expressionistic decor in sprawling perimeter block developments. Moritz Wolf, head of municipal planning and building, significantly influences urban development at this time.

His successor, Karl Erbs, plans further growth away from the city centre in isolated residential neighbourhoods that primarily develop near the new industrial parks along the Silokanal in the northwest. The new housing settlement complexes clearly distinguish themselves in the style of “Neues Bauen“ [i. e. New Building] from the slightly older buildings: under pressure from the global economic crisis more and more self-sufficient settlements for the unemployed are established. Numerous public buildings are meant to improve the social infrastructure. This includes, as a highlight and culmination of social-democratic urban planning, the “Wohlfahrtsforum“ [Social Services Forum], which was designed in the modernist style, but was only partially completed.

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