Time and again in Central Thuringia, one hears the gladly retold assessment that, when choosing a place to live, one cannot decide between Erfurt, with its beautiful old town, Weimar, for its culture, or Jena, in the midst of its beautiful landscape.
Historical development - pollution through industrialisation
All this has its justification. With regard to the city of Jena, the anecdote conceals the fact that its reputation in the last century was not unreservedly positive. Rather, the intensive industrialization in the narrow valley was accompanied by considerable pollution. As a consolation, people liked to enjoy the charming and immediately adjacent free nature as a counter-image to the unloved but economically necessary.
Improvement of the environmental situation after the political turnaround
Now Jena could take an unprecedented rise since the political change in 1989. Thanks to structural adjustment and a renewed focus on Jena's profile as a city of science and technology, the environmental situation improved. New jobs were created, the old building fabric was saved almost without exception, and intensive new construction activity strengthened the urban experience.
The valuable landscape in Jena's surroundings also benefited from the general upswing. The existing protected areas were continued under the new legal situation, others such as European Flora-Fauna-Habitat protected areas were added and completed the system of protected areas. The large-scale nature conservation project Orchid Region Middle Saale Valley created improved conditions for the preservation of the natural heritage. Highly qualified sustainable forest management made it possible to maintain and further develop the extensive network of hiking trails and recreational infrastructure. A modern, efficient
development of agriculture has resulted in more environmentally friendly forms of cultivation, accompanied by maintenance and development measures for the cultural landscape.
Ideas for the preservation and further development of the landscape image
All this becomes visible in the image of the landscape, to which Jena owes the reputation described at the beginning as being surrounded by an outstandingly beautiful landscape. The present study of the landscape not only invites to a deeper understanding of the development of this area, but also develops ideas for its preservation and further development from an aesthetic point of view. It is thus a handbook for owners, managers, users, but also visitors, to which we all belong. I recommend it to you as a stimulating read, but also as a guide to careful management, to very practical care and participation, to understanding the changes that are necessary to keep our landscape the way we like it.
The brochure N°14 "Landscape Jena" is published in the series Schriften zur Stadtentwicklung.
The "cuts" mentioned in the brochure can be found under Downloads.