History of the ARL

What continuities, both in terms of personnel and subject matter, existed in spatial research and in regional and urban planning in Lower Saxony from the time of the ‘Third Reich’ to that of the Federal Republic? After 1945, what attempts were made to reorient the discipline and distance it from its clear role as a ‘political science’ in National Socialist Germany? In the early years of the Federal Republic, how did academics – almost exclusively men – assess their earlier work as spatial scientists? And to what extent is the marked concentration after 1945 of leading spatial scientists from the National Socialist era in Lower Saxony the result of the deliberate development of collective occupational structures? These questions are the focus of a research project on the history of the Academy initiated by the ARL and funded by the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony. The head of the project is Prof. Dr. Detlef Schmiechen-Ackermann from the Institute for the Didactics of Democracy at Leibniz University Hannover and the project runs until September 2019. The results of the research will be published in a monograph and presented at an international conference.

The project builds upon existing work on the history of spatial research and planning in Germany. For instance, in June 2008 the ARL and the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR), drawing on their shared history, held a two-day conference on the history of spatial research and planning in the transition from the NS state to the young Federal Republic. Further work on the topic led to the first part of a biographical sketch of Kurt Brüning being produced in 2010, which was then further developed in 2011.

Contact at the ARL: 
Dr. Andreas Stefansky
Tel.: 0511-348-42-43
E-Mail: stefansky@arl-net.de