Municipal Development Council in Weißwasser/ O.L.

How do we create environmentally friendly mobility in rural areas and for an aging population? How do we enable meaningful work that feeds people and serves the common good? How do we promote quality of life, health and peaceful coexistence in communities? These and many other questions are being asked by people around the world in order to meet the demands of sustainable development and a socio-ecological transformation.

With its format of municipal development advisory councils, the Berlin Governance Platform offers a space in which the experience and knowledge of many can be pooled and interests can be negotiated in a way that they are oriented toward the common good. The municipality of Weißwasser in Lusatia is piloting this participation approach for the first time.

Photo: Marcus Henschel

Weißwasser/O.L. is a large district town with 15,000 inhabitants in the Saxon Lausitz. Located in the immediate vicinity of the Nochten opencast lignite mine, Weißwasser is part of the major structural change in Lusatia due to the decision to phase out coal in 2038, which offers challenges but also opportunities. From one of the most important locations of glass producing industry in Europe in the pre-turnaround times, only a glassworks is left today. The number of inhabitants has more than halved since reunification.

Special gems of the city are the old industrial and residential buildings in the Bauhaus style, the wealth of lakes and, in the immediate vicinity, the Prince Pückler Park in Bad Muskau. Many people are creatively committed to a successful transformation process in Weißwasser.

The topic of sustainability is to be explored in greater depth by a municipal development advisory council and a corresponding concept developed for the city. The advisory board will make a recommendation to the city council. It can build on a lot of preliminary work: the energy and climate protection concept, the integrated urban development concept and other participation processes.


06/2022 - 05/2024


City of Weißwasser, funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety as part of the funding program "Municipal Model Projects for the Implementation of Ecological Sustainability Goals in Regions of Structural Change (KoMoNa)".


Inga Lutosch

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