Award set up by the Foundation

The “Lebendige Stadt” Foundation presents a Foundation Award each year in recognition of innovative civic projects such as particularly outstanding cultural and civic marketing events, successful city displays comprising elements such as light, sound and water (as temporary or permanent installations), and projects in the field of building conservation and tourism, especially if these are of cultural or artistic value.

Foundation Award 2014

The Most Vibrant Memorial City:

The Most Vibrant Memorial City:

Remembrance – Raising Awareness – Promoting Identity

The "Lebendige Stadt" Foundation has chosen Leipzig as the "Most Vibrant Memorial City". Leipzig's "Notenspur Music Trail" project is the winner of this year's Foundation Award and the recipient of the prize money of 15,000 euros. Special mentions also went to the towns of Hattingen/Sprockhövel, Krakow, Lublin, Trier and Warendorf. A total of 437 projects were entered for the award from Germany and abroad.


Special mentions went to the towns of Achern (Baden-Württemberg) (creation of a meeting place with museum, bistro and schoolchildren's research center in the historic Illenau building), Bordesholm (Schleswig-Holstein) ("Bordesholm Monastery Island – yesterday, today and tomorrow"), Bonn (memorial to the book-burning on May 10, 1933), Dorsten ("Invitation to Discover Bordesholm"), Essen ("ESSEN.OLD TOWN.PERSPECTIVES"), Forst (Lusatia) ("Count Heinrich Graf von Brühl and the Ruling Era of the Forst-Pförten Nobility"), Helmstedt ("Helmstedt - Borderless"), Herne ("Tangible Connections") Ingolstadt ("The Photo Album"), Kaßberg/Chemnitz ("Kaßberg Prison – Learning and Remembering), Nürtingen ("Women's History Workshop" at the Nürtlingen Adult Education Center) and Speyer ("Urban History 2.0").


Winner of the 2014 Foundation Award: Leipzig (prize money: 15,000 euros)

In diverse locations within Leipzig, the "Music Trail" illustrates the 800-year musical history of the city. People can visit town houses, churches, cafés, publishing companies and educational establishments to learn how composers like Bach, Mendelssohn and Schumann lived and worked. The various locations are connected by a pathway and audio guidance system that explains their musical significance. At the same time, the concept uses the history of the city and its cultural heritage as well as information on urban development, education, urban green spaces and mobility to open up new ways for people to engage with music.


The "Music Trail" project engages music history in diverse ways, in the form of "music walks" through the city, the "Music Trail" itself (which opened in 2012) and the official "Leipzig Music Walk" scheduled to start operating in 2018. A journey of musical discovery by bike is also planned and should be up and running by 2016. Discovery tours are also organized for children on the "Leipzig Mini-Music Trail", along with music projects for children from a migrant background. This range of events and activities is designed to appeal to all generations and people from all cultural backgrounds, encouraging them to participate and become involved.


The project was launched in 2008 by the Friends of the Music Trail and the Cultural Affairs Office of the city of Leipzig. It also incorporates themes like culture, urban development, education, tourism, intercultural exchange or Jewish history with a "light touch". The "Music Trail" fast became a music project that extends throughout the city. Honorary, nonprofit associations, cultural institutions, the Leipziger Tourismus GmbH company and the local business community are involved in the project, and this ensures that the project itself enjoys a high profile.


The "Music Trail" is a genuine USP and has become one of the central cultural trademarks of the city's marketing activities. As it has an appeal that extends far beyond the borders of the city itself, the Conference of German Education Ministers has proposed the submission of the Leipzig Music Trail for the European Heritage Label.


Special mention: Hattingen/Sprockhövel (prize money: 1,000 euros)

"Prosperity, freedom and education for all" – that was the slogan of democrat and women's rights activist Mathilde Franziska Anneke (1817 to 1884). For both towns, her life's work is part of their cultural heritage that should be preserved and filled with life. This underlines the importance of Anneke's work, its contribution to the democratic tradition in Germany, and her status as a role model for social engagement.


For more than 25 years, educational and cultural institutions as well as committed local people have been organizing a wide range of activities in the towns of Hattingen and Sprockhövel to celebrate the activist, whose work had been absent from the public consciousness for so many years: she is now remembered by plaques on the three Anneke houses in Hattingen and Sprockhövel, and the local secondary school has been named after her. Every two years since 2010, local people who have shown outstanding social commitment and exceptional civic courage have been presented with the Anneke Award. The award is designed to encourage people to follow her lead and to underline Anneke's status as a role model. The Friends of the Hattingen Adult Education Centre and local museums organize readings from her works and her biography, and special exhibitions on "Heroes in Hattingen" provide a wide range of information on her life's work and on Anneke herself.

It should in particular be emphasized that there is no budget for the creation of this remembrance culture. The project is largely driven by the efforts of many unpaid and committed people in both towns.


Special mention: Krakow/Poland (prize money: 1,000 euros)

The city of Krakow decided to build a museum for contemporary art on the site of the former factory of businessman Oscar Schindler in the dilapidated industrial location of Zablocie. It was on this site that Oskar Schindler saved more than 700 Jews from deportation. 


The construction of the museum has not only revitalized the location but also generated stimuli for urban development. Escorted tours on the history of this part of the city have helped to integrate the museum in the surrounding area with its rich history. The museum cooperates closely with the local schools in organizing educational programs, events and workshops.


The museum uses art to link the past and the present of this location. It not only creates valuable jobs for the local people but also promotes identification with the city through its art and cultural activities. The gallery connected to the museum exclusively showcases the work of young artists, thereby making an important contribution towards promoting the regional art scene. 


The museum has not only succeeded in establishing itself as a landmark on the national museum map but also acts as an institution that positively enhances the surrounding area. Zablocie has become an attractive residential location within the space of just four years. Creative workshops and artists have settled here along with modern service companies, and they all serve to make this location a vibrant place.


Special mention: Lublin/Poland (prize money: 1,000 euros)

Lublin is a city that was for long periods shaped by Christian and Jewish life. After the systematic extermination of the Jews, there was little in Lublin to remind people of the Jewish inhabitants that had once lived in the town. It was this that prompted the "Grodzka-Tor - NN Theater" center, a local and state-owned cultural institution, to begin writing the Jewish history of Lublin in the 1990s. This marked the start of research into the long-forgotten and never-recorded civic history of Jewish life. The project consciously also encouraged young people to become involved in order to make them aware of the events of the past.


The Godzka Gate, also called the "Arch of Remembrance", has meanwhile become a major archive of a Jewish city that no longer exists. Old photographs and documents have been preserved and prepared for future generations. In addition, meetings between young people from Lublin and their counterparts from Israel, Germany and other countries are part and parcel of this remembrance culture. Over 10,000 young people have participated in these meetings during the last five years.


Every year, the names of all inhabitants who lived there in the pre-War period are read out at the Godzka Gate on March 16, the day on which the extermination of the Jews began in Lublin. On this day of remembrance, the lights in the former Jewish quarter are switched off, but remain lit on the other side of the gate. For a short period, this turns the gate into a symbolic crossover point between light and darkness.


In Lublin, this type of remembrance culture helps to make people aware of the loss the extermination of Jewish life in the city still means today; it also calls to memory the atrocities that took place, underscoring the consciousness that such things must never be allowed to happen again.


Special mention: Trier (prize money: 1,000 euros)

The goal of "Trier Univers.City – Paths to a Creative City" is to use the resource of "youth" to create a vibrant exchange between the development of the city and the development of the university, with the aim of creatively transporting the image of Trier as Germany's oldest city into the future. This image underlines the city's status as a place of universal learning. Future architects, young designers and creative media minds are helping to maximize the memorial potential of the city and strengthen its identity. On the "Path to a Creative City", this project supplies a wide range of productive examples and stimuli:

One example of this is the creation of a campus perspective under the heading "Places and Potentials" based on the former arts and crafts college on the Paulusplatz square that has the potential to become a new, cultural focal point on both sides of the Mosel banks. This lends a symbolic political significance to the internationally award-winning bridge designs by Master's degree students with the emphasis on "bridge-building". The students have also developed a "stumbling block guide" with the theme "Memory and Remembrance" which is available via a media app.


"Trier Univers.City" follows a bottom-up approach where specific measures are based on diverse participatory structures and also implemented using interactive and social media. At the same time, a top-down approach ensures that the process is geared towards sustainability on strategic level.


Special mention: Warendorf (prize money 1,000 euros)

The decentral civic museum in Warendorf has played an important role in imparting history since 1993. The civic museum comprises various historic buildings that have been preserved on their original site. This raises awareness for the social, economic and cultural fabric of the city in its organic structures and serves to illustrate the living and working environments as they were at the time. Visitors can also see the insides of individual buildings on a tour of the town. 


The initiators are developing this museum in small steps. The first task is to research the construction history of the buildings and to document their ownership, economic and social history. This forms the basis for evaluation of the "statement" made by the building in question with regard to its cultural history and its integration within the overall structure of the civic location. Alongside the buildings that have been purchased and thereby permanently secured for the museum, there are also plans to obtain access to further historic structures through long-term leasing and rental agreements. 


The activities of the museum depend on the commitment of local people, mainly in the form of the "Altstadtfreunde Warendorf" and "Heimatverein Warendorf" cultural associations as well as the town of Warendorf itself. The members organize special exhibitions, baking and washing days and theme tours; they also perform small repairs to houses and exhibits, and they inventorize and document the exhibits.