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Privatization, Financialization and State Restructuring in Eastern Germany: The case of Am Südpark

Article written by Matthias Bernt, Laura Colini and Daniel Förste and published in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

Using a mix of survey data, results from a study on local planning politics and fieldwork, this article discusses the interplay of planning and welfare policies with global financial markets in the ‘making’ of social segregation in Halle-Neustadt, a borough in the German city of Halle (Saale). Here, different developments come together. First, Halle-Neustadt has experienced two waves of privatization, leading to a complete change of ownership structures, marked by the rise of financial investors. Second, welfare cuts have put increasing pressure on welfare recipients to live in the cheapest housing available. This has led to the emergence of a ‘Hartz IV business model’ based on low, but state-subsidized, rents.