Public Opinion
Dresden, June 2006

Dresden’s World Heritage Board of Trustees: Overriding Priority for Preservation of World Heritage status

The Board of Trustees acts as body of consultants on World Heritage issues to the City Council of Dresden and met in June 2006. A statement was issued by them on June 13, 2006, on the World Heritage status and “Waldschloesschenbruecke”, reading as follows:

“Since Dresden has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, it has acknowledged the right of international experts to have a say when it comes to building projects within the boundaries of the World Heritage area.”

The following point has been made with regard to the expected decision of Vilnius:

“Respect for the international consensus on protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage in our view means productive and cooperative approach to the decision taken by the UNESCO body. In this context, overriding priority will have to be accorded to conservation of the World Heritage status for the Dresden Elbe Valley.”

Dresden, May 2006:

World Heritage takes Priority over project “Waldschloesschenbruecke”

If confronted with a choice between priorities of greater importance to Dresden, the World Heritage status or construction of that bridge, the World Heritage title was preferred by 45 percent of all interviewees, the bridge construction project by only 36 percent, while 16 percent were undecided and two percent without any opinion.

Younger citizens (18 to 24 years of age) presented an even clearer picture, with 78 percent in favour of the World Heritage and just 22 percent supporting the bridge project.

(Source: Survey conducted by the Institute of Communication at the Technische Unitversität Dresden, May 2006, “Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten”, 06-02-2006).

Dresden, 2004, 2005

Newly elected City Council (2004) and Referendum (2005)

On 7th of Juli 2004 the Dresden Valley became a Worls Heritage. The World Heritage status encouraged agents fighting for sustainable development of the city without exorbitant major traffic projects. After three months the newly elected City Council stopped the inopportune bridge project by blocking funds.

This decision in February 2005 was suspended for a period of three years by a Referendum on the traffic project “Waldschlösschenbrücke”, initiated by the opposition parties and the most popular automobile club in Germany, with the votes of 34.4 % of Dresden inhabitants of voting-age. The voters had been told that the “Waldschlösschenbrücke” and the World Heritage Site status would be compatible. Insufficient descriptions disguised the fact, that a flyover with a length of 700 metres would cross Elbe Valley.

With a new Referendum the result of the 2005 Referendum could be corrected. A new Referendum could be initiated by a two-thirds majority of the City Council or by a new citizens’ petition for a Referendum. In the case of a new Referendum, Dresden citizens should be informed about the current situation and planning on the basis of precise information from UNESCO. A better-informed public could place a higher estimation on World Heritage status in relation to the vote and thus an abandonment of the project or an opening of the way towards alternatives.

individuals, associations, initiatives and organisations against the project

The following individuals, associations, initiatives and organisations so far have campaigned against the project “Waldschloesschen-bridge”:

Prof. Günter Blobel, Nobel Prize Winner, New York
Klaus von Dohnanyi, Adviser of the German Bundesregierung, Hamburg
Wolfgang Thierse, Vice-President of the German Bundestag, Berlin

Gunter Emmerlich, Entertainer
Wieland Förster, Bildhauer
Ludwig Güttler, Musiker
Walter Hirche, FDP, Präsident der Deutschen UNESCO-Kommission
Peter Kulka, Architekt
Jürgen Schröder, Europa-Abgeordneter der CDU
Ingo Zimmermann, Amtierender Vorsitzender des Dresdner Welterbe-Kuratoriums

Dresdner Appell zum Erhalt des Welterbestatus (c/o R. Decker, over 1000 subscribers)

Friends of Dresden, USA
Berliner Appell (c/o. Prof. R. Kreibich, Berlin; 350 celibrities)
Münchner Appell (c/o. MR a.D. A. Distler, München; 160 celibrities)
Initiative Münchner Architektur und Kultur
Dresdner Aufruf „Appell zur Rettung der Dresdener Elblandschaft“ (c/o. Th. Friedländer, Dresden; 140 celibrities)

Bundesarchitektenkammer e.V., Berlin
Klasse Baukunst der Sächsischen Akademie der Künste
Matthias Horst, Vorsitzender der Architektenkammer Dresden

Deutscher Naturschutzring e.V.
Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club e.V.
Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland - Friends of the Earth e.V.
GRÜNE LIGA Sachsen e.V.
Landesverein Sächsischer Heimatschutz e.V.
Naturfreunde Jugend Deutschland e.V.
Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V.

The parliamentary parties of the Dresden city council: PDS, BÜNDNIS 90/GRÜNE, SPD.

Vorstand des Künstlerbundes Dresden e.V.
Elbhangfest e.V., Dresden

12 Dresdner Bürgerinitiativen
(Bürgerinitiative Aktion / Kommunikation, Bürgerinitiative Blasewitz, Bürgerinitiative Fetscherstraße; Bürgerinitiative Gruna in Not, Bürgerinitiative Leubnitz, Bürgerinitiative Rettet das Waldschlößchen, Bürgerinitiative Stauffenbergallee, Bürgerinitiative Waldschlößchenbrücke, Bürgerinitiative Welterbe Dresdner Elbtal, Initiative Verkehrsfluß, Mütter gegen die Waldschlößchenbrücke, Nachbarschaft Preußisches Viertel)

Wohnungsgenossenschaft Dresden-Johannstadt (10.000 Leaseholders)
Eigentümer und Gewerbetreibende im Waldschlößchenareal und im Bereich der Radeberger Straße und der Stauffenbergallee