OTT, Thomas (2001): From concentration to de-concentration – Migration patterns in the post-socialist city. Cities 18 (6), 403-412
The paper analyses the changing patterns of migration in the transition process from a “Socialist” into a “Capitalist” city against the background of “Modernization Theory”. Based on the example of Erfurt, a former district capital and now capital of the new federal state of Thuringia, an overview is given of basic population development trends before and after the unification of the two Germanys. A more detailed analysis of different urban areas (historic centre, city extensions of the industrial period, Socialist housing areas, new suburban housing areas) reveals a general turn-around of migration streams: Before 1990 the urban population showed a steady increase, while after reunification a dramatic loss could be observed. This decrease is caused both by emigration to areas in former West Germany, as well as by the beginning suburbanisation process. The latter is also fostered by the growing number of West – East migrants across the former internal German border. The findings are summarised in a model of the post-Socialist urban area.