Leipzig project

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In Leipzig whole houses are up for grabs for relatively little money.

The idea is to buy into one or more of the buildings and open them up for sharing.

Housing locations

People interested

Isis, Alex, Dante, Meinhard, Rob, Florence, Topi, Johanna, tubaxx, Julia add yourself


Leipzig Context


House features

  • Democratic governance
  • Communal and public space in ground floor
  • Several flats with different parties in upper floors
  • Empty large shared space in attic (for exhibitions, seminars, conference sessions, yoga, dance)
  • Community connected Hackerspace/workshop/lab room (computers, bikes, crafts, arts)
  • Lifestyle choices can be made into policy/protocol through democratic participation
    • Kitchens may be meat free (or not - vote!)
    • We may need a vegan kitchen (or not - vote!)
    • We may need a smoking area (or not - vote!)
  • Focus on healthy, simple living in community activities
    • Organic Community Gardening
    • Partnerships with local farms and suppliers
    • Community activities like dances, yoga, personal growth and training seminars
    • House and neighborhood biomass/composting program
  • Info cafe with people's kitchen
    • networking with other urban projects world-wide
  • Renewable and efficient energy
  • Recycling
  • Sauna (yeah!)

  • No meth cooking in the kitchen you fucking junkies!!!
  • Regular meetings
  • Free shop

Ideal Situation

Characteristics I believe important for setting up a base for a post industrial project in Leipzig are :

  • being situated next to a S Bahn stop ( or not more then 5 to 10 minute

walk )

  • being situated within a 10 minute biking radius from the centre, or from University
  • being situated nearby greenery
  • being situated nearby gardening allotments
  • being situated nearby declined industrial buildings which could be

purchased for post-manufacturing

  • having a unique looking architecture / building
  • having a potential for the development of a diversified

lively neighborhood, including school and former "church" building ( for the atmosphere :) )

  • having access to a garden and to a view
  • being in a calm neighborhood
  • additionally, I imagine it can be considered to look into vacant

constructible land, to build our own construction,

  • or to find ways of enabling modular construction within existing ( declined

? industrial ? ) architectural spaces, such as a "gasometer"

Microeconomic and Peer Economy potential and context ?







Ownership / Usership


possibly in combination with


Funding and Costs

Prices of Buildings

A 5 story building (1910 buildings?) costs :

  • around 50.000 euro to purchase in an emerging western neighborhood of Leipzig.
  • 20 to 30.000 euro to purchase in a rather empty centre east neighborhood of Leipzig.

Anthony says :

"it's true that some buildings in Leipzig are being sold for 30k€. But some of these require 30k€ of repairs. It's important to visit the buildings with an engineer to determine the move-in cost. Also, count on 6% to 12% in legal fees."

Dante prefers to buy a whole street, or neighborhood, in the cheaper areas of town


The empty streets in the centre-east part of Leipzig might still be owned in great part by the former GDR Housing Cooperative (currently under city authority?), although there are also privately owned buildings for sale.

It might require a re-development plan to present to the local authorities to create an opportunity to get one of the streets out of what might be a current market hoarding of these streets from the housing cooperative. - needs to be verified!

Anthony says:

"The LWB (former DDR housing authority) does own many buildings in Leipzig. They are trying (with DDR efficiency) to sell them. When I first started talking to them, I did not speak German, and they were very patient and helpful. It was a positive experience every step of the way."

Renovation Costs

to evaluate - Dante is interested in the possibility to set up cooperative business for building modular interior structures ?


Funding is possible through , for example, a legal framework such as Syndikat, potentially leading to a 3/4 credit from an "ethical" bank, with little interest. For a 20.000 euro, 5 story building, this would represent an initial cash investment of 5000 euro for the purchase of one building.

It would be way better to mobilize "direct credits" (people who lend us money) then approaching bank. (Fabzgy)

Purchasing Examples

For example, to buy a five floor, 600 square meter building, at the cost of 60 000 euros, it may be possible to divide it in 10 flats of 50 square meters.

The purchase of one flat then is 6000 euros, for which a 3/4 credit is possible, hence 1500 euros cash needed to buy a flat.

To pay off the credit, at no interest,

one can symbolically imagine that it costs "1 euro a day, for 11 years, 11 months and 11 days"


"11 euros a day, for 1 year , 1 month and 1 day"

after which it is fully your property, although I would opt for the set up of a cooperative structure of property and governance of the properties, enabling "usership" shares.

Another important point being to set up legal frameworks that enable limited liability and a fund to enable shares to remain within the cooperative structure in case of personal defaults to a loan.

Alternative Non-Central Bank Money Purchase

Model for Viagere Purchase and Rent :


Create housing commons without requiring national/central bank currencies.

Approach :

Purchase Usufruct and Property via a contract in "Viagere" / "Reverse Mortgage Pension" paid in "Rent Usufruct Units" in exchange of "Care Service Hours".


"avoid capitalist wage slavery by finding a solution with people that already paid off their loans."

Mutual credit with trusted routing, and/or Asymmetric exchange ?

Living Costs and Taxes

Robrecht asks :

"concerning the Leipzig project , we need an estimation of living costs (in the first stage), so how much is the yearly tax on a building, other costs like for waste water etc, energy and heating etc of course we want to be self suporting cc energy etc, but in a first period this would maybe not at once be possible."

Anthony answers :

"The annual tax on the GS-10 is a couple hundred euro and the water is about the same."

Alternative Purchasing Model

Dante is interested in considering the potential to ask current owners to allow us to buy shares of the buildings progressively, without requiring to take a bank loan.

Such contract with a owner would lead to the current owner transferring the property to a legal structure we set up ( a cooperative or Gmbh ), and then owning all the shares, but enabling us to buy over the shares progressively, at a fixed price.

Example of shareholding model in Leipzig :


Lease Hold ?



LWB Housing Availability Search

Availability of Housing under Municipal Housing Company Managment ( "Leipziger Wohnungs und Baugesellschaft" ) :

Purchase :


Rent :


Land and Building Projects :


Buildings of Interest

In Neustadt :

In ...


here is a well known panorama expo in a gasometer in the south of Leipzig



there is another gasometer , empty, no more roof, which is available not far from the central station in Leipzig - which might be interesting to buy here :


it most likely looks like this from inside :


Groups for Leipzig

Various local groups wanting to invest resources or time in one or more Leipzig housing projects.



Infrastructure Mapping

Link to Integral Cities

Leipzig as "Back to the Land Hub"

The idea is to create a urban convergence space for people living an alternative, "back to the land" lifestyle, living around Leipzig,

and providing infrastructure and opportunities supporting logistics related to people living a "back to the land" lifestyle in the surroundings of Leipzig.

See historical perspective :


Home Steading / Self sufficiency :


Income Streams

Ideally (according to Dante), developing "resilient communities" through setting up our own (open cooperative?) production infrastructures, from food to potentially micro-electronics, and potentially inspired by other projects such as "Open Source Ecology" such as "Factor E-Farm".

Cooperative Ecology Project

Alex Rollin is collecting information about cooperative approaches for community living using P2P methods. On the P2P Foundation wiki you can find a wealth of resources that are related to how free/libre voluntary networks and federations operate, along with examples and a gigantic category of resources and operations related to the commons.

Leipzig is a great inspiration for collecting together and co-editing foundational resources because the gift of Leipzig is hope; hope that a large scale project can work, if for no other reason than the buy in prices are low enough to be realistic. If this is all becoming more realistic, then the question turns to 'how do we do this?'


The Cooperative Ecology Project is a terrible name, but I hadn't thought of a better one. It's a functional description for a set of tools allowing a wide number of cooperative enterprises to establish a network that can insure survival in a hybrid economic atmosphere where profit and capitalism still exist.

Additional supporting research is being published on the P2P Foundation wiki, including the recent addition of a page on Peer-to-Peer in Multi-Unit Housing.

"Jobless Recovery"


Other brainstormings

First stage ?

  • Collaborative research
  • Plan development
  • Building a network of pioneers who want to move to Leipzig
  • Musical Parties
  • Added value food production ( slow food volks kuche ? )
  • Events and hospitality

Not for Private Profit Shops

examples : http://onceuponaschool.org/ , http://www.rockzipfel-leipzig.de/welcome-to-rockzipfel

Volunteering Initiatives

Participating in a EU funded youth program ?


Alternative Entrepreneurship Centres

Participating in a EU funded program ?




Earth De-polluting Cooperative

Set up of a cooperative to biologically clease / depollute / detoxify industrially polluted earth in Leipzig.

Cradle to Cradle & Upcycling Cooperatives

Design Consulting and Peer production Upcycling Production


" It models human industry on nature's processes in which materials are viewed as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms. "


" Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. "

Distribution of Peer Production

Fair Ware


= proposal for an "Open Source physical product distribution infrastructure"

Fair Ware Goals
  • bring peer designed products to the market in an accountable way
  • make sure that needs of all stakeholders are met
      • creative people get their share
      • producers can produce under human conditions
      • users get quality and reliability
  • foster cooperation and improved product design
  • facilitate quality control by branding
  • exert democratic control over a brand name
  • create resilience towards proprietory action
  • empower the growth of compatibilty and coherence (interoperability) between Open Products in the physical world.


Allotment Gardens


" The idea of organised allotment gardening reached a first peak after 1864, when the so-called "Schreber Movement" started in the city of Leipzig in Saxony. "

Mesh Communication Networks

Contributing to ( ? )


Alternative Finance

Dante feels that there is potential in supporting local economics through complementary currencies. To start with, mutual credit, or demurrage types of currencies, which can eventually be guaranteed through a reserve of euros, or guaranteed by production.

Local economics could trade outside of their economies, which could increase the reserve of euros that can also be used to buy products outside of the local economic production, especially to build up local production infrastructures.

Alternative University and learning infrastructures


City Infrastructures


S Bahn


  • Leipzig Linien 1

http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=122015 http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/relation/122015

  • Linien 2

http://www.openstreetmap.org/?relation=122442 http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/relation/122442

ps: ideal when coming from some other place in Germany : regional train ticket ( 30 euros/5 persons ), and wochenende ticket ( 35 euros/5 persons/week-end), most likely valid on S Bahn

Tram Lines


New Transportation Infrastructures

Underground Train

"The City Tunnel of Leipzig is the last and central component of the railway system restructuring process in Greater Leipzig. Not only the suburban train system can be restructured after the tunnel has been put into operation but also the traffic connections between the region and the City will be improved and give major impetus to the development of the City’s traffic system."

"The City Tunnel consists of two single-track tunnel tubes constructed by way of shield driving. Length of each tunnel tube 1,438 m."

"Construction of four underground stations, open cut: Leipzig Hbf (Leipzig main rail Station), Markt (Market), Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz (Wilhelm-Leuschner Place), Bayerischer Bahnhof (Bavarian Station)"

"2010: Putting into service upon change of timetable." --> probably the city tunnel will not be ready before 2013.


Some Historical Facts and People

Phantasmagoria in Leipzig

Bach in Leipzig

City History

"at one time biggest cotton spinning mill in continental Europe"


Suggested Neighbourhoods

expensive ones:

Südvorstadt (south)

schleussig ( centre , between plagwitz and sudvorstadt, near park - yuppie )

connewitz ( south )

becoming expensive:


plagwitz here are alot of old factory structures, which are constructed into living apartements. Could be interesting for you. But i suspect that it is to late for getting some cheap places there.

cheaper ones :

neustadt ( eisenbahn strasse ) - east

Stötteritz - east

nationalist presence - slow gentrification :

reutnitz - east Edit: the nationalist have a new political centre opened near lindenauer markt in lindenau. most of them moved from Reudnitz to Lindenau and they try to build up a new structure their. The gentrification is actually in lindenau very obvious. There are alot of deprived people, but also there is growing an artist and alternative community. thats why it is becoming expensive, but not the whole neighbourhood, only a few quarters. Lindenau is big and there are also many cheap corners.

Don´t be afraid of nationalists in leipzig. Here are alot more left wing people and only a few nationalists, that doesn´t count. The situation IN leipzig is much more different to the situation in the suburbs.

klein zschocher - south west

Past Meetings

August 2010, 3 first weeks :


Ecotopia Facebook Group

Ecotopia held in a place between Berlin and Leipzig, near Belzig ( the regional train between Berlin and Leipzig stops by Belzig ) : Map Link

Contact Dante as he will be roaming between the Ecotopia, Berlin and Leipzig in August.

Furthermore, there is an opportunity to be hosted in an empty 150 square meter space we can self organize, in a building in Leipzig which recently renovated its waterpipes and kitchen.

Communication Tools

Dante wishes to adopt the Drupal platform used by Nomadbase's, and adapt it as to enable new users to "Register" for a "space", and add either 1500 euros ( non-renovated ) or 3000 euros ( renovated ) in an escrow account to purchase their apartment.

External links