A setting for mass culture: Life and leisure in the Nidda Valley

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Of the many popular movements that impelled reform in Germany after the Revolution of 1918, two of the most powerful were the Sports Movement, a vast network of politically affiliated clubs, and the Gardening Movement, represented by various factions promoting self-sufficiency and a back-to-the-land philosophy. Following World War I, the city of Frankfurt absorbed the momentum of both of these movements within its public leisure programme. This newly created public arena reiterated many of the movements’ heroic themes at the same time that it depoliticized them. It was a modernist landscape composed of two realms: The playing fields and stadia for collective games and the spectacle, and the private allotment garden. Encircled by the ring of modernist housing settlements, the Nidda Valley green belt was the embodiment of this new pastoral ideal: A leisure realm that fulfilled the promise of the Neues Leben, the new life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-222
Number of pages24
JournalPlanning Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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