My point is that the urban renovation was linked, by the OP and probably by Der Spiegel, to the concept of freedom: How bad it was and how better it is now. And I agree it is overall better now, but not at all because of the urban renovation, or the urban development in general.

If urban development were correlated to freedom, then one could infer that the most free places on Earth are China, Saudi Arabia and Dubai*.

In Germany the idea of old architecture being "related" to Nazism was quite widespread in leftist circles. In cities governed by the left, such as Frankfurt, reconstruction took the American architectural "example" literally (skyscraper district, glass and iron, "international style") while in cities governed by the right the reconstruction of historical centres was, as far as possible, adherent to the old architecture.

That happened because architecture was perceived to reflect somehow a political manifesto and the left wanted to be "democratic", "westerner" more than "German". You have to consider this in light of the deep guilt complex in which the Germans buried themselves for decades (that would be another thread).

The Poles had no such "guilt" and to great pain and effort rebuilt the historical centre of Warsaw as it was.

Something similar happened in Rome. The EUR district, which is a beautiful IMO example of Fascist architecture, and of which the building in my "avatar" is an example, was left unfinished by the war. After the war, when the quarter was completed, basically all new buildings, with a few exceptions, were built in "international style". The contrast between the two styles is striking. Just like the "fascist" style was perceived, by anybody at the time, like a political manifesto, so the completion of the quarter was decided in a way to pass a political manifesto.

Although the Rolling Stones are quite far from my musical tastes, I wouldn't judge them unaccomplished musicians because they never wrote a Requiem or a string quartet. That was not their "purpose in life".

Fabrizio

* And the same goes if availability of capital were linked to freedom.