2nd Chance
Waking up the sleeping giant


About »2nd Chance
Waking up the sleeping giant«

The challenge of 2nd Chance is the activation of vacant buildings and building complexes for a sustainable urban development. In many European cities smaller and larger derelict sites, underused premises, so called »voids« can be found in or near the city centre. These sites often have a negative impact on their surroundings. On the other hand they present a great opportunity: the voids can be used to complete a compact settlement structure, to provide space for needed functions in the city. Self-organised groups, with a great willingness to shape, they implement ideas of new living and housing models. The aim of the 2nd Chance project is to identify and organize themes and activities of the URBACT III Integrated Action Planning Network, in order to promote the project’s results and the widest dissemination of knowledge from the partners’ network. We produced our outputs working in two directions: first towards the transnational and network activities in order to enhance the potential of 2nd Chance project topics - the reactivation of the abandoned buildings and sites in the city context- and the dissemination of project’s results in the public and scientific sector; and second towards local communication activities at partners level,even in native’s language.

Particularly the potential of local groups and initiatives has so far been underestimated and ignored. Cooperatives, builders' groups, associations or foundations invest capital not for the purpose of short-term profit expectations. Self-organised and with a great willingness to shape, they implement ideas of new living and housing models. Some of the projects have set themselves sustainable social and ecological tasks that hold out the promise of long-term benefit for the city also in economic terms. These local groups are to be activated and involved for the revitalisation of these »sleeping giants«.


Get acquainted

Let us be your guide as you experience the former Spinnereimaschinenbau site from a variety of different perspectives. As you explore the grounds, you’ll find six stations that will give you some insight into different periods in its history. These are marked with boards featuring QR codes you can scan to view the stories. You’ll find current and historical information throughout the complex, as well as people who will give you their perspective on the site, telling you about things that happened to them, and their memories and experiences. Stop a while at each location and lose yourself in their stories, which are told in the form of audio, video, images, quotes and background information.

We hope you enjoy exploring the site!


Stadt Chemnitz – Stadtplanungsamt

project coordinator URBACT
Thomas Mehlhorn

+49 371 488 61 53


idea & concept
Katja Manz

design & programming
Mary-Anne Kockel

co-operation partners



Historic developments at the Spinnereimaschinenbau site

1839 – 1945



1949 onwards: VEB Spinnereimaschinenbau I

Stories of former employees | Machine manufacturing at home and abroad



VEB Spinnereimaschinenbau II

Work life and social services in the Textima Karl-Marx-Stadt combine



Actual developments

Industrial Culture and current uses




Adopting unused spaces | Alternative uses and utopias



Visions for the former Spinnereimaschinenbau site

Future ideas and image development