Plattenbau is the German word for a building whose structure is constructed of large, prefabricated concrete slabs. Although Plattenbau apartments were considered highly desirable in East Germany, since reunification a combination of decreasing population, renovation of older buildings, and construction of modern alternative housing has led to high vacancy rates, with some estimates placing the number of unoccupied units at around a million. Many Plattenbau apartments were built in giant settlements, often on the edge of cities (such as Marzahn and Hellersdorf in Berlin and Halle-Neustadt), making them inconveniently located. While many Plattenbau apartments have been renovated to a high standard, some are being torn down, although a lack of funds means many are being left to become derelict.
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