Critical reconstruction is a theory regarding the reconstruction of Berlin following the fall of the Berlin Wall; it aims to define the “central role of the city” and “invent the contemporary equivalent”.
Goals include a return to traditional urbanism, with building size limited to one block, and building codes that encourage development that mimics pre-World War II Berlin. Development schemes that preserve or restore pre-war street patterns are preferred. Stone and ceramic exteriors are favored over steel and glass. This design theory is a response to the many failed urban redesign projects in both sides of Berlin during the Cold War; rather than attempt to design a completely new city, proponents of critical reconstruction want to return to the functionality of the pre-war city.