Rostock buried the Buga and tried to look ahead

Buga 2025

There are “Buga containers” in the city harbor, which are intended to provide information about the Federal Horticultural Show 2025. Photo: Bernd Wüstneck/dpa/archive picture

© dpa-infocom GmbH

The step was expected – the Rostock citizenship finally buried the Federal Horticultural Show 2025. On Wednesday evening there was a big debate and an attempt at reorientation.

In the end it was a formality: The Rostock citizenship accepted the cancellation of the Federal Horticultural Show decided in 2025. She followed the recommendation of Mayor Claus Ruhe Madsen (independent). The step had become increasingly clear for weeks. Nevertheless, there was a lot to be said at the meeting of the Rostock city representatives on Wednesday evening – about political responsibility and how the development of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s largest city will continue.

The decision is not a good day for the Hanseatic city, said Madsen. In the past, has it mainly been due to corona-related delays and the massive price increases caused by the Ukraine– Citing war as the reason for the failure, he also said on Wednesday: “Mistakes were made”. Recruiting staff, for example, was a problem, and the city administration’s reports on progress “in quality and depth” were not sufficient. You have to learn from that.

Other city representatives also spoke of errors and problems in connection with the management of the project and called for a review. Sybille Bachmann from the Rostocker Bund spoke of animosity, a lack of leadership and unclear responsibilities.

With only seven years to go – 2018 received Rostock the contract – the implementation was ambitious anyway. “We didn’t make it,” Madsen summed up. He called for seeing the day as a turning point. “We have to do without the garden show event to enable long-term urban development.” Thanks to the Buga, plans were pushed ahead in a very short time, from which the city could continue to benefit.

Madsen recently stated the cost of the Buga at around 180 million euros, around 40 million euros more than initially estimated. Major urban planning projects were associated with the alignment. The country wanted to give 60 million. the Citizenship decided on Wednesday to realize projects according to a prioritization without the exhibition. The redesign of the city harbor and securing the flood protection, the bridge over the Warnow and the Warnow district as a new residential area are at the top of the wish list. But the planning of a new city park is also to be accelerated. The citizenry also committed to other major projects: the Archaeological State Museum, the new theater building and a new children’s clinic, the so-called parent-child center.

However, in view of the increased costs, city officials called again to talk to the state about financing. They also decided that the city should also consider selling land to offset the increased cost of building the new theater. In May it became known that the project could cost 184 million euros instead of the previously estimated 110 million.

Agriculture Minister Till Backhaus (SPD), who is responsible for Buga, had announced that there would be a meeting with the city next Monday. The foundations for a “Rostock Plan” are to be laid down.

In view of the many large-scale projects, the head of the left-wing citizenship group, Eva-Maria Kröger, asked: “Where is what is not happening?” In her opinion, the Buga would not have made it in 2018, since the new theater building already had a “mega project” in mind. She warned that certain other projects were being procrastinated and that the city faces difficult times as costs mount.

It is the first cancellation in the 70-year history of the Federal Garden Show. Jochen Sandner, Managing Director of the German Federal Horticultural Show Society, reacted with regret. “Until recently, we saw the enormous potential of a federal garden show in Rostock,” he said in a statement. But you have to accept the decision.