High-rise buildings from the 60s and 70s make city planners around the world face difficult choices: renovate or demolish? In Weingarten, a district of Freiburg with a weak social structure, four high-rise buildings from the 70s are being renovated following passive house standard. The high standard was chosen deliberately in order to upgrade the whole neighbourhood and to participate in the project "Social City". A new kind of civic participation has provided a far better communication between inhabitants, renters, politicians and the whole disctrict. It has distinctly improved the social climate in the district. A janitor and common rooms strengthen social structures. The first refurbished high-rises are already occupied.