“Most EU countries have a gap between their richest and their poorest regions. But the distance between the UK’s richest and poorest regions is, on this measure, hugely and shockingly larger than any other. At one end – the richest area in Europe – is West London (or at least its leafier parts towards the city’s centre). At the other end of the scale is West Wales – earning just 20% of West London’s figure.”
by Ares Kalandides
I recently received a list of interview questions on Place Branding by a master student. I found them very interesting and decided to share the interview with you:
1. Place Branding applies modern marketing methods that position and market consumer goods and transfers them to cities. What are in your opinion the most important differences between a geographical area and a product in relation to brands?
There are indeed very few commonalities between places and consumer goods – except when places become commodities:
First, places do not have an ontological existence. Except for their purely physical coordinates, places are manifestations of social relations. They are the loci of interconnections and open-end trajectories. In this sense, they rather resemble processes than objects. Continue reading
This is the second part of the article. In part 1 we looked at the German legal framework and the particularities of green planning in Berlin. Today we will be looking at examples. You can read part 1 here.
a) Tempelhofer Freiheit
The airfield of the former Tempelhof airport is one of the largest landscaping areas in central Berlin today with a total surface of about 370 ha. Following the closure of the airport in 2008 several plans were design and rejected, reflecting the lack of development pressure by the real estate sector. This gives the city the luxury of both space and time to try out innovative planning processes, in particular trial-and-error through interim uses. Three themed fields in the outer ring of the field (urban gardening, culture and sports/wellness) have been defined as experimental interim use spaces, while the totality of the centre is to keep its meadow character. Interim uses for the three fields are chosen by competition, while the best projects may be integrated in the final plans. A large building project is to take place in the south-west edge of the area with a location reserved for a large library. Yet the main feature of “Tempelhofer Freiheit”, as the project is called, is this of a vast inner city field, with a clear open view across it.
by Ares Kalandides and Markus Kather
In the warmer months of the year Berliners of all ages and backgrounds flow into the squares, parks and gardens of the city. The more adventurous ones are not even discouraged by the bad weather: under rain and snow, sleet and fog, there are children in the playground while adults take longer walks in the woods, crossing frozen lakes and snow-covered fields. Nature is an integral part of the city; for many people it is the quintessence of public space. Its deep roots in German culture – exemplified by German 19th century romanticism – cannot be stressed enough. Yet, the importance of nature in the city has taken many different forms and there is no doubt that it means very different things to different people. In this article we focus mostly on gardens (and parks) as community spaces, though in order to understand what that means we take a closer look at some of the other functions.
You can download the full call here.
This call for participation is addressed to students and young professionals (incl. PhD candidates) who want to work on the subject in a team composed of 10 participants from Germany and 10 from South Africa, two weeks in July (30/6 -14/07) and two weeks in November (17/11- 01/2) 2013.
The (In)formal City is a project initiated by Inpolis and the Goethe-Institut and funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, aiming at bringing together practitioners and scholars from urban and cultural studies in Berlin and Johannesburg to work on the broad issue of informality.
The candidates need to address their interest until May 15th to firstname.lastname@example.org (see below for details). Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview. The maximum number of available places is 5 students (2 in a waiting list) and 3 young professionals (1 in waiting list)
Some scholars have gone so far as to call the New Cities “urban villages,” distinguishing them from a “normal” city that gradually grows and evolves over time. New City projects emerging in Africa are planned urban areas, usually on the periphery of an older city, designed to meet their own residential, commercial, industrial and retail needs. The concept is not a novel one. Over a century ago, Sir Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities were an attempt to create new modern cities to right the wrongs of London during the 20th century. Ebenezer’s concept is now being applied in Africa, albeit under new and complex conditions. But of concern is that, with so many New Cities already in the pipeline, still no one knows what their impact will be. A vast urban experiment is underway, with not nearly enough study or forethought as to how these places will affect the economies, environments and lives of people who will live both in and outside of them.
Read the whole story by Jane Lumumba here: Why Africa Should Be Wary of Its ‘New Cities’ – The Informal City Dialogues.
by Renard Teipelke
Before I actually start with the topic, I would like to contend: Once a city is at the top of statistical economic rankings, it is in a quite good position to stay there. Just refer to New York, London, and Tokyo in various kinds of rankings…
Frankfurt came out first (again) in this year’s study by the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) and Berenberg Bank on the locational qualities of Germany’s 30 largest cities (here). The average productivity output of an employee in Frankfurt is 87’000 Euro per year. Two fifths of the city’s workforce can be found in knowledge industries, and employment rates are improving. Those are the prime facts for the economic category of the study as SPIEGEL Online reported recently.
by Daniel Wagner*
Davao City is the third largest urban concentration in the Philippines with more than 1,5 million people. But that seems not to be enough. Everywhere, it looks like the city is trying to assure itself, leading to the thought that the city lives in a constant state of self assurance, of self defining. As if it is constantly screaming to everyone: “Look! I am a City!”
The first impression of Davao is that the city is one entire periphery, like a giant suburb. Except for the most expensive hotel in town, there are no high rise buildings, and the city sprawl takes shape of a continuous amalgamation of houses and small streets between a couple of highways. And like Venturi’s views of the symbolism in the buildings of the “strip” in Las Vegas, in Davao giant billboards emerge from much smaller buildings below. Symbolizing something evidently bigger than the building itself, both in material size and meaning. Like an architectural crown stating that this is not a mere building, but is part of something greater, a city! The actual construction doesn’t matter much, it seems that the important thing here is not the object – no great architectural value, or impressive size – but what is it saying, what is it holding proudly on the top of its head. Continue reading
The Wounded Brick, Cinema Moviemento, 22, Kottbusser Damm, Berlin, Tuesday 9th Arpil, 7:30 PM.
“The Wounded Brick” is a cinematic essay on the visions, hopes and failures while searching for humane housing in the face of economic and political interest. Filmmakers Sue-Alice Okukubo and Eduard Zorzenoni encounter architects, urban planners, sociologists and victims of the 2009 earthquake in Abruzzo, Italy.
Interviews with Vittorio Gregotti, Stefano Boeri, Lorenzo Romito, Vezio de Lucia, Friedrich von Borries, Hartmut Häussermann, Gottfried Böhm, Pauhof Architects, Harry Glück and citizens of L`Aquila merge associatively into a poetic reflection on: Who owns the city? What does housing mean?