By Renard Teipelke
Have you ever thought about a sabbatical year? Going away. Writing your first novel. Trying to find the meaning of life. Leave all your problems of everyday life behind. Finally succeed in renouncing Twitter, iPhone, Facebook, DirectTV, and all the other technical and social network stuff related to permanent pressures and imperatives of constant up-to-date activities. It does not matter for which reason you might particularly seek for a (temporary) exit strategy – Highway 1 is perfect for escaping. Traveling on Highway 1 is ideal for finding your inner soul and understanding your true dreams and feelings in the here and now; and at the same, Highway 1 is just right for looking forward into the future to see opportunities and imagine coming paths in life. This all is connected to a simple, two-lane road along the California coast.
The launch of the new city marketing strategy for Bogotá will be presented today at 6:30. The document defines the vision:
“Bogota is a creative city which is being transformed for everybody’s progress. It is recognized as an emerging business centre; it is a tourist destination with great potential in business, events and conventions, with an avant-garde cultural agenda that brings together creative and educated talent, with dining and entertainment options; it is a place with good quality of life”* Continue reading
Outdoor advertising (suburban railway) of "Bourgogne" in France / Source: Facebook page of the official Tourism Organization of Burgundy
Guest Article by Antonios Giannopoulos
In Burgundy there are no tourists… the introductory slogan that follows visitors in almost each and every “click” on the website of Burgundy in French is rather appealing. Although there is a general debate over the use of such slogans as promotional tools, this is not the main focus of the current post. Both academics and practitioners have developed fruitful thoughts on this issue. In fact, it is the whole philosophy underlying the website that virtually takes us away. Continue reading
The Red Light District in Amsterdam
by Ares Kalandides
“DNA is the main carrier of genetic information of living organisms. This means DNA determines who you are and what makes you one of a kind.” This is the message in the introduction to the roughly 100-page-long Visitors (sic) Guide to Amsterdam issued by the Tourism & Convention Board. Dutch DNA is the theme of the year in the country’s branding campaign and evolves around four axes: design, fashion, architecture and heritage (or design 1,2,3 and everything else). The inspired text goes on: “The Amsterdam DNA embodies characteristics that are inextricably linked to the spirit of freedom and the longstanding traditions relating to tolerance, freedom of speech, a spirit of commerce and creative liberty”. (Yes, they have read their Florida, but am I mistaken or is the far right in the Dutch government at the moment? Did something go wrong with that DNA?). What is even more interesting is that 20 pages of this little booklet consist of advertising for escort services (99% for heterosexual males). Spirit of commerce indeed. Continue reading
By Renard Teipelke
Do you remember the time when some nations or their progressive leaders/decision makers thought of nation branding as an innovative and cool tool to position their country in a globalized world?! That is to say: a time when nation branding was (deliberately) used by countries like Japan, France, or Australia to market their strengths and to show the world why it makes sense to visit their country or invest in it (by actual direct investment or by buying its export products etc.). Well, nation branding will probably take on a new dimension. The objectives will be similar to common nation branding, but the reasons for doing it will be completely different: Countries are going to use it as a last resort in order to rescue what there is left or in order to recover from a total (political, economic, social/cultural, ecological) crash or crisis. Here are four examples: Continue reading
Phokionos Negri Street in Kypseli, Athens
Paper presentation by Ares Kalandides and Dina Vaiou**
A. Concentrations of migrants in certain urban neighbourhoods in European cities have been a constant issue in political and academic debates about ethnic/racial difference with a recurrence of questions such as segregation, conflicts, racism, xenophobia or exclusion.
B. While we do not deny any of the above issues, we believe that there is both a political and a scholarly need to show that this picture is highly differentiated and that exclusion/inclusion is not an either/or question. The women and men who live in the city have, or may claim, a right to the city which includes on the one hand the right to appropriate urban space and on the other the right to participate in its production, in decisions about it, but also in (re)defining patterns of living it. We want to show how migrants reconfigure the meanings of belonging against dominant spatialisations through their everyday practices.
C. More or less institutionalized forms of political participation create new spatial levels of citizenship not limited to the scale of the nation state. Interactions among migrants and locals continuously re-define the ‘subject of rights’ as they activate processes of access, participation and inclusion/exclusion in/from the urban public sphere.
Our paper discusses the above processes and terms, drawing on examples from Berlin and Athens. We focus in particular on neighbouring as the space and resource of belonging and on how this is related to participation and urban citizenship. The two cities offer different contexts where institutional policies, informal practices and claims for participation at neighbourhood level define, in different ways, citizenship as a spatial strategy and help qualify the content of the “right to the city”. We draw from a number of research projects in which we have been involved since 2005 in Berlin and Athens where different “mixes” of formal and informal appropriation and participation processes can be identified. Continue reading
By Renard Teipelke
In the typical Hollywood movie, a homeless person is normally sitting in front of a office building and begging for a few cents. In contrast to other features of Hollywood movies, this is actually not an unrealistic image. Similar to many other countries, homeless people in the United States are having a life full of struggles: no health insurance, hardly any sheltered places to sleep in, no humane life. Those are only three aspects that roughly describe the everyday challenges for homeless people. Continue reading
On July 12th (7 p.m.), Berlin Agora takes the stage at Radialsystem Berlin and organises a panel discussion on creative industries in Berlin. Hosts will be Dr. Bastian Lange (Multiplicities, Berlin) and Ares Kalandides (Inpolis UCE GmbH, Berlin). Continue reading
By Renard Teipelke
For decades, courageous, enthousiastic, and convinced citizens have fought for a better democracy in Germany: more transparent, more direct, more accountable. What these citizens have achieved can hardly be described by any words. They fought the system, they stood up against institutions, they tore down physical and ideological walls. For this life-long determination and dedication, they deserve all the gratitude that is possible!
Rainbow Flag at the Town Hall of Schöneberg (Berlin)
by Ares Kalandides and Nils Grube
Schöneberg is a Berlin neighbourhood with an established, diverse and strong Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transsexual (LGBT) community, especially around Nollendorfplatz. Over the years it has developed into a magnet for visitors from other parts of the city, the country, but also from all over the world. Several events (e.g. the Pride parade, the gay and lesbian street festival etc.) have also become interesting for non-LGBT visitors. In:polis | urbanism has just completed a research project on the touristic potentials of the area on behalf of the district of Tempelhof-Schöneberg (one of the 12 Berlin municipalities). Besides the LGBT community, in:polis has also researched the growing gallery scene and the ethnic mix of the area. Here is a short summary of the first topic (the other two will follow): Continue reading