Twelve English towns that have been chosen to participate in a scheme known as The Portas Pilots, designed to help to rejuvenate their shopping areas. The towns will implement ideas put forward by retail expert and television personality Mary Portas. The government will make £1.2m available to fund the schemes. Professor Cathy Parker comments on the project:
Strategie Stadtlandschaft: Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung Berlin
by Markus Kather
The city of Berlin created a Strategie Stadtlandschaft (strategy for urban green spaces) to secure and qualify open spaces within the city. Its three main principles are beautiful, productive and urban nature. Keeping our focus on participation and community-building in urban gardening (see blog posts on community gardening and allotments), I want to have a closer look at productive and urban nature and see, how these political guiding principles impact the actual city. Continue reading
by Ares Kalandides
Nikolaus Driessen’s eyes sparkle when he talks about his venture. At the café in the old covered market in Kreuzberg (Markthalle IX) you can see he’s at home. Merchants come by and offer him little things: a chocolate muffin and a green drink that looks as if it came right out of a Dr Seuss story, but turns out to be a herb smoothie (don’t try it). Around us a subdued market life: three elderly Turkish gentlemen (“they’re here, at the same place every day”), coffee at the good old German Wurst stall (“that’s Inge and she’s been here for at least 20 years), the bakery (“best cakes in town”) and playing children in a small playground. Continue reading
"Energiestadt Flawil - We are sustainable"
by Hans Pul
Energiestadt Flawil, Energiestadt Bern, Energiestadt Zürich: Greenwashing or is there substance behind these claims? This blogpost introduces the Energiestadt label (“energy city”), a Swiss label certificated by an organisation with the same name. The organisation is occupied with the certification and support of municipality energy policies. After fulfilling certain criteria, a city is allowed to communicate itself as Energiestadt (i.e. “Energiestadt Flawil”). This makes visible the efforts and successes of a municipality’s energy policy.
By Mihalis Kavaratzis
In a series of vivid and well-argued recent posts to this blog, Ares Kalandides has talked about the relationship between urban planning and city branding using the city of Athens, Greece as an example. There was a distinction between symbolic planning (i.e. the shiny projects with obvious city branding potential - in this case Panepistimiou St.) and local-improvement planning that is attempting to solve ‘real’ problems of the city in the sense of making life for (part of) the city’s population better (in this case Phylis St.). Let me start by stating my agreement with the argumentation and, to an extent, with the distinction. Continue reading