By Markus Kather
After blogging about today’s meaning of community gardenig from a broad perspective in my last post on Gardens in the City, I want to look at a rather specific type of community garden: the allotment. There are more than 74.500 allotment gardens in Berlin, occupying 3,000 hectares of land – that’s about 3.5% of the city’s area. This special kind of community gardening is highly popular in Germany. Once crucial for the city dweller’s supply with fresh food, the allotment gardens became a preserve for retired people – and for many, a quintessential image of petty bourgeoisie and philistine. But within the context of recent urban trends – sustainability, community gardening or the right to the city – do they have future? And what’s their contribution to solving today’s urban problems? Continue reading
“Hamburg, being an industrial centre rather than a traditional university hub, has unrealised potential to break into new fields of higher and vocational education, expanding its already well-established position in media and logistics markets. Additional to the interest in engaging knowledge workers, Hamburg has recognised the brand value of the city’s authentic creative quarters and autonomous artist scenes. These quarters do not only contribute to the ‘Hamburg brand’, but form the paradox core of an openness policy presented in Hamburg’s ‘Talent City’ and ‘Growing City’ strategy.”
Read the whole article by Sivie Jacobi here: Hamburg’s Creative Class and the Post-Creative City | This Big City.
by Renard Teipelke
An amazing landscape, wild animals, beautiful sunsets, white beaches, traditional tribe villages, mountains and valleys…one could easily continue the list of things for which Kenya is famous for. This country in East Africa is one of the prime tourist destinations in Africa and equally depends on the revenues from this large economic sector (678 mio. Euro revenue earnings in 2010). The country is well branded internationally and has established very clear pictures as images of Kenya in many people’s minds (see another article on this blog here). Continue reading
by Renard Teipelke
Ideal public transit connection, walkability, mixed-use, brownfield redevelopment, green infrastructure, efficient resource systems, inclusion of the historic urban fabric…what sounds like a planner’s wish list for urban redevelopment is actually the description used for two major projects at Washington D.C.’s southwestern and southeastern waterfronts: The Wharf and The Yards. In case both projects are realized as planned, Washington might be able to present the world what is currently advertized as a 21st century waterfront. Continue reading
By Jakob Hebsaker and Renard Teipelke*
In our first article, we introduced the waste management system in Cairo. Now, we want to shed light on recent developments and further implications for the future.
The waste management system in Cairo knows three important groups: the Wahis (license owners and fee collectors), the Zabbaleen (waste collectors and sorters), the Mo’allimin (recycling processors and resellers; former Zabbaleen). Focusing on the two opposing groups – the Wahis and the Zabbaleen – one has to underscore that the Wahis are an influential, well-educated group in the Cairene society, while the Zabbaleen are socially marginalized. Most of the 60,000 Zabbaleen are Coptic Christians and are thus part of a religious-social minority in Egypt. However, the recycling business is profitable for all stakeholders and even the Zabbaleen are in a relatively better position than other low-income groups in Cairo. Nevertheless, because of their dependence of the Wahis and their marginalized role in the Egyptian society, the Zabbaleen have only low social and economic capital as well as little political leverage. Furthermore, they are living in currently six informal neighborhoods (slum settlements), such as Manshiyat Nasser (aka Garbage City) in the outskirts of Cairo at the base of Mokattam Hill.
A clean town that works for everyone.
by Valentin Schipfer
When my flat mate, an architect, came back from one of his field trips from Great Britain last week, he seemed kind of enlightened. Some minutes later his story has also infected me. Together with his colleagues he had visited the Transition Town Totnes – the live response how to build resilience. “It’s fascinating! It’s a grassroots community that creates alternatives in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability – without appearing hippiesque at all”, he told me in euphoria. Continue reading
Curitiba BRT bus stop
by Hans Pul
In this post I will argue that good urban planning can be of great value for places and their branding efforts. Cities with good urban planning get noticed. This is important, especially for relatively unknown non-capital cities in Latin America, Africa or Asia. Such cities often have millions of inhabitants and have much to offer to people and investors, but are barely known outside their region. One such a city is Curitiba, located in the south of Brazil.
In this blog entry I will talk about Curitiba and how its public transport system, (forest-) parks, and urban planning have established the city as “Latin America’s Green City”.
"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.
The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development is happy to announce the “Sustainable Building – Designing Future” symposium to be held on 23rd February 2012 in Berlin. In conjunction with the “Bautec 2012” trade fair, this one-day symposium will take place at the Messe Berlin (the Berlin trade Fair Centre). The event will take place in German.