simeon wittenberg
Gentrification in Berlin and Cape Town RESEARCH PROJECT A UN report predicts that 4.9 billion world citizens will be living in cities by 2030. As an immediate effect of this massive growth, cities are changing rapidly. But urban renewal and innovation is not always in favor of its residents. Upgrades of suburbs and neighborhoods often lead to higher rents forcing residents and entire communities to leave their homes, a development which irreversibly transforms the social-economical and cultural fabric of an area. This negative impact is called gentrification. Often the catalysts of urban renewal, designers and other creatives play a major role in this development. In this project we investigate the situation of two urban neighborhoods in two cities across two continents.“The Fringe” in Cape Town which undergoes a government-supported renewal program. The other area is “Neukölln” in the south-central part of Berlin, an area with a high percentage of immigrants and working class citizens. Both areas are unique in their history, population and challenges. Both are facing the advent of gentrification. Challenge The term “gentrification” was first originally introduced by British sociologist Ruth Glass in 1964 to describe the process of middle-class people displacing lower-class worker residents in urban neighborhoods in London. According to urban sociologist Andrej Holm the gentrification debate can be described by means of displacement, rent dynamics, new constructions and underlying hegemonic structures. Gentrification traditionally follows four different phases, which overlap and interlink between each other. In the sociological debate a gentrification process is being initiated by the so called pioneers. Mostly students, independent artists and people of alternative lifestyles with very limited economic resources but potentially high cultural capital. When the pioneers have successfully invaded a neighborhood, first galleries, cafés, independent theaters etc. begin to open, attracting other clients. Indicators for the second phase of gentrification are middle class academics moving into the neighborhood. The “creative class” sets up their infrastructure and builds a micro-cosmos attracting city management and investors to invest in the potential of individual startups, which kicks the so called cultural gentrification. The final stage is reached when the cultural capital can be transformed into economical capital, ready for speculation and valorization of one district or neighborhood. These or similar symptoms are observable in Berlin Neukölln, where we conducted our research, but also in the central neighborhoods like Tarlabasi in Istanbul, the former Expo site in Shanghai and The Fringe in Cape Town.
Research Berlin Politicians have failed to prevent the long-term urban displacement effects of gentrification. This leads us to the questions: What forms of sustainable urban design have indigenous neighborhood residents devised and which institutions are proven means to act against the rampant repression? In our research we explored the role of the cooperative idea in shaping the characteristic of urban neighborhoods. How well is the idea of working collectively in self-organized cooperatives integrated in today’s civilization? And what role do these cooperations play in the ongoing struggle against gentrification? In order to approach these questions, we investigated the district “Neukölln”, one of Berlin’s many stages of this ongoing phenomenon. Through our research we have found that although cooperatives may not be the ultimate solution in a strategy resisting gentrification, they do present a lot of potential.
Workshops and Research Cape Town We are very pleased about the way this workshop has escalated. We came to Cape Town with little knowledge of who we would work with, what has been done before, or what knowledge these students have about the topic of gentrification. Aim of the Workshop: Not exactly knowing whom we would have to ad-dress and whom we are going to work with, our aim was to investigate facets of gentrification and getting to know our fellow students from Cape Town. By the end of the week we were expecting to come up with fruitful insights, topics of discussion and a new perspective of urban development in The Fringe and Woodstock. It was not only about the visual output and the presentation, but as much about the process of getting there and the discussions from in between. What did we do? We started of with a methodology coming from open space conferences to get to know the students, their expectations and their knowledge on the topic of gentrification. We set up the workshop to be conducted in a circle of chairs. This was done so that everybody could see each other and through this involve each participant in the discussion. This was crucial in order to break down the barrier between us as moderators, and the rest of the students. This introduction brought all students onto the same level - so we were all ready to start, with a clearer image of what was going to happen this week, and in what framework. Next we carefully approached the topic of gentrification. We were very aware that we came to South Africa with our own perspectives and ideas about the topic, while at the same time having a limited insight of the situation in Cape Town. In order to get the students more confident with the phenomenon of gentrification, we did a written form of associative brainstorming to the topic of gentrification. The next task involved trying to come up with topics for possible research questions and pretty soon everyone was deep in discussion, talking about safety issues, urban development, homeless people, identity, etc.
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Contextual Interviews

Expectation Maps

Personas

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Service Blueprints

Design Scenarios

Mobile Ethnography

Idea Generation

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Gentrification in Berlin and Cape Town RESEARCH PROJECT A UN report predicts that 4.9 billion world citizens will be living in cities by 2030. As an immediate effect of this massive growth, cities are changing rapidly. But urban renewal and innovation is not always in favor of its residents. Upgrades of suburbs and neighborhoods often lead to higher rents forcing residents and entire communities to leave their homes, a development which irreversibly transforms the social-economical and cultural fabric of an area. This negative impact is called gentrification. Often the catalysts of urban renewal, designers and other creatives play a major role in this development. In this project we investigate the situation of two urban neighborhoods in two cities across two continents.“The Fringe” in Cape Town which undergoes a government-supported renewal program. The other area is “Neukölln” in the south-central part of Berlin, an area with a high percentage of immigrants and working class citizens. Both areas are unique in their history, population and challenges. Both are facing the advent of gentrification. Challenge The term “gentrification” was first originally introduced by British sociologist Ruth Glass in 1964 to describe the process of middle-class people displacing lower-class worker residents in urban neighborhoods in London. According to urban sociologist Andrej Holm the gentrification debate can be described by means of displacement, rent dynamics, new constructions and underlying hegemonic structures. Gentrification traditionally follows four different phases, which overlap and interlink between each other. In the sociological debate a gentrification process is being initiated by the so called pioneers. Mostly students, independent artists and people of alternative lifestyles with very limited economic resources but potentially high cultural capital. When the pioneers have successfully invaded a neighborhood, first galleries, cafés, independent theaters etc. begin to open, attracting other clients. Indicators for the second phase of gentrification are middle class academics moving into the neighborhood. The “creative class” sets up their infrastructure and builds a micro-cosmos attracting city management and investors to invest in the potential of individual startups, which kicks the so called cultural gentrification. The final stage is reached when the cultural capital can be transformed into economical capital, ready for speculation and valorization of one district or neighborhood. These or similar symptoms are observable in Berlin Neukölln, where we conducted our research, but also in the central neighborhoods like Tarlabasi in Istanbul, the former Expo site in Shanghai and The Fringe in Cape Town. Research Berlin Politicians have failed to prevent the long-term urban displacement effects of gentrification. This leads us to the questions: What forms of sustainable urban design have indigenous neighborhood residents devised and which institutions are proven means to act against the rampant repression? In our research we explored the role of the cooperative idea in shaping the characteristic of urban neighborhoods. How well is the idea of working collectively in self-organized cooperatives integrated in today’s civilization? And what role do these cooperations play in the ongoing struggle against gentrification? In order to approach these questions, we investigated the district “Neukölln”, one of Berlin’s many stages of this ongoing phenomenon. Through our research we have found that although cooperatives may not be the ultimate solution in a strategy resisting gentrification, they do present a lot of potential. Workshops and Research Cape Town We are very pleased about the way this workshop has escalated. We came to Cape Town with little knowledge of who we would work with, what has been done before, or what knowledge these students have about the topic of gentrification. Aim of the Workshop: Not exactly knowing whom we would have to ad-dress and whom we are going to work with, our aim was to investigate facets of gentrification and getting to know our fellow students from Cape Town. By the end of the week we were expecting to come up with fruitful insights, topics of discussion and a new perspective of urban development in The Fringe and Woodstock. It was not only about the visual output and the presentation, but as much about the process of getting there and the discussions from in between. What did we do? We started of with a methodology coming from open space conferences to get to know the students, their expectations and their knowledge on the topic of gentrification. We set up the workshop to be conducted in a circle of chairs. This was done so that everybody could see each other and through this involve each participant in the discussion. This was crucial in order to break down the barrier between us as moderators, and the rest of the students. This introduction brought all students onto the same level - so we were all ready to start, with a clearer image of what was going to happen this week, and in what framework. Next we carefully approached the topic of gentrification. We were very aware that we came to South Africa with our own perspectives and ideas about the topic, while at the same time having a limited insight of the situation in Cape Town. In order to get the students more confident with the phenomenon of gentrification, we did a written form of associative brainstorming to the topic of gentrification. The next task involved trying to come up with topics for possible research questions and pretty soon everyone was deep in discussion, talking about safety issues, urban development, homeless people, identity, etc. Responsibilities Cooperation
Partner
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Gentrification in Berlin and Cape Town RESEARCH PROJECT A UN report predicts that 4.9 billion world citizens will be living in cities by 2030. As an immediate effect of this massive growth, cities are changing rapidly. But urban renewal and innovation is not always in favor of its residents. Upgrades of suburbs and neighborhoods often lead to higher rents forcing residents and entire communities to leave their homes, a development which irreversibly transforms the social-economical and cultural fabric of an area. This negative impact is called gentrification. Often the catalysts of urban renewal, designers and other creatives play a major role in this development. In this project we investigate the situation of two urban neighborhoods in two cities across two continents.“The Fringe” in Cape Town which undergoes a government-supported renewal program. The other area is “Neukölln” in the south-central part of Berlin, an area with a high percentage of immigrants and working class citizens. Both areas are unique in their history, population and challenges. Both are facing the advent of gentrification. Challenge The term “gentrification” was first originally introduced by British sociologist Ruth Glass in 1964 to describe the process of middle-class people displacing lower-class worker residents in urban neighborhoods in London. According to urban sociologist Andrej Holm the gentrification debate can be described by means of displacement, rent dynamics, new constructions and underlying hegemonic structures. Gentrification traditionally follows four different phases, which overlap and interlink between each other. In the sociological debate a gentrification process is being initiated by the so called pioneers. Mostly students, independent artists and people of alternative lifestyles with very limited economic resources but potentially high cultural capital. When the pioneers have successfully invaded a neighborhood, first galleries, cafés, independent theaters etc. begin to open, attracting other clients. Indicators for the second phase of gentrification are middle class academics moving into the neighborhood. The “creative class” sets up their infrastructure and builds a micro-cosmos attracting city management and investors to invest in the potential of individual startups, which kicks the so called cultural gentrification. The final stage is reached when the cultural capital can be transformed into economical capital, ready for speculation and valorization of one district or neighborhood. These or similar symptoms are observable in Berlin Neukölln, where we conducted our research, but also in the central neighborhoods like Tarlabasi in Istanbul, the former Expo site in Shanghai and The Fringe in Cape Town. Research Berlin Politicians have failed to prevent the long-term urban displacement effects of gentrification. This leads us to the questions: What forms of sustainable urban design have indigenous neighborhood residents devised and which institutions are proven means to act against the rampant repression? In our research we explored the role of the cooperative idea in shaping the characteristic of urban neighborhoods. How well is the idea of working collectively in self-organized cooperatives integrated in today’s civilization? And what role do these cooperations play in the ongoing struggle against gentrification? In order to approach these questions, we investigated the district “Neukölln”, one of Berlin’s many stages of this ongoing phenomenon. Through our research we have found that although cooperatives may not be the ultimate solution in a strategy resisting gentrification, they do present a lot of potential. Workshops and Research Cape Town We are very pleased about the way this workshop has escalated. We came to Cape Town with little knowledge of who we would work with, what has been done before, or what knowledge these students have about the topic of gentrification. Aim of the Workshop: Not exactly knowing whom we would have to ad-dress and whom we are going to work with, our aim was to investigate facets of gentrification and getting to know our fellow students from Cape Town. By the end of the week we were expecting to come up with fruitful insights, topics of discussion and a new perspective of urban development in The Fringe and Woodstock. It was not only about the visual output and the presentation, but as much about the process of getting there and the discussions from in between. What did we do? We started of with a methodology coming from open space conferences to get to know the students, their expectations and their knowledge on the topic of gentrification. We set up the workshop to be conducted in a circle of chairs. This was done so that everybody could see each other and through this involve each participant in the discussion. This was crucial in order to break down the barrier between us as moderators, and the rest of the students. This introduction brought all students onto the same level - so we were all ready to start, with a clearer image of what was going to happen this week, and in what framework. Next we carefully approached the topic of gentrification. We were very aware that we came to South Africa with our own perspectives and ideas about the topic, while at the same time having a limited insight of the situation in Cape Town. In order to get the students more confident with the phenomenon of gentrification, we did a written form of associative brainstorming to the topic of gentrification. The next task involved trying to come up with topics for possible research questions and pretty soon everyone was deep in discussion, talking about safety issues, urban development, homeless people, identity, etc. Responsibilities Cooperation
Partner
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Gentrification in Berlin and Cape Town RESEARCH PROJECT A UN report predicts that 4.9 billion world citizens will be living in cities by 2030. As an immediate effect of this massive growth, cities are changing rapidly. But urban renewal and innovation is not always in favor of its residents. Upgrades of suburbs and neighborhoods often lead to higher rents forcing residents and entire communities to leave their homes, a development which irreversibly transforms the social-economical and cultural fabric of an area. This negative impact is called gentrification. Often the catalysts of urban renewal, designers and other creatives play a major role in this development. In this project we investigate the situation of two urban neighborhoods in two cities across two continents.“The Fringe” in Cape Town which undergoes a government-supported renewal program. The other area is “Neukölln” in the south-central part of Berlin, an area with a high percentage of immigrants and working class citizens. Both areas are unique in their history, population and challenges. Both are facing the advent of gentrification. Challenge The term “gentrification” was first originally introduced by British sociologist Ruth Glass in 1964 to describe the process of middle-class people displacing lower-class worker residents in urban neighborhoods in London. According to urban sociologist Andrej Holm the gentrification debate can be described by means of displacement, rent dynamics, new constructions and underlying hegemonic structures. Gentrification traditionally follows four different phases, which overlap and interlink between each other. In the sociological debate a gentrification process is being initiated by the so called pioneers. Mostly students, independent artists and people of alternative lifestyles with very limited economic resources but potentially high cultural capital. When the pioneers have successfully invaded a neighborhood, first galleries, cafés, independent theaters etc. begin to open, attracting other clients. Indicators for the second phase of gentrification are middle class academics moving into the neighborhood. The “creative class” sets up their infrastructure and builds a micro-cosmos attracting city management and investors to invest in the potential of individual startups, which kicks the so called cultural gentrification. The final stage is reached when the cultural capital can be transformed into economical capital, ready for speculation and valorization of one district or neighborhood. These or similar symptoms are observable in Berlin Neukölln, where we conducted our research, but also in the central neighborhoods like Tarlabasi in Istanbul, the former Expo site in Shanghai and The Fringe in Cape Town. Research Berlin Politicians have failed to prevent the long-term urban displacement effects of gentrification. This leads us to the questions: What forms of sustainable urban design have indigenous neighborhood residents devised and which institutions are proven means to act against the rampant repression? In our research we explored the role of the cooperative idea in shaping the characteristic of urban neighborhoods. How well is the idea of working collectively in self-organized cooperatives integrated in today’s civilization? And what role do these cooperations play in the ongoing struggle against gentrification? In order to approach these questions, we investigated the district “Neukölln”, one of Berlin’s many stages of this ongoing phenomenon. Through our research we have found that although cooperatives may not be the ultimate solution in a strategy resisting gentrification, they do present a lot of potential. Workshops and Research Cape Town We are very pleased about the way this workshop has escalated. We came to Cape Town with little knowledge of who we would work with, what has been done before, or what knowledge these students have about the topic of gentrification. Aim of the Workshop: Not exactly knowing whom we would have to ad-dress and whom we are going to work with, our aim was to investigate facets of gentrification and getting to know our fellow students from Cape Town. By the end of the week we were expecting to come up with fruitful insights, topics of discussion and a new perspective of urban development in The Fringe and Woodstock. It was not only about the visual output and the presentation, but as much about the process of getting there and the discussions from in between. What did we do? We started of with a methodology coming from open space conferences to get to know the students, their expectations and their knowledge on the topic of gentrification. We set up the workshop to be conducted in a circle of chairs. This was done so that everybody could see each other and through this involve each participant in the discussion. This was crucial in order to break down the barrier between us as moderators, and the rest of the students. This introduction brought all students onto the same level - so we were all ready to start, with a clearer image of what was going to happen this week, and in what framework. Next we carefully approached the topic of gentrification. We were very aware that we came to South Africa with our own perspectives and ideas about the topic, while at the same time having a limited insight of the situation in Cape Town. In order to get the students more confident with the phenomenon of gentrification, we did a written form of associative brainstorming to the topic of gentrification. The next task involved trying to come up with topics for possible research questions and pretty soon everyone was deep in discussion, talking about safety issues, urban development, homeless people, identity, etc. Responsibilities
Cooperation
Partner
The server encountered an error.
Gentrification in Berlin and Cape Town RESEARCH PROJECT A UN report predicts that 4.9 billion world citizens will be living in cities by 2030. As an immediate effect of this massive growth, cities are changing rapidly. But urban renewal and innovation is not always in favor of its residents. Upgrades of suburbs and neighborhoods often lead to higher rents forcing residents and entire communities to leave their homes, a development which irreversibly transforms the social-economical and cultural fabric of an area. This negative impact is called gentrification. Often the catalysts of urban renewal, designers and other creatives play a major role in this development. In this project we investigate the situation of two urban neighborhoods in two cities across two continents.“The Fringe” in Cape Town which undergoes a government-supported renewal program. The other area is “Neukölln” in the south-central part of Berlin, an area with a high percentage of immigrants and working class citizens. Both areas are unique in their history, population and challenges. Both are facing the advent of gentrification. Challenge The term “gentrification” was first originally introduced by British sociologist Ruth Glass in 1964 to describe the process of middle-class people displacing lower-class worker residents in urban neighborhoods in London. According to urban sociologist Andrej Holm the gentrification debate can be described by means of displacement, rent dynamics, new constructions and underlying hegemonic structures. Gentrification traditionally follows four different phases, which overlap and interlink between each other. In the sociological debate a gentrification process is being initiated by the so called pioneers. Mostly students, independent artists and people of alternative lifestyles with very limited economic resources but potentially high cultural capital. When the pioneers have successfully invaded a neighborhood, first galleries, cafés, independent theaters etc. begin to open, attracting other clients. Indicators for the second phase of gentrification are middle class academics moving into the neighborhood. The “creative class” sets up their infrastructure and builds a micro-cosmos attracting city management and investors to invest in the potential of individual startups, which kicks the so called cultural gentrification. The final stage is reached when the cultural capital can be transformed into economical capital, ready for speculation and valorization of one district or neighborhood. These or similar symptoms are observable in Berlin Neukölln, where we conducted our research, but also in the central neighborhoods like Tarlabasi in Istanbul, the former Expo site in Shanghai and The Fringe in Cape Town. Research Berlin Politicians have failed to prevent the long-term urban displacement effects of gentrification. This leads us to the questions: What forms of sustainable urban design have indigenous neighborhood residents devised and which institutions are proven means to act against the rampant repression? In our research we explored the role of the cooperative idea in shaping the characteristic of urban neighborhoods. How well is the idea of working collectively in self-organized cooperatives integrated in today’s civilization? And what role do these cooperations play in the ongoing struggle against gentrification? In order to approach these questions, we investigated the district “Neukölln”, one of Berlin’s many stages of this ongoing phenomenon. Through our research we have found that although cooperatives may not be the ultimate solution in a strategy resisting gentrification, they do present a lot of potential. Workshops and Research Cape Town We are very pleased about the way this workshop has escalated. We came to Cape Town with little knowledge of who we would work with, what has been done before, or what knowledge these students have about the topic of gentrification. Aim of the Workshop: Not exactly knowing whom we would have to ad-dress and whom we are going to work with, our aim was to investigate facets of gentrification and getting to know our fellow students from Cape Town. By the end of the week we were expecting to come up with fruitful insights, topics of discussion and a new perspective of urban development in The Fringe and Woodstock. It was not only about the visual output and the presentation, but as much about the process of getting there and the discussions from in between. What did we do? We started of with a methodology coming from open space conferences to get to know the students, their expectations and their knowledge on the topic of gentrification. We set up the workshop to be conducted in a circle of chairs. This was done so that everybody could see each other and through this involve each participant in the discussion. This was crucial in order to break down the barrier between us as moderators, and the rest of the students. This introduction brought all students onto the same level - so we were all ready to start, with a clearer image of what was going to happen this week, and in what framework. Next we carefully approached the topic of gentrification. We were very aware that we came to South Africa with our own perspectives and ideas about the topic, while at the same time having a limited insight of the situation in Cape Town. In order to get the students more confident with the phenomenon of gentrification, we did a written form of associative brainstorming to the topic of gentrification. The next task involved trying to come up with topics for possible research questions and pretty soon everyone was deep in discussion, talking about safety issues, urban development, homeless people, identity, etc. Responsibilities Cooperation
Partner
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