»Is your city lacking growth, future perspectives, and a vivid cultural scene? Follow our 7 steps to transform your city into a flourishing and dynamic metropolis. We identified Berlin's secret sauce and created a fictional transformation agency.« Berlinize is the result of the university course »Mapping Cities – Making Cities« by Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.
The views, information, or opinions expressed during Berlinize are solely those of the individuals involved. There was a joke to be made to reference several observed urban phenomena concerning Berlin's recent development. We ask the reader to view this as a frame through which to indulge with mostly cultural struggles, observed and critically acclaimed by — drumroll — ourselves. Be aware, any offense taken, may lead to a severe examination of a specific issue by the readers. You are very welcome to extend your personal research as an immediate reaction.
We looked into data published by Mit Vergnügen a website that promotes publicly the most sought after spaces. Discussing this, we recognized quickly how hard this topic is to grasp and how shallow and subjective the dialogue gets. As we were concerned with the typical perspective of a student, trying to protect everything from investors, we decided to see it from another perspective and embraced the sell-out. What if we could not only sell this city but also export it? Is it all a joke or is there some truth to it?
As a first step, we ran a workshop with a group of Berlin inhabitants who did not originate from the city. Generally described as Zugezogene — a German term to disclose the relationship of the objectified to the city of Berlin as not original or foreign. We were focussing on an influx in population triggered by an earlier development at a point of time where current development is already impacting bespoke triggers. After relating our personal motivations and backgrounds, we defined a frame of questions, centered around 'why they moved to Berlin', 'what keeps them here' and 'what they would take back home if they could'. After a two-hour session, we put our workshop participants into the position of city planners and asked them to create their ideal cities. Our research exposed several mostly historically defined situations that are unique to Berlin. We then decided to relate these phenomena as a 'fully-aware' practice to develop any other city and adopted a joking manner to indulge our reader in further reading.
We were heavily influenced by Copenhagenize, an agency which consults cities around the globe to make them more bicycle-friendly.
All icons are from The Noun Project.