(Re)designing the post-political city: urban appearance in the city of Hamburg
Sebastian Topp (University of Hamburg)
Paper short abstract:
The paper investigates on the practices of designers, which fill the gap between economical and political driven „top-up“ activities and „bottom-up“ movements. The work therefore, illustrates how the design community with their special perspective and practices develops urban spaces.
Paper long abstract:
Cities in times of neoliberalism show a wide disparity between different ways of developing urban space. On the hand "top-down" processes of political intervention position the city as a "brand" within the competition of cities with a strong ideology based on economical thinking. This development activated "bottom up" activities, for example the "right to the city" movement that empowers local citizens to act against the dominant forces with creative protest and the termination of urban development projects. In this "contested space" of power configuration a third way of structural urban development projects occurs. In this regards, the paper investigates in the topic with an example of the city of Hamburg. It focuses with an ethnographic example on the practices, which fill the gap between economical and political driven "top-up" activities and "bottom-up" movements. The work therefore, illustrates how the design community with their special perspective, formats and practices develops urban spaces in the shadow of the dominant movements and with a diverse conglomerate of knowledge as a reaction of the decreased public funding. They paper explores to understand how this initiatives remain capable of acting in highly contested and politicized urban spaces without a large public funding. Design students use alternative techniques to transform urban spaces and social contexts. They formulate micro urban projects together with inhabit and call into question the commodification of urban development. The paper wants to give an insight in the oppositional perspective designers use to develop urban spaces and how this effects established planning activities.
Shaping urban and regional space in the context of competition for funding