Democracy Square: Who can join in? Who can decide?
© Nicola Schaller
Urban Open Source
Berlin – Capital of Participatory Urban Development?
What will become of the city damned never to be?
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Großer Saal I Schumannstr. 8 10117 Berlin
The Heinrich Böll Foundation is political thank tank for green ideas and projects, a reformist political future workshop and an international network. The foundation works with over a hundred partner projects in more than sixty countries and currently has offices in thirty of them. During Make City’s first year The Heinrich Böll Foundation is the festival's main sponsor and it has developed a discussion series of four events, which will take place at the Foundation’s headquarters located in Schumann Strasse 8.
Enthusiastic inhabitants of former squats inhabitants, keen urban gardeners and prolific petitioners: over the course of decades, residents of Berlin have turned the city into a hub of civic activism, self-led initiatives and bottom-up urban development. Berlin’s political institutions, however, are at times ambivalent in their attitude towards citizens’ demands for greater participation. Take for example the fact that Berlin’s Minister for Urban Development recently revoked Berlin-Mitte District’s planning authority for the Mauerpark area, stating “We’ve been elected to govern – and that’s what we’re going to do now.” In a panel – which includes Berlin policy-makers – time to ask them and others the question: where next for Berlin’s unique culture of participation?