Berlin is in a similar position to many other European capitals in that it is facing a housing crisis – as the number of people wanting to move to the city grows, the number of affordable properties heads in the other direction. However, there the similarities end, for Berlin is seeking new solutions to balance the two sides of this most crucial of urban equations.
The public realm may have long since died in London and in cities where corporate developments define strictly regulated privatised public spaces. In Berlin, that same space is regarded a place of potential: a laboratory that generates not only a diverse architectural landscape but also innovative new typologies for living and working. Make City will feature new thinking on architectural typologies: are we building for the patchwork family? Should we be rethinking the use of rooftops, of the ground floor spaces of both residential and commercial developments? Should architects be blurring the boundaries between public the private in spaces that surround new developments?
The festival will reveal where planners and developers, housing cooperatives and self-build enterprises are reframing the programs for existing buildings and creating unusual live/work hybrids. Make City is about embracing collective, cooperative forms of production, about rewriting the rulebook for mixed-use developments to align the profit incentive with a strong social imperative, and to heighten the awareness of alternative routes to new architecture.
With tours of new buildings, developments and urban landscapes which embody this attitude, Make City will see the entire city become a site for the discovery – of its new architecture, and of new concepts for living and working in the urban realm.