Urban Austerity / Urban Commons

The recent economic crisis has also its impact on the potential of future urban planning. The budget of municipalities are becoming more limited and that scarcity is also leading to more problems in fixing problems in the urban daily life.  That momentum needs new ideas and view points on the urban environment. One of the possible new ways might be in better understanding the concept of urban commons.


(c) uncube

The online magazine “uncube” was investigating in its 2oth issue on urban commons. The issue is showing on different international examples what those urban commons can be and how we could support them.

(c) Jovis

Those  “best practice” projects are getting also a headline in the book of Francesca Ferguson with the title “Make_Shift City – The Renegotiation of the Urban Commons. The books is mainly focused on the city of Berlin, but maybe a good example, because that city has to deal each day with a limited budget.

Make_Shift City aims to be a consolidation of ingenious spatial design projects within the urban context – with Berlin as inspirational backdrop and conceptual launching pad for a review of such critical practice. The term makeshift implies a temporary or expedient substitute for something missing. It also implies the designing act of shifting or reinterpretation as a form of détournement and presents the permanent condition of becoming. Berlin has generated a multitude of urban interventions and occupations of space by architects, landscape designers and artists. Many of the design strategies that have transformed undervalued, liminal, and temporary spaces are now prototypes that are subsequently exported elsewhere. Make & Shift: it is against this backdrop that we examine and review many resourceful acts of city-making; acts that shift preconceived notions of what constitutes the urban commons.
(Francesca Ferguson)


(c) Dérive

Although the austrian urbanism magazine “dérive” is also dealing with topic of austerity in urbanism and the finical scarcity in local budgets. In it’s Issue Nr. 55 they are trying to investigate what scarcity and austerity is means for the contemporary metropolis.

(c) Sandra May Bauhaus University Weimar

(c) Sandra May – Bauhaus University Weimar

So if you got now more interested on that problematic and maybe you are a student or researcher. We can highly suggest you the 10th Hermann-Henselmann-Kolloquium at the Bauhaus University Weimar, Germany. This year’s title of the conference is: Urban Austerity: Impacts of the global financial crisis on cities in Europe. Until the 31st July there is the possibility to apply to the conference for panels with the title Urban Austerity, Housing cirises, Urban Governance and planning or Urban conflicts and contestations.  For further details click here



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s