Social Practice


The Accidental Planners

Publication:
Date: 
June 11, 2019
The Berlin activists who staged a protest at a vacant government building didn’t imagine they’d end up leading a €140 million redevelopment project.

In a former bicycle shop near Alexanderplatz, in central Berlin, a band of artists runs an unofficial annex of the city planning department. The walls are covered with architectural renderings, and maps are spread on plywood tables around the room. In a large display window, overlooking a boulevard where Soviet tanks once rolled on parade, is a scale model of the project they are working on: a mixed-use neighborhood center with art studios, offices, and apartments for thousands of people.