Blog Scriptum Multiplicities

European societies have been exposed to growing crisis since February 2020. Climate change, pandemic and recently the war in Ukraine challenge us to rethink our lives in cities. Questions of solidarity, neighborhood help and social participation require alternative spaces for live, work, production, education, meeting and culture.   

We believe that reaching out to local initiatives, regional policy makers and international academics engaged in city innovation measures is important at this time. We are aiming at becoming more sensitive to how to collaboratively create the next urban. We foresee three stages of dealing with this crisis:

Phase one will be the co-development of urgent medical and practical equipment to help save lives. We also address relevant social, digital and urban infrastructures that help in these times. Phase two will be the development of secondary equipment, material infrastructures, shelters and small-scale interventions to cope with unexpected threads over longer periods. Phase three will be the co-development of tools, infrastructures and services to restart the urban economy and develop a resilient collaborative ecosystem after the global shock of the pandemic and in the midst of war on fossil resources. 

The following key themes connect those engaged with Co-Governance, Co-Creation, and understanding the role of collaborative niches for urban development. We believe in the idea of coworking and cocreation as key topics for building new urban productive city blocks as societies seek new formula for making a good living worldwide.

The following key themes connect those engaged with Co-Governance, Co-Creation, and understanding the role of collaborative niches for urban development. Blog editors are Dr. Steve Harding (Birmingham), Susy Silva (Lisbon) and Dr. Bastian Lange (Berlin/Leipzig).

Foto: Demet Mutman

Solidaric spaces and small scale reactions in Istanbul

Since the war on Ukraine has started in February 2022, many Ukrainians and Russians left their countries in direction to Turkey. We reach out to Prof. Demet Mutman, urban designer from Özyeğin University in Istanbul, to talk with about solidaric spaces and how she perceives the current situation of Ukrainians and Russians in Turkey and in Istanbul.

Author: Dr. Demet Mutman, Özyeğin University Istanbul

Foto: Bastian Lange

From Exit to Access – collaborative on-ramping for newcomers, temporary guests, and re-starters

When Ukrainians and residents from Ukraine arrive in safe countries, shelter, food, and security are first and key. As editors of the Multiplicities blog, Susy Silva (Lisbon), Dr. Steve Harding (Birmingham, UK) and Dr. Bastian Lange (Berlin/Leipzig) formulate the following phases when people seek new orientation for making their living outside the war territory.

Author: Dr. Bastian Lange, Urban and Economic Geographer, University of Leipzig.

Foto: Adobe Stock

Collaborative work to create ideas and networks for the post-covid-19 recovery of European inner-cities

Can we re-build and reinvent our inner cities post-covid-19? What type of mixed use, common or open spaces are needed to make our cities attractive? What spaces are needed to support innovation and creativity? At the Villa Vigoni experts and practitioners came together to discuss what type of social, technical, cultural and physical infrastructures inner cities need to regain relevance.

Author: Dr. Bastian Lange, Urban and Economic Geographer, University of Leipzig.

Foto: Adobe Stock

Open Call for Collaboration: Post-Pandemic recovery and the role of Makerspaces as catalyst for a better urban transition management

Multiplicities and its supporters encourage public administration, urban and regional stakeholders, knowledge partners and creative initiatives to join an open call to partner for regional, national, and European projects to master the post pandemic recovery phase.

Author: Dr. Bastian Lange, Urban and Economic Geographer, University of Leipzig.

Foto: Geoff Henderson

Embarking into a more resilient urban future

Which new factors will urban policies need to focus on post pandemic to encourage economic development, green growth and social cohesion? We can see the early signs of what the new urban spaces may be. It is a common problem and will require specific responses however, there are other factors particularly from a planning perspective. 

Author: Dr. Steve Harding, Birmingham City University (BCU)

Foto: Actors of Urban Change

What´s next? How can we co-design collaborative solutions to help makerspaces in times of pandemic?

What are practical measures and approaches for policy makers post-Covid to help build innovative solutions? An intermediate comment by Susy Silva (Lisbon), Dr. Steve Harding (Birmingham City University) and Dr. Bastian Lange (University of Leipzig) after six months of global pandemic. The text is a proposal how to co-design collaborative solutions for makerspaces in Europe.

Author: Dr. Bastian Lange, Urban and Economic Geographer, University of Leipzig.

Foto: C-HUB

Cultural interface projects – digital placemaking strategies of the city of Mannheim (Germany).

The city of Mannheim is widely known in Europe for its progressive culture and creative industries eco systems. But how to adept running cultural and creative interface projects in times of pandemic? We reach out to Dr. Matthias Rauch, Cultural Creative Officer at Startup Mannheim, to interview him on city´s  digital placemaking strategies in times of Covid-19.

Author: Dr. Matthias Rauch, Startup Mannheim

Foto: Bastian Lange

Youth in times of Covid-19: Where are the spaces for young adults?

How are young adults doing in times of Covid-19 and the restrictions it imposes? Dr. Bastian Lange comments from a spatial point of view on their living conditions and pleads for more niches and experimental spaces to be made available for young people in the city as well as in the countryside.

Author: Dr. Bastian Lange, Urban and Economic Geographer, University of Leipzig.

Foto: City of Hamburg

Tapping the innovation potential of crisis

Creative industries habe been heavily struck from Covid-19 but at the same as crisis-proof leverer of innovation. Inga Wellmann reports on how the city has supported creative industries making use of their innovative potential.

Author: Inga Wellmann, Head of Arts and Creative Industries Department, Ministry of Culture and Media, Hamburg

Foto: Beatriz Bagulho (

The arts approach to incubation spaces: and why do we need them?

When Susy Silva, Co-Editor of the blog, asked Beatriz Bagulho to visually translate her thoughts about her workplace, what it could be, she only made one request: make it utopian.

Author: Susy Silva

Foto: Ela Kagel

The need to retain the free spaces in Berlin for creativity as the conversation goes online

Since 10 years SUPERMARKT is a lively hub of the independent scene in Berlin. In March the doors had to be locked due to a pandemic. Co-founder Ela Kagel takes stock of the past few months and demands that the battle for 'physical space' must be fought right now.

Author: Ela Kagel, Co-Founder of Supermarkt Berlin, She acts at the interface of technology, digital culture and economy.

Foto: City of Vienna

Experiences and observations with participatory formats during Covid-19 in Vienna (Austria)

Vienna provides inclusive participatory tools. New neighborhood development processes reach out to the people. Vienna has achieved the status of being a forerunner for proactive participation. Wencke Hertzsch, advisor on strategic participation of the City of Vienna to the Executive Group for Construction and Technology, comments on the current situation.

Author: Wencke Hertzsch, City of Vienna

Foto: Mina Di Marino

New working spaces in the Finnish and Norwegian context

Are societies with a high level of digital learning and digital working expertises good equipped for coping with global pandemies? Mina Di Marino comments on how libraries are important interfaces when societies are experimenting with new steps out into post-normalities. Will these intermediate spaces be the new working spaces in urban context?

Author: Prof. Dr. Mina Di Marino, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Foto: Bastian Lange

Coming out of the Crisis – A maker’s story from Digbeth, Birmingham

Consider Digbeth a post-industrial area close to the centre of Birmingham, a place where people have found home then moved on over the years, a location with a century old history of artisan crafts and trades. Steve Harding looks at strategies of  designers and makers to cope economically with the lockdown. 

Author: Dr. Steve Harding, Birmingham City University (BCU)

Foto: Meret Batke

Experimental mobilities: temporary bikelanes in Berlin

In Berlin new wider bike lanes are literally popping up or old ones are painted green to make them more visible and safe. But did it first need a crisis and such an exceptional situation as Covid-19 and the lockdown?

Author: Meret Batke, Researcher at Multiplicities-Berlin

Foto: Mai Anh Ha

Of reclaiming freedom of mobility and speech as egocentric action.

Berlin and the first of May have a special history and relation. The Covid-19 pandemic induced restriction of public speech, demonstrations and individual rights – which challenged this relation a lot. Since imposed state sanctions of demonstration bans have started to be loosened since 11 of May 2020, a paradoxical situation occurred, as Mai Anh Ha reports.

Author: Mai Anh Ha, Researcher at Multiplicities-Berlin