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: 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