Project updates: The urban commons cookbook, Reactivating vacant buildings, The model space project, CIVACT & Inventing Berlin


It has been a very busy summer full of great news on the project front.

First and foremost, the Urban Commons Cookbook is really coming together. The interviews have all been completed and we’re on track to deliver the first texts to the graphic designer next week. I want to take this opportunity to thank the interview partners again for their amazing insights and their time!

Some of you may remember that I won a grant from the German Marshall Fund to complete research about reactivating vacant buildings with a colleague from the City of Detroit. The first posts about our research trip in Germany this past May will be coming out this fall, and I’ll be traveling to the US in November to do the next round of fieldwork in Michigan, Pennsylvania and upstate New York.

In June, I was asked to be head of research for the Model Space Project, a project by the Club Commission to design a simplified permitting process for open air parties. We’re just completing the empirical research with the deadline for the final report six weeks from today. More information (in German) can be found on the project page. The report will be published in German with an executive summary in both German and English.

Over the spring, I wrote a proposal for an ERASMUS+ project with the Lawaetz Stiftung in Hamburg which was approved. The project, which is entitled CIVACT, aims at developing a range of innovative tools to get hard-to-reach youths involved in urban development in order to bolster their overall levels of civic engagement. The project has partners in Sweden, Portugal, the UK, and Italy. It kicks off in October. Have a look at the project page for more information.

And, last but not least, I have found a publisher for Inventing Berlin! The manuscript, which delves into architecture and cultural memory in former East Berlin after the fall of the Wall, will be published in Springer’s Urban Book series in Fall 2019.

It’s going to be a busy next six months. Stay tuned for results from the Urban Commons Cookbook, the Model Space Project, and Reactivating vacant buildings, which will all be wrapping up in that period!

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