Mietenwahnsinn: Warum Wohnen immer teurer wird und wer davon profitiert (German Edition)
Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. New York : Verso. Theirs was a performed autochthony, one ascribed in situ via the squatting—or the re-appropriation—of a city that bad been rejected by many of its former inhabitants. It was, moreover, an inclusive autochthony: anyone who shared and performed the vision of freedom which Berlin embodied could become a Berliner. The very definition of the local Berliner requires socio-spatial and temporal specification: a Berliner born and raised in Charlottenburg or Steglitz may have completely different family backgrounds from a Berliner from Lichtenberg, Marzahn or pre-wall Prenzlauer Berg.
Nevertheless, the arrival of hundreds of thousands of new Berliners from onwards—primarily from other parts of Germany, but after the Schengen free movement agreement, from other parts of Europe as well—has resulted in the creation of an opposition between native-born and long-term dwellers on one side, and the newcomers on the other.
This rather simple dualistic narrative makes it difficult, however, to pinpoint a singular moment at which the incorporation process of a critical mass of local Berliners ended and in its place began a new era in which newly arrived Berliners are considered either foreigners or migrants. Moreover, the current state of affairs is one in which people who moved to the city a month ago are dismissive of those who did so two weeks ago.
View all notes That event, together with the global economic crisis, may well have accelerated the gentrification that began with the arrival of the first squatters in Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte in the early s.
Bodily Natures. Science, Environment, and the Material Self. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press. The collapse of the GDR broke apart the inner frontier within the old German capital, prying open new spaces that appealed to various freedom-seekers. The lack of services and job opportunities was considered a disgrace by many east Berliners, who, unfamiliar with the capitalist market, simply opted for moving to former west Germany in order to improve their living conditions.
The empty houses and streets they left behind meant new possibilities for squatters, artists and other people looking for their own space to claim. The return of capital interest, which followed the reverse path taken by former Berlin companies such as Siemens and Lufthansa post, swallowed their dreams alongside their living spaces. This recurring historical cycle has been propagated by contemporary social groups empowered by new forms of mobility, such as that of the so-called Swabians, a consideration we turn to next.
This new character on the Berlin imaginary was the wealthy Southern German, the champion of private property and material affluence, a category which was defined as Swabians. In German, Schwaben Swabians refers to a region in southwest Bavaria. Synecdochally, however, the term represents all southern Germans who have played a key role in the shifting dynamics of real estate in the reunified German capital.
Many arrivals from southern Germany contributed to the displacement of local residents by buying up property in Berlin at low prices, then either selling it to large real estate development conglomerates, renting it to the growing numbers of expats and tourists, or keeping it for occasional weekend use—thereby leaving many residences to sit empty for much of the year.
Prenzlauer Berg, in particular the bohemian area of the Kollwitzkiez, has experienced a major re-population shift between and , during which more than half of its residents moved out, replaced by new denizens. Many of the people who have moved in during this shift have origins in southern Germany.
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Changing up a window display from presenting a Schrippe Berliner dialect for a small loaf of bread to a Weckle the Swabian version thereof might be an innocent marketing practice, but to more historically sensitive Berliners, this simple commercial operation is tantamount to a colonial act. East Germany wishes you a pleasant journey home. Swabians go away. We are one people; and you all are another.
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View all notes have been spray painted onto these buildings, reproducing, contesting and undermining national stereotypes in order to produce a space considered proper for Berlin—and for Berliners. Photograph copyright Deutsche Presse-Agentur. Figure 5. The constructed antagonistic social group die Schwaben functions in Berlin as the oppositional character—an Other—in the self-identification processes of Berliners.
It is not, in point of fact, a geographically defined reasoning which has created the Southern German, but rather a socio-economic dynamic, one that undermines the right to the city for long-time Berliners via the enforcement of market-oriented housing acquisition by economically well-off Germans. As we suggested in the two previous sections, spatial and socio-ecological practices are key in structuring place-bound linkages which help contrast precariousness and detachment in high-mobility urban contexts such as in the case of Berlin.
Green spaces in urban environments are particularly open spaces—both figuratively and literally—which however engender environmentally cognizant practices but may also contribute to gentrification processes on account the aesthetic values they embody. As important spaces of inclusion, urban gardens have become a defining characteristic of many contemporary cities, environments in which distinct knowledge and cultures materially merge in a shared practice of space Tornaghi Tornaghi, C.
In Berlin, Prinzessinnengarten, a participatory community urban agriculture experiment at Moritzplatz Kreuzberg was begun in Summer, by area residents and gardening enthusiasts. Today, some different crops are grown there, with particular attention given to heirloom and rare varieties. Munich : Oekom. Both Tempelhofer Feld and Prinzessinnengarten are paradigmatic examples of the contradictory power of socio-ecological imaginaries.
Urban gardening, food and environmental justice, trans-national conviviality, commoning and degrowth perspectives, while embedded within practices at stake in these two green spaces, can lead to contested political ecologies, attracting capital interests and affecting housing and neighbourhood social dynamics. The booming of greening projects all across Europe and North America is only the latest of the gentrification strategies adopted by various municipal governments Cole et al.
Garcia-Lamarca , J. Connoly , and J.
The positioning and the personal and group situatedness of Berliners is revealed by the relationships such actors develop with such spaces. The difference between the regeneration and colonisation of an area is rather more subtle than what one might imagine; the figure of the hipster, mobile, de-rooted urban users who reify urban trend ines s, can become the best—albeit involuntary—supporters of gentrification and touristification. The case of Tempelhofer Feld shows that greening imaginaries are not necessarily drivers of equitable or positive outcomes for the actors involved Genz Genz, C.
The entrance to Prinzessingarten, Kreuzberg. Figure 6. Figure 7. In a city so diverse and mobile, areas such as Tempelhof are key spaces of encounter—social and societal crossroads where a shared sense of place can be built among people from very different backgrounds and cultures. From a Turkish family barbequing at the weekend to urban gardeners, skaters or joggers, Tempelhof brings together a wide range of Berliners Lachmund Lachmund, J. The controversial management of the crisis, as well as the concentration of so many people in the old hangar space, have been strongly contested by activists.
See Valisena, D. View all notes In , a referendum sanctioned the non-cementification of the former airport area, thereby cementing its place as one of the largest urban parks in Europe. The image of the Tempelhof whale embodies the fragile condition and the overwhelming importance of the space, which is depicted as a commons, a shared space which does not belong to or follow any private corporate interest.
Cetaceans have long embodied and been used to refer to various socio-environmental imaginaries Huggan Huggan, G. London : Bloomsbury. As with the whale, the park is free—in German Freiheit means both liberty and political freedom—but it also remains free of any looming neoliberal or otherwise economic development plan. This living-like-a-local verve that informs contemporary tourist practices is particularly pernicious for cities such as Berlin because of the slow violence Nixon Nixon, R.
Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor.
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Cambridge : Harvard University Press. The not-a-tourist aesthetic has also been co-opted by tourism providers such as Airbnb into their marketing campaigns. Landlords quickly recognise the advantages of renting apartments to tourists via Airbnb rather than to people staying for longer periods via standard rental agreements. This is the terrain on which the Berlin Hates You campaign was formed see Figure 8. A sticker made by Berlin Hates You to support its Rollkoffer rolling luggage anti-touristification campaign.
Figure 8. Unlike long-multicultural Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain had never experienced an onslaught of foreign or tourist arrivals, and the huge descent of young creative types in the s served a major shock to the neighbourhood. In this change, the distinctive differences that often exist between tourists and migrants became more and more blurred Costa and Martinotti Costa, N. Hoffman , M. Fainstein , and D.
Judd, 53— Blackwell : Oxford.
This was particularly the case in the eyes of east Berliners, who were denouncing the lack or the disappearance of many of their traditional gathering spaces, from Kneipen to squares to other areas for cultural events. At the same time, those who initially might have been tourists in many cases ended up staying put, thereby significantly shifting the very social structure of many Kieze.
For instance, the Visit Berlin tourist city portal itself is now a public-private legal entity that promotes the city on behalf of the municipality. Such moves are the result of this liberal shift in tourism policy embraced by the city in the early s Novy Novy, J.
One of the main drivers of the gradual dispossession affecting newer and older residents has been Airbnb. As with other tourist destinations across Europe and the US, Berlin has seen the spectacular rise of Airbnb housing offerings. The platform has radically shifted the housing market of the city, leading to a legal ban by the municipality in April —which was then revoked two years later.
While overnighting at an Airbnb is known for being light on the pocketbook, bringing two-to-three-day infusions of foreign, urban and touristic influences into the city Hunt Hunt, E. Professional real estate businessmen then saw the opportunity to control the housing market even more, negatively affecting it twofold: by reducing the number of free apartments, and by simultaneously raising the rental prices of the apartments which escaped Airbnb.
According to Deutsche Welle, during the summer of , there were some , beds available on Airbnb in Berlin Knight Knight, B. Moreover, large, digital economy companies such as Zalando and Google have bought up entire apartment blocks for housing their employees. As in other countries, the political and humanitarian efforts of the German government to materially sustain and house refugees has been perceived as an anti-patriotic and unjust practice by marginalised Berliners and those dependent on social benefits. Thus, the once-localised gentrification of Berlin can be seen to have far-reaching consequences across the entirety of the German national landscape, and beyond.
Hypermobility, housing policy and the constant influx of tourists, as well as the ambiguous role played by greening spaces and translocal e. We have attempted in this article to tackle these various processes by relying upon mural forms of textual and visual dissensus in the German capital. Shifts in food ecologies such as those linked to bread typologies and consumption trends in connection to regional and local alimentary cultures are interesting in that they reveal the place- and identity-making power of food understood as an important recipient of material and cultural assemblages.
Similarly, the everyday life practices concerning the relationship locals have with green spaces, and their transformative power within a dialectic of urban regeneration e.
Finally, our brief reflection on the opaque frontier between urban users and citizens, analysed by enlightening the role of Airbnb in its entanglements with housing and tourist hospitality policies, shows how urban environments and imaginaries are continually mobilised by both citizens and speculators. As the introduction to this special issue sets out, the environmental humanities as a field have contributed to new forms of academic enquiry which seek to address multiple crises across both environmental and academic climates Huggan, this issue.
Human responses to environmental change, multiple and manifold as they are, may indeed be best served by scholarship that considers both the practices and representations of socio-cultural interventions.
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Furthermore, in a climate of institutional cost-cutting in which the humanities are increasingly being called upon to justify their relevance to society, perhaps humanistic research methodologies which have been developed and honed by scholars seeking to address pressing socio-environmental concerns may also be used by scholars outside the humanities in order to bring depth to their own scholarship, thereby remind non-humanists and academic administrators of the critical nature of such approaches and frameworks.
In other words, it is not just studies of environmental crises which can benefit from multidisciplinary frameworks, methods and analyses, but indeed research across a multitude of socio-cultural phenomena. Indeed, scholars working outside studies of the environment might look to the toolkits being used by colleagues from multiple disciplines who are working on environmental issues. While it is true that a single narrative may not be able to speak for all of humanity Huggan, this issue , nor is a single narrative necessarily a single narrative.