Space Pioneers Berlin
Be it post-war allotments in the Tiergarten city park, the “Poles’ Market” on Potsdamer Platz or the distinctive informal club scene of the 90s, the history of Berlin, more than that of any other German city, has been and continues to be characterized by temporary uses of improvised spaces. The city has an enormous amount of vacant buildings and open land at its disposal Whilst these are potentially of interest in the long-term as urban development sites, their currently undetermined and provisional nature is precisely what makes them fertile ground for a wide range of creative uses in the here and now. The extent to which temporary users might be consciously located in spaces for which medium term development prospects are still lacking - quasi as agents of revitalization – was investigated by a research project commissioned by the Berlin Senate, and at a symposium held with representatives of the city administration, real estate agents and temporary users; and followed by an exhibition about space pioneers. In the course of the project 100 different typologies of temporary use of vacant sites were mapped out, models were created that demonstrated the potential of temporary use for urban development, and guidelines for temporary users were established.