Habitat Unit

DFG 2019 – 2022
Dr.-Ing. Paola Alfaro d'Alençon, Carolina Jacob, Kerstin Parschat, Johanna Westermann, Josefa Zavala

Concepts of "Co-production" and its influence on the development of inclusive urban spaces - An international comparative study on theories and practices

Co-production is widely recognised to play a powerful role in supporting the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and improving living conditions in urban areas. However international research debates are concerned with the development and in the spatial results and a clear agenda is formulated:

To research the interdependencies and benefits of different forms of co-production development, especially with regard to its social-spatial processes and in particular its in- or exclusionary effects on urban development. In addition, the actual literature on urban governance (planning governance) and cooperative urban development is mostly limited to emphasizing the importance of new actor structures and networks. The questions of which specific new instruments of participation/ cooperation are currently being developed and tested in projects, and what urban impacts cooperative approaches can manifest, remain unanswered. This is the starting point for this research project that aims to make an innovative and substantial contribution to the various debates on co-production in planning and development by focusing on the negotiation processes (Governance) between different stakeholders, by network analysis and by researching socio-spatial material consequences.

Bild Concepts of “Co-production”Source: Alfaro d'Alençon, Paola; Lepratti, Christiano (2018): „Does Effective Planning Really Exist?" Syntagma

A differentiated overview of theories and practices will be obtained and a specific country selection for the research between Latin America and Europe – in this case, Chile and Germany – will be justified through reflection by means of case studies drawn from the diverse contexts. As different as the local modes of action may be, it can be concluded from the international discourse that the arrival of private investors as key players in urban development practice and the simultaneous withdrawal of the state have led to a more complex network of participating actors. This leads to a conflictive urban development, in which strategies to guarantee the influence of societies' interests in space productions are needed. The intended research aims to provide knowledge about different approaches of co-operative urban development which foster community actions in various stages of development, including final outcomes.

The project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under grant agreement AL 1890

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Academic Partners+

Project Advisors
Dr. Ernesto Lopez (University of Chile, COES)
Prof. Dr. Maria Luisa Mendez (COES)
Prof. Dr. Horacio Torrent (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Prof. Dr. Astrid Ley (Universtät Stuttgart)
Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz (TU-Berlin)
Dr. Regine Schönenberg (LAI, FU Berlin)

Advisory Board
Claudia Bustos (Soziologin)
Luis Eduardo Bresciani (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
Prof. Dr. Margarita Greene (CEDEUS)
Dr. Elke Schlack (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Prof. Dr. Ing. Uwe Altrock (Universität Kassel)
Dr. Laura Calbet (Leibniz Institut, IRS)
Dr. Ing. Josefine Fokdal (Universität Stuttgart)
Prof. Dr. Peter Herrle (TU Berlin, Habitat Unit/Fachgebiet Internationaler Städtebau)
Dr. Johanna Hörning (TU Berlin, Soziologie Institut)
Rainer Nagel (Architekt und Stadtplaner Bundesstiftung Baukultur)
Dagmar Pelger (Architektin TU Berlin)

Institutional Partners+

CEDEUS – Center for Sustainable Development

COES – Centro de Estudios de Conflicto y Cohesión Social

Goethe Institute, Santiago de Chile

Municipalidad Providencia

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

GIZ-CIS – Ciudades Intermedias Sostenibles, Ecuador

Bundesstiftung Baukultur

Embassy of Chile in Berlin

Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Abt. II - Städtebau und Projekte

Cities Alliance

CEPAL - Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean


Alfaro d'Alençon, P; Smith, H.; Álvarez de Andrés, E.; Cabrera, C.; Fokdal, J.; Lombard, M.; Mazzolini, A.; Michelutti, E.; Moretto, L.; Spire, A.; (2018): "Interrogating Informality: Conceptualisations, practices and policies in the light of the New Urban Agenda". In: Habitat International

Alfaro d'Alençon, P.; Monti, Alejandra (2018): "Desarrollo espacial y segregación". In: El camino de Latinoamérica y el Caribe hacia la sustentabilidad urbana, ARQ ediciones, Santiago de Chile

Alfaro d'Alençon; P.; Lepratti, C. (Ed.) (2018): "Does effective planning really exist?", Syntagma Verlag, Freiburg

Horn, P.; Alfaro d'Alençon; P., Cardoso, A. (Hrsg.) (2017): "Emergent Urban Spaces – A Planetary Perspective", The Urban Book Series, Springer Verlag, London, Berlin

Alfaro d'Alençon, P.; Bauerfeind, B. (2016):„Vom planen und „nicht planen" von städtischen Freiräumen" - Freiräume als Wissensressource für neue Ansätze in der Stadtentwicklung. In: Informationen zur Raumentwicklung, Heft 4.2016. Bonn: Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung (BBSR)

Alfaro d'Alençon, P.; Bauerfeind, B. (2016): "¿Cómo se puede pensar el territorio y la ciudad, no para el usuario, sino desde el usuario? El significado de prácticas (urbanas) cooperativas en el desarrollo de la ciudad". In: Société – Revue de Sciences Humaines et Sociales:Territorios Creativos, Paris: CEAQ, La Sorbonne

Alfaro d'Alençon, P.; Bauerfeind, B. (2016):"Cooperative (Urban) Practices between Connectivity and Fragmentation". Working Paper Series, Serie (IV-1A). International Conference CONTESTED_CITIES, Stream 1: Urban Theory, WPCC-161013, ISSN 2341-2755

Alfaro d'Alençon, P.; Bauerfeind, B.; Konrad, D. (2016):„Ephemere Stadtentwicklung". DOM-Publisher, Berlin

Alfaro d'Alençon, P.; Bauerfeind, B. (2015):„Cooperative (Urban) Practice: Cooperative or just operative? -Do new forms of local governance keep their promise of successful civil participation and social-spatial inclusion?", In: Conflictos urbanos y territoriales, COES; Santiago/Chile

Alfaro d'Alençon, P.; Bauerfeind, B.; Konrad, D. (2014):„Zwischennutzungen - Das Ephemere in der Stadtentwicklung." In: PlanerIn, Schwerpunktheft-Nr. 4/2014, Städtebau – Entwurf

Alfaro d'Alençon, P.; Schlack, E.; Turnbull, N. (2014):„A critical view on the development of Megaprojects and Retail-cluster in Santiago de Chile between Neo-Liberalization and Globalization", Proceedings AESOP Conference 2014, Delft, the Netherlands

Alfaro d'Alençon, P. (2011):„Visionen vs. Konflikte – Der Spreeraum zwischen Elsen- und Schillingbrücke in Berlin". In: Hofmann, A.; Polinna, C.; Richter, J.; Schlaack, J. (Hrsg.): Beyond Planwerk Innenstadt. Neue Ideen – Strategische Entwicklung weiterdenken!, Center for Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin

Alfaro d'Alençon, P.; Imilian, W.; Sanchez, L. (Edit.) (2011):„Lateinamerikanische Städte im Wandel. Sammelband zur Entwicklung der Lateinamerikanischen Stadt", Berlin: Lit-Verlag

  • April / Juni 2019: Towns R Us // The Fantastic Spaceship Earth Garage, Re-designing everyday products, social routines and public life from the bottom up.
    Cooperation with Prof. Myriel Milicevic, FH Potsdam.
  • 15. June 2019: Cooperative practices: Actors, processes and the emergence of spatial commons?
    Workshop at the Critical Geography Research Workshop (ReWo) in Berlin
  • 25. May 2019: 1. Kolloquium des Institute for Cultural Governance. https://institute-for-cultural-governance.org

  • 15. - 18. July 2019: Workshop: „Commons“, at the PUCE in Ecuador, Quito

  • 28. August 2019: Kick-off Workshop for local research in Santiago de Chile "ACTORS, SPACE AND CO-PRODUCTION: Survey and Representation of projects co-produced in Santiago" as kick-off workshop in PUC Chile

  • October 2019: Participation with DFG Kopro Int at the "Free Architecture Fair, XXI Architecture and Urban Planning Biennial" in Chile

  • 7. - 9. November 2019: TRIALOG Conference, Presentation Paper on DFG Kopro Int case study Santiago de Chile report and participation roundtable "comparative co-production - methods and approaches“

  • 14. November 2019: Conversation “The Right to the City”.Round table with actors of co-production projects UKAMAU/Villa Frei. In collaboration with COES in FEN, University of Chile, Santiago

  • 30. November 2019: "ART & RESISTANCE". Participation in a round table organized by "GIT: Galeria Itinerante" at the opening of an exhibition about the social manifestations of October in Chile. Barrio Franklin, Chile.
  • 22. April 2020: WORKSHOP "Urban Co-production" as the final session of the course "CO-PRODUCTION: Perspectives and research in urban projects", PUC Chile
    . Juli 2020 Learning Dialogue + Vor-Ort-Labor in the framework of the seminar Performing Commons with Bundesstiftung Baukultur, Potsdam in the frame of the presentation of the Baubericht 2020/21.

  • 10. - 12. September 2020: Festival Kunst & Klima, Potsdam is in a climate of emergency with this in mind Fabrik Potsdam invites  to create a platform and jointly shape sustainable change. The lecture: "Commons - Climate - Resilience“ investigates what urban development and commons has to do with climate resilience.