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

After nearly two and a half years of research, KOPRO Int. finalised the research with a concluding colloquium and created a transition to the project’s second phase, which focuses on looking more closely at co-produced sustainability projects. Building on the colloquium, the project team will be working on a final project publication in the coming months.
The recording and further information about the colloquium can be found here.
Learn more about the succeeding project here.

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


Publications and Paper
Lepratti, C., Alfaro d'Alençon, P., (2018). Does effective planning really exist?. Freiburg, Deutschland: Syntagma Verlag.

Horn, P., Alfaro d'Alençon, P., & Cardoso, A. (2018). Emerging urban spaces. Springer International Publishing.
Alfaro d'Alençon, P.; López Morales, E., (2018) The urban as a concrete Utopia? Co-production and local governance in distinct Urban Geographies: Transnational Learning from Chile and Gerrmany. Springer International Publishing

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. Habitat International.

Couling, N., Alfaro d'Alençon, P., Altiok, M. (2019). Narrative Cartography: Capturing a Holistic Perspective on
Waterscapes. The European Journal of Creative Practices in Cities and Landscapes. Vol 2, No 1.

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

Alfaro d'Alençon, P. et al. (2019). How is projecting co-production: Lessons learned from Santiage de Chile. Trialog Paper. Manuskript in Vorbereitung

Alfaro d'Alençon, P., Bauernfeind, B. (2017). Kooperative Urbane Praxis: Räume, Akteure + Wissensbildung in der Stadtentwicklung. Ludwigsburg, Deutschland: Wüstenrot Stiftung. (1 essay practice series to reach practitioners)

Alfaro d’Alençon, P., Smith, H., Álvarez de Andrés, E., Cabrera, C., Fokdal, J., Lombard, M., Mazzolini, A., Michelutti, E., Moretto, L. & Spire, A. (2019)
Interrogando la Informalidad: Conceptualizaciones, prácticas y políticas en la Nueva Agenda Urbana. Revista CIS, Nº27 (Diciembre 2019), 15 – 33.

Alfaro d'Alençon, P., Torrent, H. (2020). From Actors to Space, through Processes: Reflections from Co-production and Commoning. JCOM.

Internal Reports
Report 1: Delphi Results & List of Cases: Chile

Report 2: Delphi Results & List of Cases: Berlin

Werkstatt Chile - Interner Report

Städtebauliche Forschung in Chile – Interner Report

Netzwerkanalyse in Chile – Interner Report

Evaluierung sozialräumlicher Dynamiken in Chile - Interner Report

Städtebauliche Forschung in Deutschland - Interner Report

  • 04/19: 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.
  • 06/19: Workshop “Cooperative practices: Actors, processes and the emergence of spatial commons?” als Teil des Critical Geography Research Workshop, ReWo, Berlin, Deutschland
  • 06/19: Kolloquium des Institute for Cultural Governance, Berlin, Deutschland
  • 08/19: Workshop “Commons” in der PUCE, Quito, Ecuador
  • 10/19: Beitrag zur Architektur und Stadtplanungsbiennale “Free Architecture Fair XXI” in Chile
  • 11/19: TRIALOG Conference, Presentation Paper on DFG Kopro Int case study Santiago de Chile report and participation roundtable "comparative co-production - methods and approaches“
  • 11/19: 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
  • 12/19: Kick-Off Workshop “Actors, Space and Co-Production” in der PUC, Santiago, Chile
  • 12/19: Konversation “The Right to the City”. Diskussion mit Akteuren aus ko-produzierten Projekten in Kollaboration mit COES in FEN, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • 01/20: Konversation “Art and Resistance”. Diskussion zu einer Ausstellungseröffnung organisiert von GIT (Galeria Itinerante),
    Santiago, Chile
  • 03/20: Online-Workshop “Urban Co-Production” als Abschlussveranstaltung des Lehrmoduls: “CO-PRODUCTION: Perspectives and research in urban projects" in der PUC, Santiago, Chile
  • 07/20: Learning Dialogue, Vor-Ort-Labor im Rahmen des Seminars ”Performing Commons” mit der Bundesstiftung Baukultur,
    Potsdam, Deutschland
  • 09/20: Vortrag “Commons - Climate - Resilience” beim Festival für Kunst + Klima, Potsdam, Deutschland
  • 10/21: KOPRO Int. Concluding Colloquium als hybride Veranstaltung mit Projektpartner*innen, externen Expert*innen und der interessierten Fachöffentlichkeit