Habitat Unit

Urban Design Studio WiSe 2023/24
Dr. Christian Haid, Dr. Juliana Soares Gomes Canedo, Prof. Anke Hagemann

Productive Soils
Rural urbanization and the transformation of unbuilt space in Angermünde

While fetishizing cities in an urban age, the spatial development of sparsely populated and rural areas has been disregarded by urban research and planning in recent decades. At the same time, landscapes of an extended urbanization have been the subject of considerable physical transformation. Productive soils – in a material and spatial sense – represent  the major resource for the supply of concentrated urban areas (for the production of food, biofuels, solar and wind energy, building materials, and recreational spaces ). Therefore they have also become critical in the sustainable transition of our living environments: building transition, food transition, and energy transition all require extensive areas of land and fertile grounds. Simultaneously, the contemporary rural landscape is further stressed by industrial agriculture and forestry, mineral resource extraction, soil degradation, ecological crisis and the effects of climate change.

Photo: © Tino Imsirovic 

The Productive Soils Urban Design studio addresses these multiple challenges and the exhaustion of rural soils and explores alternative transformations of the socio-spatial landscape of Berlin’s hinterland. It focuses on productive soils and landuse patterns in unbuilt areas around Angermünde/Brandenburg as the starting point for (currently mainly unidirectional) rural-to-urban material flows. Based on the analysis of such patterns and flows, and their respective infrastructures, it aims to rethink food, energy, and construction material supply with a systemic, more regional, circular and spatially just approach – and envisions the respective change of actor networks and physical landscapes. In doing so, the studio will probe, how an urban design perspective and methodology can contribute to not only better understand such systems but also instigate an encompassing sustainable transition of agriculture, forestry, human recreation, more-than-human habitats and “nature” in the future production of rural soil landscapes.

We will cooperate with the think tank Bauhaus Earth, the City of Angermünde and a number of stakeholders and initiatives in the area.

Download poster here.

Course Information +

Design Studio
12 ECTS + 3 ECTS (PIV)
MA UD: PJ 1-3 EP
M Arch: EP Städtebau I
MA Arch T: PJ 1-3

Teaching Day
Thursdays from 10.00 a.m.
Studio A202

First meeting
19th of October 2023

Exclusively for 1st year Urban Design Students

Teaching Staff
Dr. Christian Haid
Dr. Juliana Soares Gomes Canedo
Prof. Anke Hagemann