Habitat Unit

Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Aine Ryan

For what its worth

Berlin faces an unanticipated demographic growth and the urgent need for housing at a time of spiralling rents and real estate prices. Post-war prefabricated-housing estates in inner city locations consisting of solitaire blocks surrounded by generous green spaces seem to provide plenty of densification opportunities. But plans often meet fierce resistance from local residents, while city strategists challenge the prioritisation of housing densification over the role of these green spaces for city climate and human health.

The Urban Design Studio will investigate one such contested site where an established neighbourhood faces pressure to infill its open spaces with housing for the cohort outpriced in the nearby popular central districts. Local interest seems to clash with the city-wide need for new affordable housing. What could be an appropriate planning responses to a conflict of colliding values, rationalities and visions? 

WS1718_poser_for what its worth

As a first step students will research this diverse spectrum of actors and interests - from planning authorities, semistate housing associations, environmental organisations and property investors, to grass-roots initiatives such as residents’ associations and cooperatives – later adopting their identities in a “Planspiel” (enactment) which simulates multi-actor negotiations. Building on the learning of the ‘game’, the studio will then focus on new forms of co-production and actor-driven planning approaches for the design of an alternative development toolkit for the site: its elements comprising physical /spatial typologies, socio-economic instruments, and steering tools for the complex transformation process expected for the coming years.

Course Information+

Urban Design Studio
MA UD: PJ 1-3 EP

Teaching Day
Thursday 9am, A 202

First meeting
Oktober 12th, 2017, 10am, A 202

At the examination office Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz

M.Sc. Aine Ryan in cooperation with FG Prof. Stollmann



Áine Ryan

Room A 621 
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21830 
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907