Habitat Unit

SEMINAR, WS 2017/2018
Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Dr. phil. Anna Marie Steigemann

'New diversities' and 'urban arrival infrastructures'? The socio-spatial appropriation and footprints of refugees in Berlin-Neukölln

Progressive debates in urban migration studies have proposed “diversity” as a new paradigm for a globally connected and just city: “It constitutes an antithesis to previous orientations toward urban design, in which segregation of homogeneous districts was the governing orthodoxy” (Fainstein 2005). But diversity is also used as a new euphemism for social mixing policies and the promotion of an area’s “ethnic appeal”, and thus became a driver for gentrification processes in many cities. 

This seminar provides a two-fold introduction to the study of urban diversities with a focus on changes and debates triggered by the recent refugee migration. The seminar will explore both theoretical and practical dimensions as well as application contexts, drawing on findings and arguments from sociological, geographical, planning and architectural literature. Students will also conduct empirical research, using architectural, urban and social science methods in Berlin- Neukölln - mapping new every day spatial constellations – also referred to as “urban arrival infrastructures” that emerged in the district in the last years. These include the spatial appropriation and perception, but also the urban footprints and marks as well as emerging community and provision places of migrants around a refugee accommodation on Karl-Marx-Straße, contributing to “new” social, built, functional and ethnic diversities in the district’s northern parts. 

Poster_17/18_New Diversities

The seminar will be conducted with close links to the forthcoming DFG-funded research project “Architectures of Asylum” (2018- 2022) at the Habitat Unit as part of the interdisciplinary SFB “Refiguration of Space”.

Final Report

Course Information+

Seminar, 6 ECTS

Teaching Day
Monday, 12pm - 2pm, A 606

First meeting
October 24th, 2017, 12pm, A 606

Registration on a list


Dr. phil. Anna Steigemann

Raum A 622

T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21906
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907