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Each team chose one of four perspectives for Street Rights Observation:
Traditionally, the city was conceived as a separation from the wild. A civilised system,
opposed to nature. Today, entire regions are completely urbanized, but environmental
questions have become crucial for urban planning and development as well as in urbanites’
everyday practices. What happens when nature enters the city, through pigeons, pollen, storms,
off-shoots, rodents, or planned parks, zoos and gardens? What rights does nature have and what
rights do people have for nature in the city? Does it even make sense anymore to distinguish
between nature versus urban?
Find out where nature appears in planned and unplanned ways. Where are wild habitants marginalised? Where should the rights of nature and to nature be re-negotiated? Can you identify hybrid spaces of urban/ nature?
Where and how do we learn something in the street? Who uses the space for teaching something?
Newspaper stands, street art, cultural activities, memorial sites, but also advertisements
try to convey some form of information. Pedestrians get news and directions through their
mobile devices as they walk, and learn from birds and other people. In the area of
Friedrichstraße and especially at Checkpoint Charly, the former division of the city by
the Berlin Wall has a strong presence, while education about other local histories and
cultures are less obvious or even absent from the streets.
Where does formal and informal learning happen and where could "street schools" change the right to education in the public space? What could people learn there and how? How does education impact our culture and identity? From whom do we learn and for what purpose?
The politics of (in-)security have become a vital theme in urban life and good business for
corporations that deliver “safe environments”. Streets, sites and squares are built around
the idea that everyday life has to be monitored and controlled, and potential threats
anticipated and managed. But security also plays a crucial role at the level of everyday
encounters, as the interaction between strangers are shaped by practices of trust and distrust,
curiosity and fear, ignorance and interest. Not to forget: Questions of health, labor, and
nutrition are just as vital for our security as crime and violence.
How is security negotiated among participants of pubic street life? Who sets the rules and what kind of infrastructures and systems are put into place? What role does architecture play? What changes of rules do you think are necessary? And: Is security a “neutral” good?
Market places traditionally were set up in the centre of towns, forming the main square.
Also today, much of urban planning and architecture is organised around trade and economic
exchange. But economic activity increasingly blends the borders between private and public,
analog and digital, common and commodified. Especially in highly commercialized urban spaces,
the race for rent and profit leads to heightened market competition among formal and informal
businesses, and the search for new economic niches to colonize.
Where do you find physical manifestations of this organisation? How does it direct how we interact with other people and places? What rights in the street are related to the circulation of commodities? Look out for formal and informal trade and their different rules.
If we think about health, we don’t necessarily always make the connection to urban spaces.
But the right to health and to a healthy environment has strong socio-spatial dimensions.
Apart from obvious questions like traffic regulation, pollution, and accessibility (of streets,
buildings, and public transportation) for people with disability, questions of un/safe
labor conditions, space for recreation, adequate housing, protection from noise and access
to medical and other resources are crucial for our health. Rarely are these factors distributed
equally in our cities, hence living and working in a healthy environment inevitably also becomes
a question of race, class and gender, and the way they play out in urban space.
Who creates a healthy environment, who is affecting health? What are the rights for staying healthy (physically and mentally), and how are they negotiated? Are some groups like children, workers, elderly, or poor more exposed to unhealthy situations than others? How could risks and disadvantages be made visible, and what could be "first aid" measures and long term transformations?