Michael Ziehl

Cooperation Between Citizens’ Groups and Municipalities for Fostering Urban Resilience – The Example of Gängeviertel in Hamburg

How can citizens and municipalities cooperate to make our cities fit for the future? To discover answers for this question, Michael Ziehl is examining the cooperation between the Gängeviertel initiative and the municipality of Hamburg. Municipalities are dependent upon their cooperation with urban dwellers and other civil agents, but in the context of current global and regional crises, the extant forms of participation are insufficient. This can be seen not only in the very real outcomes of the Great Recession in 2009, but also in the ongoing consequences of climate change, demographic transition, economic transformations and social division. From this perspective, the concept of Urban Resilience gains relevance as a concrete approach for managing crisis situations.
Urban Resilience is a way of describing the adaptability of cities to disturbances and dilemmas. Michael Ziehl argues that it necessitates the application of methods of supporting the self-organization of urban dwellers. One of the key deliverables of this research will be the analysis and presentation of such methods. The Gängeviertel was chosen as subject of research because it implements a new model of cooperation with the municipality of Hamburg. Furthermore it is a vibrant initiative in the sense of “Performing Citizenship”: The self-organized initiative appropriated the Gängeviertel in 2009. Since then it has developed itself into an open space in the city of Hamburg for working, living and cultural participation. Organizational structures enable members of the public to get involved through common forms of usage and non-commercial economic activities (Commoning). These activities contribute to making Hamburg fit for the future and fostering its Urban Resilience.