21/06/18 Friedrichstadt – what is your potential? Urban renewal in a very small city


Friedrichstadt – what is your potential? presents research from the ongoing project Friedrichstadt – future city led by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Although the tiny city with its 2,500 inhabitants may not serve as a smaller version blue print for the metropolis, this approach serves to open a perspective that enables a mutual learning from. Based on its built urban structure of block perimeters, Friedrichstadt allows for types of spatial and social appropriation that are increasingly under pressure in large cities. Similarly, metropolitan differentiation and social openness are backdrops necessary to negotiate the possible small town in new ways. Our contribution is concerned with the situation tiny town in terms of its perception and its potential for innovation more in relation to than in opposition to the metropolis. Our research interest aims at an often neglected qualitative and detailed perspective concerned with the modes of dwelling and everyday forms of appropriation of Friedrichstadt’s inhabitants. We interrogate the knowledges and experiences regarding new approaches and instruments of urban renewal through analysing the contemporary ways of dealing with existing architectural and infrastructural environment: How do inhabitants live in Friedrichstadt – in their houses and the city? How do they appropriate the urban form (from the room to the urban space) and how do they adapt their houses to their own needs? What future development potentials do they inscribe into their buildings and what can we glean from all this? The research and teaching programme Urban Design at HCU works with an interdisciplinary and intra-scalar approach, approaching the existing architecture through its uses that have proven sufficient throughout an almost 400-year history – despite or because of various challenges. We attempt to problematize the current situation by way of using ethnographic, videographic and architectural methods so as to make visible existing constellations and their modes of impacting on the urban production. Beyond a solution-oriented definition of ‘the problem’, our approach aims to problematize the mode in which problems are articulated and discussed.




Urban Renewal in Small and Medium Size Cities
Working Group Urban Renewal together with the department Urban Planning and Urban Renewal, Spatial and Environmental Planning at TU Kaiserslautern
June 21st-22nd 2018, Kaiserslautern


Prof. Dipl. Ing. Bernd Kniess


Professor, Urban Design

Dr. Anna Richter


Post-doctoral Researcher

M.A. Marieke Behne


Academic Staff, Ph.D. Candidate