Building a Proposition for Future Activities. Performing Collaborative Planning in Hamburg, Germany


In 2015, the high number of refugees coming to Germany resulted in the immediate need for accommodation in an already pressured housing market. What led to the perception of a “refugee crisis” was and is more a refugees’ crisis and, in fact, epitomized the housing crisis at large. The destructive consequences of the financialization of housing are not simply (or rather complicatedly) a function or a result of the global financial crisis of 2008. Increasingly precarious housing conditions are a fundamental part of systemic crisis tendencies of the capitalist housing system, that is, part of the system working as it is intended” (Madden and Marcuse, 2016, p. 10). The shortage of affordable housing takes on an even more exclusive character when considering that the German Federal Administrative Court marks for this clearly differentiates “accommodation” from “housing” and further denies those who are (passively) accommodated any (active) agency and the right to work (BVerwG 1996 4B, BauR 1996 §676). The City of Hamburg launched the program Accommodation with Perspective Dwelling and started to build a new residential complex in a well-off area with (semi-)detached family houses. A charitable civil society initiative (Poppenbüttel Helps) lobbied for a community building that would connect the existing neighborhood with the new one. This initiative invited the Urban Design (UD) program at HafenCity University Hamburg as a partner to the table, which kick-started a live project. This case study first outlines UD’s approach and modes of play. It then turns to the concrete live project, Building a Proposition for Future Activities.



Burghardt, Roberta, Dell, Christopher, Bernd Kniess, Dominique Peck, and Anna Richter. 2021. „Building a Proposition for Future Activities. Performing Collaborative Planning in Hamburg, Germany“. In All-Inclusive Engagement in Architecture. Towards the Future of Social Change, edited by Farhana Ferdous und Bryan Bell, 141–49. London, UK: Routledge.


Prof. Dipl. Ing. Bernd Kniess


Professor, Urban Design

Prof. Dr. habil. Christopher Dell


Professor, UFoK, OT and RFoP

M.Sc. Dominique Peck


Academic Staff, Ph.D. Candidate

Dr. Anna Richter


Post-doctoral Researcher