RIP: these streetart and graffiti artists passed away in 2022

RIP: these streetart and graffiti artists passed away in 2022

Rest in Peace. Urbanauth presents you in this article the streetartist and graffiti artists who passed away in 2022. A retrospective of the urban artists who have passed away. From street artist Miss Tic to graffiti artists Full1 & Jibeone and Alain Campos (Banlieue Banlieue) – especially in France, some actors passed away last year, leaving a void in their respective cultural scenes.

Urban art: these streetart artists passed away in 2022

Dijon graffiti tagg "The silent heroes" on old soaking wall in red writing. vandalism urban culture subculture

An artist behind one of the most iconic murals on Berlin’s East Side Gallery passed away in August. Dmitri Vrubel marked the end of an era and the beginning of German reunification with his historic brotherly kiss painting, depicting Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing. The artist, born in Moscow in 1960, died of COVID-19 on August 14, 2022 at the age of 62.

In Salisbury, USA, the death of a homeless artist caused a wave of emotions. Painter Jospeh Heilig, who was known for his drawings and warm character, died in the hospital in May at the age of 65. Little is known about this fellow artist, except that he grew up in the Queensbridge neighborhood on Long Island City in New York and attended art school there before moving to Salisbury – his mother’s birthplace. As a street artist, he enriched the cityscape in his own way over the course of ten years. A crowdfunding initiative was launched for the cost of his funeral.

Montmartre loses a street art legend: MissTic 1956 – 2022

Rest in Peace: The streetart legend MissTic, a female urban artist famous for her poetic stencil  works, has died in 2022. The image shows the artist while an art exhibition in Paris in 2012.
Streetartist Miss Tic in Paris (Moreaupf / CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons / 2012)

In France, the death of street artist Miss Tic caused particular mourning. As a street art legend, she left her mark on the art scene in Paris starting in the 1990s with her stencils – on the street and in the galleries. Her works, which in their composition consisted of the silhouette of MissTic in a red dress and short sentences, combined poetry with sensuality. In the course of her career, she also collaborated with famous brands (Louis Vuitton, Kenzo, …). Her biography is proof of a highly committed artist who, in addition to her street art, participated in exhibitions every year and made a name for herself worldwide. In Paris, she left a mark, especially in the artistic neighborhood of Montmartre of the 18th district, with her iconic works.

Banlieue Banlieue! Rest in Peace: Alain Campos 1955-2022

From the same generation as MissTic and also deceased in 2022 is the artist Alain Campos, who was born in 1955. He received special recognition for his work in the group Banlieue-Banlieue, which started in 1982 to create its own unique style of urban art. The collective, which realized numerous art actions, was distinguished by colorful and expressive productions.

Colorful artwork by Alain Campos, banlieue banlieue wall design Aubergine3000, late urban art street art artist art brut culture art scene France greater Paris area
Artwork by Alain Campos at Aubergine300, an alternative housing project in the Malakoff suburb of Paris, created around 2018. (Urbanauth / VGO / 2023 / Paris)

Alain Campos, a self-taught artist, sought out art students early on despite his aversion to academic art education. Urbanauth was able to contact a relative for the article. Out of the friendship with Antonio Gallego, then a student at the University of Fine Arts in Versailles, was born the collective Banlieue-Banlieue, which for the next decades, with its own style, distinguished itself from the other local actors of street art and graffiti. Besides important solo exhibitions, he also received the highly prestigious Order of Arts and Letters (“Chevalier d’arts et lettres“).

Banlieue Banlieue was in the 90s among the pioneers of the art movement “figuration libre” – as an art form based on the figurative and at the same time free in its representation, the movement stood for a borderless and cross-cultural scene, which acts free of value hierarchies between high and subculture. Between primitive art (art brut), Western influences and impressions from the rest of the world – the artistic expression of Banlieue-Banlieue in its exhibitions and wall designs was accompanied by rock music, which also played a role for the collective.

These graffiti artists and sprayers died in 2022

Dijon graffiti subculture tribute artwork for deceased graffiti sprayer Noshy at the hall of fame legal graffiti wall of Dijon city in France. Urban art and culture Graffiti artist urbanart
Tributes to deceased graffiti sprayers are part of the scene, like in Dijon for the sprayer Noshy (1995-2017). (Urbanauth / Dijon / 2022)

Graffiti as a subculture between anonymity and illegality brings its risks: from breakneck actions, moving trains, to personal problems and healt issues – every year it strikes sprayer of all ages. Discover, in the following, the deceased graffiti artists and sprayers of 2022.

On the tracks of New York: Full1 & Jibeone

A dream of many graffiti sprayers is to paint a subway at the birthplace of contemporary graffiti subculture. That this poses serious risks is understood as part of the “game for fame”. However, in a particularly tragic way, street artist and graffiti sprayer Full1 & Jibeone from France died in New York, in April 2022. Their journey ended on the subway tracks while on a nighttime excursion on the subway tracks. Independent news site TheGothamist interviewed Ceet Fouad, a street artist friend of the two deceased. Both are survived by their widows, with one of them with three children.

Trainwriting and excursions on train tracks are dangerous and can end badly. This was also the case less than two weeks later in a Manhattan subway station. A homeless couple who were on the tracks were hit by a train and died. The MTA, responsible for Metro trains in New York, recorded a 20% increase in illegal track crossings since 2019. In 2021, this caused 68 deaths.

La Rochelle Graffititag Tag Graffiti "4: Kere & Flair2 RIP" verstorbene Graffitisprüher in Newy York aus Frankreich Honorierung durch Subkultur und Freunde mit Wandfreske
Saying Goodbye: “4: Kere & Flair2 RIP”-Tribute at a Graffiti-Jam. (Urbanauth / La Rochelle / 2022)

From North America to Great Britain: Pablo Luna & HALO

Ebenfalls aus Nordamerika, doch dafür aus Phoenix: der Graffiti-Künstler Pablo Luna verstarb mit 52 Jahren an einem Herzinfarkt. Seine Werke prägten das Stadtbild und sorgten für ein hohes Ansehen in der lokalen Kulturszene. Im Zeitungsartikel von Azcentral wird er als witziger und fürsorglicher Familienmensch beschrieben. Außerdem gründete er mit zwei weiteren Graffiti-Künstlern die NG-Crew.

From North America and located in the US-state of Phoenix: graffiti artist Pablo Luna died of a heart attack at the age of 52. His works left their mark on the cityscape and ensured a high reputation in the local cultural scene. In the Azcentral newspaper article, he is described as a funny and caring family man, which founded the NG crew with two other graffiti artists.

Auf der anderen Seite des Atlantiks verstarb der Graffiti-Sprüher Lewis Wayne aka “HALO” verstarb im Mai 2022 mit 25 Jahren. Wie die Seite MyLondon berichtete, wurde ihm in Shoreditch eine Tribut-Wand gemalt. Sein Körper wurde in einem verwesten Zustand aus seiner Wohnung geborgen und sorgte für Schlagzeilen.

Across the Atlantic, graffiti sprayer Lewis Wayne aka “HALO” passed away in May 2022 at the age of 25. As the website MyLondon reported, a tribute wall was painted to him in Shoreditch. His body was recovered from his apartment in a decomposed state and made headlines through local media.

Editorial Note: This article does not guarantee completeness. Do you know of an urban artist who died in 2022? Feel free to write to us for more information.

Copenhagen: Zone ban against homeless people

Copenhagen: Zone ban against homeless people

Denmark has got an excellent social system in comparison to other countries. These include statutory health insurance, a rehabilitation policy for former criminals and a comparatively high proportion of taxes for social projects. In addition, a small number of homeless people live on Copenhagen’s streets. So at first glance, this is a city in a country that has almost no problems.

What exactly is the zone ban ?

On closer inspection, however, this idyllic picture turns out to be the result of a less social development in Denmark’s domestic politics. As reported the law prosecutes homeless people legally in Copenhagen for over two years under certain circumstances. On 1 April 2017 a law was introduced in Copenhagen, which originally directed against foreign beggars. The Danish Parliament passed the law consensually and it proposes a fine for those violating it. Shortly afterwards, the government also decided that, in addition to the fine, a zone ban of 400 or 800 metres could be imposed as well.

This law does not only affect foreign homeless people, because the locals cannot escape this zone ban either. For example, the law forbids homeless people to set up a camp in the city to spend the night there. The reason for this law lies in the fact that such a camp brings uncertainties with it. For example, rats could enter the city from the food consumed there. The police impose a fine if someone sets up a camp in the city despite the ban. So as soon as the police accuses one or more people staying in the city of having set up an “unsafe camp”, the law applies. The penalty is about 100€ per person. From 1 July 2018 onwards, politicians extended the zone ban so that a municipality can ban homeless people completely.

Concrete cases

As reported on September 6, 2018, the police sentenced a man to 500 DK for sleeping a total of 14 days during a period of three weeks in Copenhagen next to the pedestrian zone in January 2018. On those nights he did not succeed in winning the lottery of a nearby emergency shelter in a church. The cops considered his sleeping place an “unsafe camp”. He ate there and urinated a few times nearby when the public toilets were inaccessible.

In the night on Tuesday, October 31, 2018, two sellers of the Danish street magazine Hus Forbi were also accused in the pedestrian precinct of Copenhagen ( of having set up an “uncertainty spreading camp”. They had laid down to sleep with sleeping mats, cardboard and sleeping bags under an archway near Copenhagen city centre. The police woke the two of them in the middle of the night to declare a zone ban. In this case the officials imposed a ban on them for the city of Copenhagen with a period of 3 months ( and a penalty of DKK 1000 ( As a result, the magazine set up a fund to pay the penalties for the homeless. In September 2019, the Copenhagen District Court found the two of them innocent. The court announced that the police made a mistake in this case.

Due to demonstrations against the law and the publication of these incidents, the sentences dropped in 2019. However, the law is still in force and homeless people must be afraid of being banned from zones when spending the night outdoors.

This article is a translation of the original german version.

Weekly Urbanauth: London’s Crossrail Project and ongoing trouble in Hong Kong

Weekly Urbanauth: London’s Crossrail Project and ongoing trouble in Hong Kong

The most important news at a glance with our semimonthly press review. This week (week 42): From Japan’s temple treasures to the Riba Stirling price and the delay of the London Crossrail project to the US decision to vote for a law to protect the autonomy of Hong Kong. The most important urban news every two weeks in Weekly Urbanauth.

Insights into Japan’s temple treasures

Whoever travels to Japan and has no desire for large crowds à la Metropolregion Tokyo, even nowadays alternatives are there: The English online newspaper BBC describes how to follow the traces of the legendary monk Kukai on the centuries-old pilgrim paths and visit temples that have been places of spiritual experience since the 9th century. The spiritual centre -chosen by Kukai himself- is nowadays part of a 307 km long network of pilgrim paths and is located in the prefecture of Wakayama near Koya-san (Mount Koya). Although Koya-san is not an insider tip, it is home to 2 million guests per year. But especially on the Okunoin, Japan’s largest burial place, it feels like a step back into the past. If you want to escape the stream of tourists, a visit at night is recommended. Then thousands of candles illuminate the ink-black darkness.

The difference between a school in the Banlieue and one in the centre of Paris…

If it would be Henri IV, it wouldn’t be like this.” – This is how the provocative title of the article by FranceInfo begins, which deals with the Lycee Romain-Rolland in the Paris Banlieue of Ivry-Sur-Seine. The school was temporarily blocked by the students after a video of a police check near the facility was published on Twitter by Collectif Romain Rolland. The reference to the Lycée Henri-IV within Paris makes the accusation of unequal treatment in a value system that propagates equality.

Regular police checks on the way to school are a phenomenon that particularly affects suburbs of French metropolises. The realities between pupils from the suburbs and those from the affluent parts vary greatly. The same goes for treatment and care.

So in 2017, a teacher from the federal territory of Seine Saint Denis (93) filed a suit because three of her students were checked at the north station on their return from a school trip. Also the pictures from Mantes-la-Jolie from 2018 are still recent. One day in December, the students of the Saint-Exupéry school had to kneel on the ground like prisoners with their arms folded behind their heads in front of the police. On that day there had been riots in the sector during which, among other things, two vehicles had been set on fire. The gap between the police and suburban residents is widening. In view of the serious questions about respect for equality and the right to development in a safe environment for pupils, especially as this concerns vulnerable minors of school age, it is important to address the issue in depth.

This year’s Riba Stirling Award goes to social housing development in Norwich

This year’s British Riba Stirling Prize goes to the community of Norwich in the east of Great Britain. The English BBC reported on the prize, which is awarded once a year by the Royal Institute of British Architects . The architectural office Mikhail Riches was honoured for its outstanding work. The settlement, called Goldsmith Street, houses 100 residential units and consists mainly of two-storey terraced houses and larger models containing apartments. The Passive House Seal indicates that the settlement is energy-efficient in its use of resources and at the same time provides a high level of comfort for local residents. The materials used were cream-coloured bricks and shiny black roof tiles. Through a passive solar system, which stores the solar energy in building elements such as tiles, the cost of energy should be 70% lower than the average.

London: Crossrail project worth billions delayed

With 130 million working hours already invested, the London Crossrail project is currently the largest infrastructure project in Europe, as the English online medium CNN reports. What is special about the new route is that the stations on the same line are all connected by the same means of transport; this has not been the case up to now. This will save 10 minutes to get from Heathrow Airport to central London, Tottenham Court Road. Construction of the Elizabeth Line, which began in 2009, was originally scheduled for completion in December 2018. However, according to Judith Ward, Operations Manager of the Institution Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE), the international organisation for railway signalling and communications professionals, the enormous physical size of the project, on the one hand, and the large amount of technology involved, on the other, caused delays. In addition to the 42 km of new tunnel, there will be 70 new trains working on three different signalling systems, 50 km of communication cables and 41 new and modernised stations. Now the line, which will make a significant contribution to relieving the London Underground, is to be completed by the end of 2020 / beginning of 2021.

17.2 billion euro should have cost the whole projrect; with the delay the numbers shot up. Meanwhile, the cost is 20.5 billion euros, which has been received with frustration by politicians, regulatory authorities and Londoners alike. Furthermore, the huge construction project has left visible traces in the city. This is especially the case around Tottenham Court Road and Soho, where the famous Astoria Theatre was demolished for a new railway station.

Howard Smith, operations manager at Transport for London (TfL), says, however, that there would be no point in opening the line if it had not been completely finished and tested. It just takes time. He is also sure that the overwhelming advantages of the Elizabeth Line will make sure that the delays are forgotten.

How much more will Berlin’s airport consume?

If everything works out as it should, then the Airport Berlin BER will be operational in one year. If this is the case, then Berlin’s taxpayers have spent a total of 1.08 billion euros on construction, according to the Tagesspiegel.

In the biggest building scandal in German post-war history, there is obviously some good news despite everything. The first message to be mentioned is that the business plan of the Flughafengesellschaft Berlin Brandenburg states that positive annual surpluses can be expected from 2024 onwards. Likewise the taxpayers probably do not have to reach starting from next year any longer into their own pockets. If everything goes well.

The first financing concept of 2004 provided for costs of only 1,983 billion euros – the replanning and expansion of the BER terminal as well as the problems with the fire protection system and cabling, however, put the plan through its paces. Ongoing postponements of opening dates, construction problems and the expensive soundproofing programme did the rest. In total, the costs now amount to 5.932 billion euros.

Hong Kong: Relief of the situation due to US law in sight?

The US House of Representatives passed a law on protection of human rights and democracy in Hong Kong .
On 15 October 19, the US House of Representatives passed a law on protection of human rights and democracy in Hong Kong .
The law is intended to prevent China from disregarding internationally recognized human rights in Hong Kong. According to the bill, the United States should check annually whether Hong Kong still has its special status – as laid down in its Basic Law – or whether China intervenes too much in the country’s fate. If autonomy in Hong Kong is undermined too much, the law imposes economic sanctions on China by the USA. The Senate and President Donald Trump have yet to approve the law before it becomes final.

China’s government spokesman Geng Shuang announced resistance to the Democracy Control Act. With this move, the U.S. is gaining popularity among Hong Kong demonstrators because it is exactly the help they had hoped for. However, the relationship with China and the trade war between the two great powers are unlikely to ease.

Protests continue to escalate

Last weekend there were also violent clashes between police and demonstrators. The authorities used water cannons with special paint to mark people for later arrests. The protesters often wore masks – despite the ban on masking – and attacked a police station with homemade petrol bombs.

The pro-democracy movement is angry at attacks on their sympathizers at past demonstrations. A man was attacked by several individuals armed with hammers and a follower was attacked with a knife.

When the police shoot tear gas at the fire department…

On October 15, grotesque scenes occurred in Paris when members of the police of the Compagnie Republicaine de Sécurité used tear gas grenades and water cannons against protesting firefighters. These were used near the Nation, in the east of Paris, as well as during the demonstrators’ attempt to block the Ring Motorway, the Périphérique. In the video from CLPresse you can see the use of pyrotechnic material and the construction of a barricade by the fire brigade during the demonstration from République to Nation. The use of tear gas and water cannons by the police seems bizarre, as these two professions normally work closely together. In an interview with a video journalist, a firefighter from Essonne (91) mentions Grigny 1 and Grigny 2 as references, where the fire brigade stood side by side with the police forces during urban unrest.

In addition to more funds, the profession demands a revalorisation of the brand premium, which has not moved since 1990. The large demonstration in Paris follows months of strike action in certain regions such as the southern Tarn or the eastern Doubs, which lasted from late June to about September.

This article is available in German and French. This is a translation of the german original version.

Weekly Urbanauth 40: Export goods French culture, unrest in Hong Kong and worldwide climate protests announced

Weekly Urbanauth 40: Export goods French culture, unrest in Hong Kong and worldwide climate protests announced

Export Good French Culture

The most important news at a glance – Our half-monthly press review of the calendar week 40. This week: A lot of urban culture from France and an interview with city planner Richard Sennet. In addition, nest-fighting on Cologne’s Schälsick site, extinction rebellion in the headlines and a summary of last week’s events in Hong Kong. The most important urban news of the week in Weekly Urbanauth.

The human and the urban

What should urban planning be like?

In an interview with Mediapart, urban planner, philosopher and sociologist Richard Sennett spoke about the hurdles of urban development, then as now. His latest book examines the relationship between city and life to understand whether urban planning should represent society as it is, or whether it should change it, and if so, how. The question of to what extent social, modest urban planning is possible in dialogue with the inhabitants while at the same time taking account of global capitalism is a central point of discussion. He notes that, given the intentions of urban planners, there has always been a long way from planning to reality. So its a paradox that Baron Haussmann, of all people the most reactionary of the “Great Generation”, created streets and public spaces that functioned well socially. Over the centuries, Sennett has made a common observation: the shape of a city does not determine the forms of life it adopts. This is most evident in Brasilia, the Brazilian capital built in the 1950s. A larger, poorer, more chaotic but also more social and economically intensive city emerged around the planned form.

On the Gare du Nord project in Paris, Sennet notes that, on the one hand, it is a symbol of the gap between urban planning and the way people actually live. On the other hand, it is also symptomatic of the ever-growing importance of capitalism and big business for today’s urban development. The project is far too big and does not fit into the neighbourhood.

Urban space and appropriation

Nestkampf for Cologne’s Schälsick side: Dieselstraße 15

After the TuMalWat Days in Berlin, another Reclaim the City squatting continues. From the east of Germany to the west to Köln-Kalk. An empty house on the Schäl Sick side of Cologne was occupied for two days on the third of October. The political occupation of Dieselstraße 15, which was vacated by the police after two days, was based on the initiative “Nestkampf“. At the beginning of May, it had already hung banners on two empty buildings in Loestraße to draw attention to gentrification. According to the activists, 120 apartments were empty. During the evacuation of Dieselstraße 15, 22 people were found in the building by the police. Three of them were then taken to a police station.

Urban Culture

The Banlieues of Paris show their art treasures!

Trésors des Banlieues” – Treasures of the suburbs, this is the name of the art exhibition that will take place on 4 October in a suburb of the french capital, namely Gennevilliers. Until 30 November, 260 works of art from over 50 Paris suburbs will be exhibited. The works will be presented to the public in the Halles des Grésillons. From a multitude of expressionists like Chagall to contemporary street art with Miss Tic, the Banlieues have a lot to show. The exhibition focuses on contemporary art and exhibits works from the end of the 19th century to more modern times. The history of Gennevilliers is addressed around the core theme of the industrialized city. On the timeline, the once agricultural banlieue later wandered through a time marked by precarious poor quarters and finally reached today’s time, a stage before the fusion into the “Grand Paris”.

To cross the artistic currents of past and present to try to sketch an answer to what makes the Banlieues so unique.

Noel Corret – Principal curator of the exhibition “Trésors de Banlieues”

The French architect Patrick Bouchain was responsible for repairing the empty market hall built in 1980 in the “Les Grésillons” district. This year awarded the Grand Prix d’Urbanisme for his life’s work, the architect, who was born in 1945, is an icon of French architecture. In addition to his participation in the founding of the École nationale supérieure de Création industrielle (ENSCI-Les Ateliers) in the early 1980s, he is particularly known for his human approach, which seeks to involve residents in the process of renewing urban spaces. The “Au fond à gauche” collective was responsible for the design of the interior, which, through its choice of shipping containers, refers to the history of the harbour town.

Export commodity Centre Pompidou – Made in France now in Shanghai

As reported by the English online magazines TheArtNewspaper and deezen, a branch of the Centre Georges-Pompidou opened in Shanghai on 8 November. In the Xuihui district with its twelve quarters, the museum is moving to the water side of the Huangpu River. Developed with the local administration and the West Bund Group, the French cooperation came up for the first time in 2007. The building, which is a side wing of the West Bund Museum, was designed by architect David Chopperfield. Until 2025, contemporary Western and Asian art will meet at the Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum.

The original Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris was opened in 1977 in the heart of the “Le Marais” district. Named after French President Georges Pompidou (1969 – 1974), the museum houses TMOMA in New York and Tate in London, as well as the world’s largest and most important contemporary art collections. The branch offices offer an excellent opportunity to show the otherwise only intermediately stored masterpieces to the public. In 2010, a first branch opened in Metz, followed by the next in Malaga, Spain, in 2015. In addition to the Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum, a Centre Pompidou will be built in 2020 in a former Citroen automobile garage in Brussels.

Hong Kong – A ban on hiding ones face fuels anger

Last Saturday violent clashes with burning barricades and devastation of both metro stations and shops occurred again. For this reason some supermarkets had been closed and the Metro had been shut down for one day.

Carrie Lam, head of government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, resorted to the Colonial Emergency Law and issued a Ban on Masking. This prohibits the wearing of masks during demonstrations. The law passed by the head of government without the consent of parliament. Carrie Lam can use the Emergency Ordinance to enact “regulations of any kind she deems desirable in the public interest”.

The pro Democratic grouping in Hong Kong has attacked the ban on masking law and will have it judicially reviewed by the Supreme Court towards the end of this month. Demonstrators use masks to remain undetected and to protect themselves from tear gas.

The Beijing government supports Carrie Lam’s approach. The protests, which have been going on for over 4 months, are taking place due to a very controversial extradition law and continue to increase in intensity. For example, Carrie Lam now threatens with intervention by the Chinese military, if the situation does not ease soon.

Extinction Rebellion in the headlines

Extinction Rebellion (short XR; English ‘rebellion against extinction’) is a worldwide social movement that uses civil disobedience[1] to fight the mass extinction of animals and plants and
the possible extinction of mankind as a result of the climate crisis and the destruction of habitats.”

The movement originally comes from United Kingdom, but has subgroups in many larger European cities. Several hundred environmental activists of Extinction Rebellion have occupied a Shopping-Mall at Saturday, 05.10.2019, in the southeast of Paris, they want to draw attention to the inactivity of the government in the matter of climate crisis. The “Iatlie Deux” shopping centre in the 13th arrondissement is to be occupied as long as possible, Extinction Rebellion in France announced on Twitter. After 18 hours the occupation of the shopping centre was broken off again.

On Saturday, 05.10.2019 a climate camp was established in Berlin in front of the Chancellery. Thousands of people gathered there. Lectures, workshops, reports by those affected and film screenings are shown. From Monday on also the traffic in the German capital was obstructed. Extinction Rebellion advised people to not use their cars. Demands of the group are among other things the proclamation of the climatic emergency state and the reduction of the CO2-emissions until 2025 on zero. From October 7 on there are scheduled two more weeks of protests by the group.

Weekly Urbanauth 36: Urban design of skyscrapers in London versus Tokyo’s 361 yards giant

Weekly Urbanauth 36: Urban design of skyscrapers in London versus Tokyo’s 361 yards giant

The most important news at one glance – Our press review of the calendar week 36. From Hip-Hop for the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro into the heart of Perpignan. About Tokyo’s planned highest skyscraper up to London’s attempt to eliminate their disadvantages for pedestrians. Our summary of the most important urban news.

City and human

In the heart of Perpignan – Community of Sinti and Roma threatened with expulsion

The soul of the French city of Perpignan is deeply rooted in the existence of a large gypsy community, the travelling people, who have found a refuge in the central historic district of Saint Jacques. Not far from the Spanish border, it is also one of the cities with the highest poverty rate in France. The article published by The Guardian, accompanied by photographs by Jesco Denzel, invites the reader to enter the world of the French “Gypsies” and at the same time takes a critical look at the renovation measures. The relationship of the gypsy community with the city can be dated back to several hundred years, 1940 being a decisive year. Restricted in their freedom of movement by the prohibition of “nomadism” under the Vichy regime, the gypsies were forced to settle in Perpignan. The St Jacques district, where 90% of young people are unemployed, is inhabited by three-quarters of people exposed to institutional discrimination throughout Europe.

Since the collapse of two houses in the district of Noailles in the french city of Marseille, which emphasize the problem of inferior buildings and inhumane shelters in France, the inhabitants of Saint Jacques have voiced a legitimate distrust of the correct course of the renovation work. The modernisation plans for the historic old town are scheduled for 2024 and lead to tensions. Justifiable doubts about the honesty of the proposals face the fears of expulsion and loss of their community. In the Saint Jacques district, 483 buildings will be demolished to make room for 240 new ones.

Urban development

Skyscraper race: Japan to soon have a new record holder

The highest building in the country will be built in Tokyo

At 361 yards high, the tallest of the three towers planned for the Toranomon-Azabudai project surpasses the current record holder, a skyscraper by Abeno Harukas in Osaka, by as much as 33 yards. According to an article on CNN, an entire district of more than 95679 square yards will be renovated and revitalized by 2023.

According to the developer Mori Building Co., the project consists of offices and apartments for 20,000 employees and 3,500 residents as well as shops, fitness studios, museums, an international school and 28704 square yards of greenery – a “modern urban village”.

The project was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Originally native to Argentina, Cesar Pelli built his reputation as a star architect with innovative skyscrapers after creating the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Paci Center in West Hollywood. Born in 1926, he died in July of this year, leaving behind more than four decades of creativity. Together with the co-founder of the architectural firm, Fred Clarke, he was instrumental in designing the facades of the three towers.

Singapore architect Soo K. Chan, who participated in the project, said in a telephone interview that he emphasized details and craft, both traditional values of Japanese culture. Also, the interiors of the residences are based on ideas such as that the houses are planned around service areas such as kitchens – views and a certain kind of expected lifestyle in Japan are taken into account.

While London contemplates new skyscraper designs….

This month, the City of London Corporation, which governs the Square Mile with the financial district, issued the UK’s first “wind microclimate guidelines”. These aim to encourage walking and cycling by reducing the effects of wind on the ground – because wind tunnels and downdrafts on and around skyscrapers can make life difficult for people at ground level, reports The engineering firm, which was involved in the development of the new standards, also cooperates with the major cities in North America. The City of London guidelines establish wind speeds for sitting and walking, wind tunnel tests and computer simulations to predict how a new building will meet these guidelines and where measurements should be made. For outdoor cafés and restaurants, where people sit frequently, 5.6 mph should not be exceeded. Studies carried out by the wind specialist-firm RWDI have modified the existing Lawson scale. It said that speeds between 18 and 20 mph are fine for “business walking” – the new scale calls more than 18 mph “unpleasant”.

Urban Culture

Berlin and Graffiti

The Berlin local newspaper Morgenpost reported on Tuesday (03.09.2019) in an article about the increasing “vandalism rate” in Berlin‘s public transport system. The German capital is known for its flourishing graffiti scene, including a steady influx of scene tourists. Besides the countless graffiti in the neighbourhoods, the yellow subway cars are also very popular among the sprayers. The local traffic stands thereby in the center of the article and all the same whether regional or subway, the trains are generally in demand among the sprayers. The Internet contributes with social networks such as Instagram to the rising popularity. This leads to several “Wholecar” actions every year, in which the train is stopped during the day and a whole passenger car disappears under the paint of the spray cans within minutes. The Morgenpost reports that the Deutsche Bahn refunds thereby up to 3000 reports per year because of Graffiti. On average eight per day per year. Two thirds of the reports relate to trains while the other third relates to the area belonging to the stations. Urbanauth already reported on this in its article “BVG and Graffiti”. According to Jannes Schwentu, the spokesman for the Berlin public transport company, a painted train would inevitably be cancelled 24 hours. Especially in case of a complete repainting, when the protective films have worn out, it becomes expensive for the railway company.

Hip-Hop to the youth from the Favelas

The community reporting project Rio on watch accompanied the hip-hop dancer ZULU for their article Hip Hop in the Baixada. With his project Cypher na rua, he enables children and young people in the Mesorregião Baixada of Rio de Janeiro to learn hip-hop dancing. A Cypher describes the gathering of actors of the hip-hop scene to dance, make music or spray. The article focuses on the community-building advantages for young people.

This journalistically active NGO is the successor of Rio Olympics Neighboorhood Watch (2010-2016), which dealt with the impact of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on the lives of people in the favelas. From 2017, with the end of the Games, Rio on watch adapted its editorial guidelines. Life in the poor parts of the megalopolis continues to be at the forefront of their reporting.

This article is available in German and French.

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