Weekly Urbanauth: City centers in the UK and French journalism in a bad state

The sculpture of a woman wears a white fabric cover on which it says printed: Where is Steve?

The most important news at a glance – Our weekly press review of the calendar week 33. Ban on e-scooters in Milan, dying city centers in England, soon new squats in Berlin, as well as French journalism in crisis – Our summary of the most important news.

City and human

UK High Streets activity decreasing?

Main streets and city centers play an important role in local communities.

According to the Independent, the national vacancy rate in the UK in July was 10.3 percent. According to the monitoring of the British Retail Consortium, the number of empty shops in downtown England has reached its highest level since 2015.

While shopping malls outside the city performed better last month with an increase in visitor numbers of 1.2 percent than the main street frequency, which fell by 2.7 percent last month, while inner-city shopping centers recorded an even greater loss of 3.1 percent.

“QueerUnity” – A novum for Niedersachsen

As the Taz reported, there will soon be a queer youth center in Hanover. The initiator of the project is the Andersraum association, which already runs a queer centre and looked after the young people. However, the offer was limited due to the lack of space and co-design, which is why there will soon be own rooms for queer teenagers. The city of Hannover promised a support of 50.000 Euro, whereby all parties except the right-wing AfD welcomed the project. The name “QueerUnity” was chosen by the young adolescents and should give them a safe space in form of a 120m² shelter for their free development. A meaningful measure, since queer young people are exposed to discrimination in their everyday life in many places like school, in public or even by their own families.

Hong Kong – Trump warns Beijing with economically consequences and an employee of the british consulate is missed

The protests in Hong Kong continue and after last week Hong Kong airport was closed for 48 hours and nearly a thousand flights were cancelled, Trump warns the Chinese government against violent intervention against the demonstrators. He twittered on 14 August that he was sure that if Chinese President Xi wanted to solve the Hong Kong problem quickly and humanely, he could. Trump also said on 18 August that it would be “very difficult” for him to agree on a trade agreement with China if Xi did not find a peaceful solution to the protests in Hong Kong that have been going on for almost 3 months now. With increasing police violence and arbitrary arrests, as well as troop movements near the Hong Kong border, the real question is how far China will go. For example, the Chinese government is said to be linked to the disappearance of a British consular officer, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. The man has been missing since 8 August, when, following a meeting in Shenzhen, south-eastern China, he tried to cross the border into Hong Kong. The disappearance of the man is probably related to Beijing’s warning that London should not interfere in the current situation.

City and mobility

Mailands E-Scooter have to disappear

Except for privately used e-scooters, all other scooters provided by sharing providers must be removed from public space within three days, was the order issued by the local government on 14 August. This information was confirmed by a press spokeswoman to the German press agency after a report in the Milan daily Corriere della Sera and published in the Tagesspiegel.

Until the resumption of scooter rental, further regulations are needed, which are to be negotiated in the coming weeks – in order to create a secure offer. Until now, driving these vehicles has been limited to a maximum of six kilometres per hour in the pedestrian zone. In future, however, they will also be able to roll around on cycle paths or in 30 km/h zones at speeds of up to 20 km/h (subject to a sufficiently large number of signs).

The use of electric scooters is also restricted in Paris. They are no longer allowed on sidewalks. At the beginning of August, the Tagesspiegel wrote that Berlin’s sidewalks should also be exempted from the scooters; among other things, the police have already registered 38 traffic accidents there.

Urban space and appropriation

#Besetzen wants to get back Berlin at the end of September

On the Twitter account of BesetzenBerlin, a loose group of squat-activists related to the Hashtag #Besetzen, a press release was issued on August 14. Thus, in the context of the action days “Tu mal wat!” from 26. – 29. September different houses are to be occupied. Under the motto “City from below”, the activists are committed to putting the needs of the local people, as well as greater co-determination in connection with urban design, in the foreground.

Spatial control

Cameras in Stockholm subway cars: A blessing for everyone?

The Local informed: The platforms are already being monitored, which has led to a loss of crime, according to Regional Transport Councilor Kristoffer Tamsons. Now cameras are to be installed in the 271 Stockholm subway carriages so that offences within the carriages can also be recorded in the act. If necessary, the cameras, which are connected to the public transport security centre in Stockholm, will also help passengers.

Public transport companies in Sweden normally have to apply for a permit to install cameras in public areas. However, the Stockholm metro network is an exception.

Where’s Steve? Those affected by the fatal evening gave their testimonies

In the French city of Nantes, close to the Atlantic Ocean, a controversial police operation during the Fete de la musique led to media attention. The Festival of Music is an event where music is played and celebrated late into the night throughout France. But this year a dark event should shade the otherwise so joyful course. At the edge of the flowing river Loire young people celebrated to electronic beats, when the police decide without warning to end the celebration. The association Media’Son assembled up to 148 testimonies. At that night up to 33 tear gas and 10 dispersion grenades as well as 33 shots with Flashballs/LBD were shot on to the ravers. The LBD is a gun which shots rubber bullets and was widely used the Gilets Jaunes movement. It’s use lead to the loss of 14 eyes).

Absolutely unprepared for this disproportionate act of violence on the part of the police, this led to a mass panic with fatal consequences. The newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche received insights into the statements from those affected and describes the impressions of the fatal evening when 14 people fell into the Loire. Among them was Steve Maia Canico, who drowned in the streams of the river. Thus, the situation is described as extremely chaotic: People who slept before woke up in a fog of tear gas, while screams were heard from everywhere and people stumbling over each other.

The French police are thus coming under increasing criticism, as an extremely high level of police violence was already detected during the movement of the Gilets Jaunes. Controversial: The IGPDN, the French police force control authority, is very effective in prosecuting officers who, for example, steal material or defile the reputation of the police, but on the other hand has big difficulties to detect any violence committed by the police.

City and Environment

Blue City project as flagship for Rotterdam’s sustainability plan

The BlueCity project in Rotterdam aims to recycle waste. A former wellness luxury spa in the city of Rotterdam has been transformed into a huge high-tech waste recycling laboratory. Engineers, bioscientists, breeders, brewers, archaeologists, caterers, carpenters, storytellers and designers are housed here under one roof to create an ecosystem that shares resources and reuses waste in an attempt at “circular economy”. Plastic and metal are shredded and reborn as brand new products using 3D printers. Worms compost all the organic waste in BlueCity. This project aims to solve one of the biggest problems of our century, the enormous amount of plastic waste that humanity produces. Worldwide only less than 10% of it is recycled. It is a step in the right direction that there are not only artists who are paying attention to this issue but also the communities are starting to act. Rotterdam plans to take a leading role in the circular economic movement by 2050. And there is even more good news: Rotterdam is not the only city in Europe with circular innovation centres. There is De Ceuvel in Amsterdam, CRCLR in Berlin, SPACE10 in Copenhagen or Sustainable Workspaces in London.

On our own behalf – Journalism

France’s journalism in crisis ?

At the beginning of the year, SCAM, the French copyright collecting society for authors, asked 3771 journalists about their situation and opinions about their profession. In the resulting paper entitled: Journalists – Authors or Content Suppliers? several glaring problems were identified. In our article: Is freedom of the press in danger? we had already asked ourselves this question. With the SCAM report, however, the problem becomes clear on several levels.

The report stresses that working conditions and precariousness are a key issue. The working environment of French journalists has changed considerably in recent years. Where once permanent employment was the order of the day, it is now freelance work. The advantage for employers: no social security contributions and additional remuneration such as the 13th salary. For journalists, however, this all too often means taking on part-time jobs for financial reasons. Especially badly it hits thereby women, who receive less salary and are often shifted from position to position.

But also the general professional image is a big point of dissatisfaction. This can be the precariousness, which stands in contrast to the prestigious image of the journalist, but also in the case of the freelancer, the fact that in the media HQ the contents are cut to size and important video sequences are taken out or put in a weird relation, which leaves the creators irritated. But really bitter is that most journalist on the field, who are the nearest to what happened don’t own a press card, since they have to earn at least 70% of their income by journalistic activity.

Our press review is available in French and German.

Munich: Un quartier créatif pour la ville

View from the Reitstraße in Munich.

À Munich, les plans pour un quartier créatif entre les rues de la Dachauer et Infanterie -strasse progressent. La ville se veut créatif et attractif… et se voit confrontée à une grande pénurie de logements. Est-ce que le temps est arrivée pour une intervention à plus grande échelle?

Photo aérienne de la zone en question: la zone se distingue par sa forme en L. (Photo : Ville de Munich)

Pendant 15 ans, l’idée a mûri de construire un quartier créatif dans l’ancien quartier des casernes (Luitpoldkasernen) et ses environs. Il s’agirait d’un complexe se composant de quatre sections : Domaine créatif, laboratoire créatif, parc créatif et plateforme créative. Vu d’en haut, les quatre parties forment un L. La zone s’étendrait sur environ 20 hectares, soit l’équivalent de 28 terrains de football.

“Réunir la vie, le travail, la culture, l’art et le savoir.”

Ce mercredi (22.05.19), ce fut le moment de passer à l’action et un autre jalon a été posé : Le plan de développement pour les deux secteurs sud a été prononcé. Pour les zones du futur parc créatif et de la plateforme créative, la prochaine phase est entamée.

Suffisamment de place sur le site

La plateforme créative

Le plan de développement de la zone créative nord-est est déjà entré en vigueur depuis 2017 et vise à créer un espace de 385 appartements. La plateforme créative complétera cette zone avec des surfaces de logement supplémentaires.

Sur le site de neuf hectares, 341 appartements seront construits par et pour les services publiques municipaux de Munich (Stadtwerke München Gmbh /SWM)) dans le cadre de son initiative d’expansion d’appartements pour leur salariés (“Ausbauoffensive Werkswohnungen”). Dans ce cadre, les services publics municipaux ont l’intention de construire jusqu’à 2 500 appartements pour leurs propres employés d’ici 2030.

La zone résidentielle de la plateforme créative est prévue de sorte qu’il y aura de l’espace pour des activités commerciales au rez-de-chaussée et des crèches. Les bâtiments existants classés “monument historique” seront rénovés et intégrés de sorte que leur architecture harmonisent avec les nouveaux bâtiments d’architecture moderne.

La décision permet également d’obtenir un permis de construction pour l’extension de la Hochschule (comparable à une IAE). La faculté de design de la Hochschule est déjà située au 17, Lothstraße. En outre, une utilisation commerciale est en vue : avec le “Munich Urban Colab”, par exemple, un centre de start-ups et d’innovations pour des “Smart City Solutions” s’installerait et renforcerait Munich en tant que site informatique. Selon le Süddeutsche Zeitung, il accueillerait plus de 250 start-ups et serait géré par la TUM, l’incubateur de l’Université technique de Munich.

Quoi d’autre?

Les monuments industriels de halles nommés “Jutier” et “Tonnenhalle” sont deux structures en béton d’une centaine de mètres de longueur datant de 1926. Ces halles sont censées être entièrement rénovées. Outre la construction d’un parking souterrain, l’objectif principal est de créer des espaces pour l’art et la création artistique. En plus de cela, le conseil municipal a demandé des mener des études sur diverses interventions dans la Dachauerstraße, notamment la construction d’une ligne de tramway et de réaménager la circulation est à l’étude.

München: Ein Kreativquartier braucht die Stadt

View from the Reitstraße in Munich.

In München schreiten die Pläne für das Kreativ-Quartier zwischen der Dachauer- und Infanteriestraße voran. Man will sich Hip. Man will sich kreativ. Und man hat einen großen Wohnungsmangel. Zeit dass sich was ändert?

Auf der Luftaufnahme des zu entwickelnden Geländes hebt sich das Areal durch seine L-Form ab. (Foto: Stadt München)

Ganze 15 Jahre reifte die Idee ein kreatives Quartier auf dem ehemaligen Gebiet der Luitpoldkasernen und Umfeld zu errichten. Dieses soll aus vier Raumunterteilungen bestehen: Kreativfeld, Kreativlabor, Kreativpark und Kreativplattform. Aus der Luft betrachtet formen die vier Teilquartiere ein L. Die Fläche erstreckt sich auf ungefähr 20 Hektar – Was 28 Fußballfeldern entspricht.

“Wohnen, Arbeiten sowie Kultur, Kunst und Wissen zu vereinen”.

Diesen Mittwoch (22.05.19) war es dann so weit und ein weiterer Meilenstein wurde gelegt: Der Bebauungsplan für die zwei Südlichen von insgesamt vier Teilquartieren wurde ausgesprochen. Für die Flächen des zukünftigen Kreativpark sowie der Kreativplattform geht es nun in die nächste Etappe.

Die Kreativplattform

Während der Bebauungsplan für das nordöstliche Kreativfeld bereits seit 2017 in Kraft getreten ist und Wohnraum für 385 Wohnungen schaffen soll, folgt die Kreativplattform mit weiteren Wohnflächen.

Auf dem neun Hektar großen Areal entstehen 341 Wohnungen durch und für die Stadtwerke München Gmbh (SWM) und Teil ihrer “Ausbauoffensive Werkswohnungen”. In dessen Rahmen wollen die Stadtwerke bis 2030 bis zu 2500 Wohnungen für die eigenen Mitarbeiter bauen.

Das Wohngebiet auf der Kreativplattform ist als Blockrandbebauung vorgesehen, sodass es im Erdgeschoss Platz für kommerzielle Aktivitäten geben wird, aber ebenso Platz für Kindertagesstätten. Dabei sollen die bestehenden denkmalgeschützten Gebäude renoviert werden und in Einklang zu den Neubauten zeitgenössischer Architektur stehen.

Durch den Beschluss wird auch ein Baurecht für die Erweiterung der Hochschule ermöglicht, während sich die Fakultät für Design bereits an der Lothstraße 17 befindet. Außerdem ist eine gewerbliche Nutzung in Sicht: So soll mit dem “Munich Urban Colab” ein Gründer- und Innovationszentrum für Smart City Solutions einziehen und München als IT-Standort stärken. Dieses soll der Süddeutschen Zeitung zufolge über 250 Start-Ups beherbergen und wird von der Unternehmer TUM betrieben, welches das Gründerzentrum der Technischen Universität München ist.

Auf einen Sprung in die Halle6 ? – Wohl erstmal noch auf unbefristete Zeit möglich.

Und was noch ?

Die Industriedenkmäler der Jutier– und Tonnenhalle, zwei ungefähr 100 Meter lange Betonkonstruktionen aus dem Jahr 1926, sollen vollständig neu instand gesetzt werden. Neben dem Bau einer Tiefgarage, sollen vor allem Räume als Kunststätten und zur Kunstschaffung entstehen. Außerdem hat der Stadtrat Untersuchungen in Auftrag gegeben, welche diverse Eingriffe in die Dachauerstraße betreffen. Es wird die Möglichkeit untersucht eine Tram-Station hinzuzufügen, sowie den Verkehrsfluss neu zu ordnen.

Munich: Did the time come for an urban & creative quarter?

View from the Reitstraße in Munich.

In Munich, plans for the “Kreativquartier” between Dachauerstrasse and Infanteriestrasse are progressing. People want to get hip, live creative… and you have a big housing shortage. Is there a change in sight?

Seen from high above: the area forms the letter L.

For 15 years the idea matured to build a creative district on the former area of the Luitpoldkasernen and its surroundings. This is to consist of four room subdivisions: Creative field, creative laboratory, creative park and creative platform. Seen from the air, the four partial districts form an L. The area extends over approximately 20 hectares – which corresponds to 28 football pitches.

The guiding principle: to combine living, working, culture, art and knowledge.

This Wednesday (22.05.19) another milestone was set: The development plan for the two southern ones of altogether four partial districts was pronounced. For the areas of the future Creative Park as well as the Creative Platform, the next stage is now underway.

It’s not a problem of space. The area is big enough. – It’s a problem of effective housing.

The Kreativ-Platform

While the development plan for the north-eastern creative field has already been in force since 2017 and is intended to create living space for 385 apartments, the creative platform and park with additional living space will follow.

On the ninae-hectare site, 341 apartments are being built by and for the municipal utilities of Munich (SWM) and is part of its “expansion offensive for company apartments”. Within this framework, the municipal utilities intend to build up to 2,500 apartments for their own employees by 2030.

The residential area is planned as a perimeter block development so that there will be space on the ground floor for commercial activities, but as well child care places. The existing listed buildings are to be renovated and in harmony with the new buildings of contemporary architecture.

The decision also allows for a building permit for the extension of the university, while the Faculty of Design is already located at Lothstraße 17. In addition, commercial use is in sight: With the “Munich Urban Colab”, for example, a start-up and innovation centre for Smart City Solutions is to move in and strengthen Munich as an IT location. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, this is to accommodate more than 250 start-ups and is operated by UnternehmerTUM, which is the start-up centre of the Technical University of Munich.

Still good for a visite: The artsy Halle6.

And what else?

The industrial monuments of Jutier– and Tonnenhalle, two approximately 100 meter long concrete structures from 1926, are to be completely repaired. In addition to the construction of an underground car park, the main aim is to create spaces for and the creation of art. In addition, the city council has commissioned investigations into various interventions about the street Dachauerstraße. The possibility of adding a tram station and rearranging the traffic flow is will be investigated.

Article: Vincent Translation and photos: Olli

Saint Denis: JP Morgan invests in the Seine Saint-Denis

Building of the city hall in Seine Saint Denis. The buidling is located in the departement 93.


Townhall of Saint-Denis, one of the poorer suburbs of the metropolitan regions of Paris (Foto by Guillaume Baviere / CC by 2.0)

According to various media reports, the American bank JPMorgan will invest 30 million dollars (approximately 27 million euros) in the greater Paris area and in particular in the Seine-Saint-Denis department (93), as part of its “AdvancingCities” initiative.

Europe1 reports in an interview with Kyril Courboin, the French managing director of JP Morgan France, that the bank wants to invest a large part of its money in charities that counteract unemployment.

Unemployment is a major problem, especially in the Seine-Saint-Denis (93) region, as it is one of the poorest in France, bordering on Paris. Among others, clubs such as “Les Compagnons du Devoir“, “Simplon.co“, “Sport dans la Ville”, “l’AFMAe” will be supported with money. According to Businesswire, the aim is to improve the efficiency of clubs and to combat unemployment by providing training opportunities to local citiziens. The whole project is marketed as part of a social responsibility and anthropological investment. Nevertheless, the timing is remarkably good, since Paris will host the Olympic Games in 2024, which will take place to a large extent in the “93”.


Mumbai: Ein weiterer Meilenstein in Mumbais Metro-Projekt erreicht

Fake tunnel in the museum of mining in the german city of Bochum.

Die Vorderseite einer Tunnelbohrmaschine (TMB) in Seattle. Man gibt ihr auch den “The Mole”. (Foto by SoundTransit / CC by NC-ND 2.0)

Im Rahmen des “Underground Metro Project” der indischen Stadt Bombay wurde ein Meilenstein beim Bau der Metro (Linie 3) erreicht. Die Ankunft der 17. Tunnelbohrmaschine welche noch in den Boden verlegt werden muss, markiert den baldigen Beginn der Arbeiten. Diese werden von der “Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited” (MMRC) ausgeführt.

Dabei sollen die Maschinen planmäßig gleichzeitig einen 54 Kilometer langen Tunnel zwischen Colaba und Bandra Seepz bohren.

Insgesamt soll die erste unterirdische U-Bahn-Linie Bombays 33,5 Kilometer lang sein und bis 2021 fertiggestellt werden.

Die Metrolinie wird das Geschäftsviertel Cuffe Parade (Colaba) am südlichen Zipfel von Bombay mit der Sonderwirtschaftszone SEEPZ im Norden verbinden. Es sind 26 unterirdisch verlaufende Ubahn-Stationen, sowie eine Überirdische für diese Strecke in Planung.

(Symbolbild) Nachbau eines Tunnels im Bergbau Museum Bochum. Am Ende des Tunnels ist die Rückseite einer  TBM zu sehen. (Foto by Daniel Mennerich / CC by ND-NC 2.0)

Die Kosten für den Bau der unterirdischen Metro Linie werden auf 3,2 Milliarden Dollar geschätzt. Die Linie 3 soll auf eine Kapazität von 1,39 Millionen Fahrgästen pro Tag ausgelegt sein und 1,2 Kilometer unter dem Mithi-Fluss verlaufen. Mit der Verlegung der letzten Tunnelbohrmaschine von 17, welche in Tiefen von 25-30 Metern positioniert werden, gab MMRC bekannt, dass sie so bald wie möglich mit den Arbeiten beginnen möchten.

So sollen bereits 10,7 Kilometer gebohrt worden sein.  Ob sich das Unternehmen an seine Zeitvorgabe halten kann?