Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies

GSZ Newsletter January 2017

Topics:***6th  Student Conference of GSZ***Call: Hartmut-Häußermann-Prize „Soziale Stadt“ 2017***Urban Change Talks 2017: Bologna - a Laboratory for Urban Commoning?***Bauhaus University Weimar: Symposium on rurban landscapes***Lecture and Discussion: Cities of Lights - Elektropolis Berlin***CHEurope: PhD – Training Programm***DIfU: Digitalisation and Industry 4.0***Exhibition: From department store to Tacheles***Think&Drink in January***

Interdisciplinary Student Conference at the Georg-Simmel-Center for Metropolitan Studies

At the forthcoming sixth GSZ student conference, a total of 24 theses from different disciplines will be discussed. Graduates from ten European universities will be presenting their work. Urban themes are subdivided as follows: (1) The Future City, (2) The Political City, (3) City of Technologies: Coping with Poverty, Informality and Illegalization, (4) Political Economy of Housing: Who builds the city?, (5) The Diverse City, (6) Planning Imaginaries. Whilst the empirical focus of the work submitted is  largely on Berlin, contributions concerned with  Beyoğlu, Philadelphia, London, Madrid, Taipei, Shanghai, Chicago, Teheran and other cities will be presented.

More detailed approaches are to be found:
(1) Works on the planning, implementation and quality of Walkability in urban quarters, special rights for car-sharing in road traffic regulations as a non-monetary support possibility, the potential upgrading of large housing estates with a view to economic and commercial tertiarisation and further views on the “Participant-Network-Theory” as a lucrative approach in the course of smart city research.
(2) The second sitting will address both government sponsored and creative upgrading processes, together with their economic and identity related contradictions and social structural implications. Further, instruments of direct democracy and the underlying formations of political constellations will be regarded and considered.
(3) Dealing with inequality is the subject of the third sitting. In particular contributions regarding documentation, definition and differentiation of forms of poverty , the importance of informal economies and the accompanying stigma, negotiation processes regarding migrant illegality and their entitlement to basic social services and the concepts and strategies of „home“ in the face of a new mobility paradigm.
(4) The housing sector will be considered on the basis of studies on housing associations as decisive players in urban development, diversity and the potential for civic housing developers as a third way, aside from state and market pressures, experimental, participative social housing construction and social displacement as a result of intensive modernization and refurbishing of period piece and older buildings.
(5) Urban diversity will be considered in view of anti-racist up-bringing, state schools and public libraries as areas of diverse social contact and heteronormative exclusion taking place in the urban environment.
(6) Last but not least, the tendencies and findings of planning on the basis of contributions from prestigious reproduction of power structures, post-metropolitan urban development, mover and shaker expectations and motivation regarding creative quarters and adaptation of western principles of urbanity in the setting of the Warsaw pact will be discussed.

As a final highlight, the Georg-Simmel-Prize for both best Bachelor- and Masterthesis of 2016 will be presented, before the conference reaches its conclusion with a glass of wine. We cordially invite all those interested in urban research to attend on 27.01.2017 . No prior registration is needed. For more detailed information please go to (in January):
For all further enquiries please e-mail Nina Margies and Stefania Animento at:

(Peter van Gielle Ruppe, Geographical Institute, Humboldt-University at Berlin)



Call: Hartmut-Häußermann-Prize „Soziale Stadt“ 2017
Deadline: 15/01/2017
In 2017 the Georg-Simmel-Center for Metropolitan Research awards for the first time the Hartmut-Häußermann-Prize “Soziale Stadt” for outstanding monographies (dissertation or post- doctoral papers) on social and cultural inclusion and exclusion in cities.



Urban Change Talks 2017:  Bologna - a Laboratory for Urban Commoning?
27.01.2017| 7 pm | Rudi-Dutschke-Straße 23, 10969 Berlin (taz Café)  In Bologna, a new legislation was adopted in 2014 to encourage residents to develop their city in the sense of the Urban Commons together with the city administration. The legislation, "Colaborare e Bologna", fills a legal gap, which allows the city administration to work unbureaucratically with individuals and organizations from different sectors. Prof. Christian Iaione, Rome (input), Giovanni Ginocchini, Bologna, Marco Clausen, Berlin, and other guests in conversation with Dr. Martin Schwegmann, Berlin. Please register at



Bauhaus University Weimar: Symposium on rurban landscapes
Deadline:  26/01/2017
The Institute for European Urban Studies of the Bauhaus University Weimar invites scholars and designers to contribute to the upcoming symposium on “Rurban landscapes” in June 2017. The conference’s focus lies on future perspectives on the rural in an urbanized world.



Lecture and Discussion: Cities of Lights - Elektropolis Berlin
25/01/2017 | 7.30pm - 9.30 pm
The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation hosts a lecture and discussion by Helmut M. Bien on light spectacles in cities from its beginnings in the late 19th century. The lecture introduces the development of these urban events, the merging of culture and technology and looks to the future potential of the Elektropolis Berlin.



CHEurope: PhD – Training Programm
Deadline: 16/01/2017
Starting from April 2017 the Center for Critical Heritage Studies offers 15 PhD-positions in the Project CHEurope located at different universities in Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and the U.K. The program is based on themes where cultural heritage is undergoing profound change, such as Heritage Futures, Curating the City, Digital Heritage, Heritage and Wellbeing, Management and Citizen Participation.



DIfU: Digitalisation and Industry 4.0
18/01/2017 | 5 pm
The German Institute for Urban Studies hosts a talk on “Digitalisation and Industry 4.0 – Chances for location development and urban development plans?” The event’s focus lies on arising challenges for municipalities, conflicts of use and the potentials for a so called “Berlin Mix 2.0”.



Exhibition: From department store to Tacheles
until 04/04/2017 | Tu – Fr: 9am – 5.30pm, Sa - Su 10am – 6 pm
The Technology museum of Berlin shows original photographs of the Friedrichstraßen –Passage (today’s Tacheles) documenting the building process in 1908. The arcade was one of the last big passages in Europe and became famous for its particular construction.



Think&Drink in January
on mondays | 6-8pm
The following scholars give a talk in the January - Think&Drink Kolloquium of GSZ and the Department for Urban and Regional Sociology: 09/01: Hanna Hilbrandt (IRS Erkner), 16/01:  Prof. em. Margit Mayer (FU Berlin),  Prof. Håkan Thörn und Dr- Catharina Thörn (Universität Götheburg)  and 23/01: Prof. Marisol García Cabez.