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Dubai: Wonder of the World in Crisis

The turbo pace of urban design in Dubai has slackened since autumn 2008. Real estate business is grinding to a halt. Foreign construction workers and experts are losing their jobs. The flaws of the social and economic Über-Orient are being exposed through the crisis.

Authors 
Harald Bodenschatz

Along the main street of the new Dubai, an elevated track of the Metro is being constructed. In the background, the tallest building in the world reaches for the most often hazy skies: Burj Dubai.

After years of continuing reports from Dubai on architectural records being broken and new wonders of the world being built, the Western news media now rushes to announce the failure of a hypertrophic urban vision. The New York Times sees Dubai’s economy “in free fall” (02.12.2009), the Guardian speaks of a crisis of the “shrine to unbridled capitalism” (02.13.2009) and the Independent looks behind “the dark side of Dubai” (04.02.2009). The German-speaking press also was quick to proclaim Dubai’s imminent demise, for example, the Berliner Tagesspiegel, on the occasion of an exhibition of the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Künste [New Society for Fine Arts] on social exclusion, called Dubai an “image without content” (03.22.2009), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung proclaimed a “flight from paradise” (05.02.2009), and the Stern commented, “Dubai tightens its belt” (05.13.2009). Haven’t we always suspected this would happen? The model of Dubai is yesterday’s news, the bubble Dubai has burst. The moment of the crash can be determined precisely: September 2008. After this moment the constant increase in real estate prices collapsed. Whoever reads sources about Dubai from before and after September 2008 feels he has to rub his eyes in disbelief: Are we really talking about the same city? The bright language about a permanently accelerating record and project spiral abruptly fell silent. Is the mocking discourse of failure now, however, not as premature as the blind exultation of the fairy tale city before?

Radical Radial! – Re-Urbanisation of main streets.

Article from the book: Bridging Urbanities.

Authors 
Aljoscha Hofmann

Bridging Urbanities<br>&copy; LIT Verlag, Berlin.Abstract
This paper introduces “Radikal Radial!” (“Radical Radial!”), a joint-proposal by the initiative Think Berl!n, a group of young architects, planners and scientists from the TU Berlin, founded in 2009 by Aljoscha Hofmann, Cordelia Polinna, Jana Richter and Johanna Schlaack, Prof. Harald Bodenschatz (TU Berlin, Gruppe DASS) and the urban design consultancy Machleidt + Partner . In winter 2010 a discussion about a new international building exhibition for Berlin began, during the course of which a number of different ideas have been voiced by diverse players, such as the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Berlin Green Party. “Radical Radial!” proposes to re-urbanise the radial main streets, running from the historic city centre into the neighbouring state of Brandenburg.

Bridging Urbanities

Reflections on Urban Design in Shanghai and Berlin

&copy;LIT VerlagUrban Design, as it is taught and practiced today, is much more than "just" designing cities. It is about understanding processes and mechanism influencing the city and its inhabitants.

This publication offers an oversight of a wide variety of topics that are relevant when discussing Urban Design in Berlin and Shanghai; topics reflecting what has taken place and what has been produced within the last five years of the Dual Urban Design Master Program between the two metropolis of Shanghai and Berlin. It offers a unique mixture of articles produced by high ranked professionals and academics as well as by new-comers within the field.

 
The book features amongst others the articles:
The Reinvention of Urban Design in 1956 in the USA and 100 Years and More of Urban Design at TU Berlin by Harald Bodenschatz and
Radical Radial! Re-Urbanisation of Main Streets by Aljoscha Hofmann
 
Bettina Bauerfeind, Josefine Fokdal (Eds.)
Bridging Urbanities
Reflections on Urban Design in Shanghai and Berlin
Reihe: HABITAT - INTERNATIONAL: Schriften der Habitat Unit, Fakultät VI Planen Bauen Umwelt der TU Berlin
Bd. 17, 2011, 160 S., 24.90 EUR, br.
ISBN 978-3-643-90131-6

100 Years and More of Urban Design at TU Berlin

Article from the book: Bridging Urbanities.

Authors 
Harald Bodenschatz

Bridging Urbanities<br>&copy; LIT Verlag, Berlin.Five years ago, in 2006, the new Urban Design master programme started at the Technical University of Berlin. Urban design is therefore - you may mistakenly conclude - a relatively new discipline at the Technical University. Urban design has in fact been an issue since 1799 when the so-called Bauakademie, the Academy of Architecture and progenitor of the later Technical University, was founded. Professors teaching at the Technical University of Berlin have shaped urban design in Germany over the last 100 years. In the following, I will discuss few impulses which have influenced urban design at TU Berlin.

The Reinvention of Urban Design in 1965 in the USA.

Article from the book: Bridging Urbanities.

Authors 
Harald Bodenschatz

Bridging Urbanities<br>&copy; LIT Verlag, Berlin. "Five years ago, in 2006, a new master course was launched at the Faculty for Planning Building and Environment of the Berlin University of Technology: Urban Design. This course was unique in as much as it was not based on an existing course of studies. What was the background to this decision?

55 years ago, in 1956, a historically renowned conference was held at the Harvard University Graduate school of Design. Its theme was urban design, and it played a significant role in establishing the field in the academic landscape under that name. The impetus for the conference came from José Luis Sert, Dean of the Graduate School of Design. Sert had good reasons for such a venture. Through a careful renewal of the discipline, he wanted to carefully reinvigorate CIAM, an organisation of which he was a leading member and that was being challenged by Team 10 in Europe at the time. He also wanted to provide an orientation for the foreseeable post-war urban restructuring. Apart from Sert, the conference participants included Richard Neutra, Victor Gruen, Lewis Mumford, Jane Jacobs and Ed Bacon. A review of the conference was documented in a themed issue of the Harvard Design Magazine, published in spring 2006." ...

Urbanization and Suburbanization

Assumptions about the future of European Urban Regions

Authors 
Harald Bodenschatz

The renaissance of the city is a hot topic in Europe. But what does the term renaissance mean? Generally it designates the renaissance of the inner city, the complex, mixed used inner city. The term renaissance is often applied to the city center only. Is such a perception appropriate? Does it mean that suburbanization is in decline? I assume that European cities have turned into urban regions which will change drastically in the future.

CITY VISIONS 1910|2010

Berlin Paris London Chicago, 100 years General Urban Design Exhibition in Berlin (»Allgemeine Städtebau-Ausstellung in Berlin«)

Authors 
Aljoscha Hofmann
Authors 
Harald Bodenschatz

Albert Gessner (1868-1953)<br>Wettbewerb Groß-Berlin 1910.<br>Von der Südbahnhofstraße zum Müggelsee<br>Architekturmuseum der TU Berlin<br>Inv. Nr. 8014In autumn 2010, just in time for the 100th anniversary of the »General Urban Design Exhibition Berlin 1910« the Berlin University of Technology (TU) will show the exhibition CITY VISIONS 1910|2010. The exhibition CITY VISIONS 1910|2010 is a pilot project of the initiative »National Urban Development Policy« by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development as well as a contribution of the TU Berlin to the »Berlin Year of Science 2010«. Initiators of the project are Harald Bodenschatz and Hans-Dieter Nägelke (TU Berlin) in cooperation with Harald Kegler (Bauhaus University Weimar) and Wolfgang Sonne (TU Dortmund). Christina Gräwe, who has worked at the German Museum of Architecture in Frankfurt am Main and has curated the latest exhibition about Martin Elsaesser, will curate CITY VISIONS 1910|2010.

The German capital Berlin is known, today as well as 100 years ago, as a laboratory to test new visions and ways of urban design. By means of the urban design exhibition in 1910 Berlin for the first time successfully compared itself with the great metropolises in Europe and the USA. The task then was to find answers to the challenges of an ever faster growing city of the industrial age. Today, 100 years later, Berlin presents itself again with an international view. Now as a model metropolis in the post-industrial society in the context of climate change.

CITY VISIONS 1910|2010 shows Berlin as a centre of competence for urban design yesterday (1910) and today (2010). The exhibition will not only show a choice of the great plans from 1910 but present, recent and future projects of urban design for Berlin. As well as in 1910, ideas and visions of other remarkable cities will be depicted: Paris, London and Chicago.

Dubai: Wonder of the World in Crisis

Authors 
Harald Bodenschatz

Hotel Atlantis in Dubai<br>&copy; Harald BodenschatzThe turbo pace of urban design in Dubai has slackened since autumn 2008. Real estate business is grinding to a halt. Foreign construction workers and experts are losing their jobs. The flaws of the social and economic Über-Orient are being exposed through the crisis.

After years of continuing reports from Dubai on architectural records being broken and new wonders of the world being built, the Western news media now rushes to announce the failure of a hypertrophic urban vision. The New York Times sees Dubai’s economy “in free fall” (02.12.2009), the Guardian speaks of a crisis of the “shrine to unbridled capitalism” (02.13.2009) and the Independent looks behind “the dark side of Dubai”  (04.02.2009).

The City Has a Future

Authors 
Harald Bodenschatz

Published on the site of the Goethe Institute.

The city is back on the agenda of the chattering classes - not just in science and culture, but also in the press. There is talk of an 'urban renaissance', of a 'triumph of the city' even.

There are also unmistakable signs of well-heeled social groups returning to the city centres as workers, shoppers, residents and visitors. New pedestrian-friendly, attractive public spaces are becoming adventure zones, offering a stage to 'creative types'.