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„Berlin is Berlin is Berlin: whose urban development?“

Summer School "Metropolitan Studies" from August 17-28, 2009 at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

“Berlin is a haunted city”. History and remembrances cleave to the physical settings of events. Every place in Berlin has a story to tell and yet, this capital is one of the most open to continuous changes and regenerations challenging the present and the past. This city, bombarded by different ideologies, ideas, trends, has never offered a unique picture but rather a fascinating complex structure in fieri. It has changed several times in rapid ways, due to political history throughout the past 100 years until today, expanding, growing, destroying, shrinking or regenerating by plans or programmes intended or calculated.

“Berlin is Berlin is Berlin” tells about the multifaceted structure and the multiple perspectives adopted in observing this city. It questions the forces, the ideals, the interests and the Zeitgeist that has lead and leads to its transformations, turning Berlin - as popular media often picture it - into one of the most thriving and lively cities in Europe.

The Summer School is aimed at MA-students, postgraduates and PhD candidates from foreign countries and Germany. The concept of the Summer School is to explore controversial aspects such as historical evidence vs. cultural-technological revolutions, creative clusters vs. spontaneous forms of social creativity, the innovative institutional public policies and social practices, image production of the city between the global stage of socio-economic system and the creation of new local paradigms for urban development. But what is the role of people living in this city within this scenario? Whose urban development is it?

With the participation of professors, researchers, and activists in social, political, urban, and economy fields, the course will study the intertwined visions of Berlin’s urban challenges looking at different concepts of urban developments. Readings, site visits, urban explorations, interviews with stakeholders and media will support lectures and debates. The participants will be invited to draft a report, and essay on a specific topic discussed over the Summer School, taking advantage of different forms of media according to the individual interests.

The International Summer School "Metropolitan Studies" is a program jointly organized by the International Office at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies. In addition to the academic lessons the International Office organizes a cultural programme. Successful participation will be awarded with a certificate and ECTS credit points.

Further information:

Mr. Pierre Steuer
Tel.: (030) 2093-2705