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Participatory idea study on the design of public space in the context of the IBA Thuringia

Team: Christine Bock, Jan Dubsky, Melanie Humann, Janin Walter

Role: project lead for URBAN CATALYST

Client: IBA Thuringia

"Intermediate space to arrive" combines current dynamics and burning issues of urban development. It deals with the integration of refugees, the activation of brownfield sites, participation, new work and the common good, neighborhoods and the question of how a place can gradually develop from the densification of projects. In contrast to conventional urban development planning, the focus here is not on a plan drawn up by experts, but on the development of a long-term idea for the location based on practical use. 

The aim of the idea study was to record the qualities and deficiencies of the neighborhood together with the residents through intensive engagement with the subspaces and to gain and test a feeling for future possible uses, as well as to sound out the functional classification of the intermediate space in the regional and urban context. This is because future development requires flexible usage options that can change over time. 

Therefore, the process of testing and transforming will be more important than a rigid plan. The main focus of the idea study is the process of appropriation, the definition of the subspaces and the use as well as the organization of the operation in the respective phases. It is the central product into which the various results flow: the documentation of the workshop results, the functional classification in the regional and urban context, visions, ideas and potentials, focal points for action and a roadmap for the further planning process. 

Together with around fifty new arrivals and residents from Beulwitz and Saalfeld, the existing qualities and conflicts of the "Beulwitzer Straße" residential area were identified and a look was taken at the future uses of the area. The Urban Catalyst team acted as instigator, initiator and experimenter. As a participating observer, UC also gained an overview of the characteristics of the sub-areas, which user groups appropriate the location and what dynamics exist between them.

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