Storying Urban Movements: 100% Tempelhofer Feld

Urban research / Institute of European Urbanism, Leibniz Institute of Regional Geography

From the closure of Tempelhofer Airport and the field in 2008 till 2014, the field’s opening to public use was a subject of an extensive urban movement that comprised demonstrations, protests, squats, workshops, panels, petitions campaigns and a referendum 2014. A wide range of Berlin residents had been involved in different parts of these urban movements. They demanded democratic decision-making over green space and heritage areas and the preservation of surrounding neighbourhoods from possible gentrification waves. As a result, Tempelhofer Feld is an open urban space for the use of Berliners today and protected by a public law constituted by a regional referendum.

This analysis focused on these urban movements’ story covers the long years of public participation on various levels and its result. It questions how it is narrated and interpreted as an urban heritage by two actor groups involved: citizen initiatives and city officials. Representation and communication via online channels take a vital part in transmitting and narrating meanings in heritage discourse. Citizen blogs and websites are used by the selected stakeholder groups as channels of representation and communication during the Tempelhofer Feld struggle and after the decision. Through narrative analysis, the research focused on the role of these blogs’ and websites’ present pages and archives in an ongoing heritage disagreement.

The analysis also aims to draw new questions regarding the urban heritage as both a source and result of conflicts and stakeholders’ role as producers of narratives of urban heritage. Research is conducted as a guest researcher at Leibniz Institute of Regional Geography with the supervision of Jun.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Zupan and Dr. Lela Rekhviashvili

Presented at

Internal Colloquium Series, Leibniz Research Institute, Leipzig, Germany, Jan 2021
Guided Research Project Colloquium, Bauhaus University Weimar, April 2021