The presence of others who see what we see and hear what we hear assures us of the reality of the world and of ourselves.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Spotted by Locals #1 alias In Response to Greed

“There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.”
The real estate around downtown Hamburg is in some opinions some of the most expensive concrete you can walk on in Europe. Historically built around the harbour, Hamburg has greedily imbibed influences, ideas as well as investments arrived by the sea. However Gängeviertel is not necessarily a place where you share the footpath with suits and business types running late for networking lunches or glass towers and polished metal rods reaching towards the sky. 

It is a district of 12 buildings that was bought by developers to sit down on and wait for the real estate prices to rise. Except that before the desired rise the district was squatted by locals who in collaboration with city officials have engaged themselves in the development of the area. Overseen plenty of bad developments in the city, locals had by that time become suspicious of the power of money. In short time some of the spaces have been transformed to parks, hostels, people´s kitchens (known also as volksküchen) and galleries. If the project (and the engagement with city council) works, the whole area would in the future become an inner-city for artists: "Awarded be the "developers" who are not only interested in the profit, but also in the welfare of those living in the developments."

Spotted by Locals is a sequel of thoughts and observations that has occupied my mind since the last blog post.Through the eyes of the locals I try sense how living in cities and dealing with city life in society is seen, imagined but also intervened with.

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