Review of Innen.Stadt.Leben. #4
Social sustainability in cities

We often forget that urban sustainability is social as well as ecological. What does this mean? What is the 15-minute city? How might a mobility transition work? How can we recover more public spaces or affordable housing in the city – or old and young people? Do we need new or better social services?

At the fourth edition of the Lab Talk series “Innen.Stadt.Leben.”, which we launched with and at Aedes Network Campus Berlin (ANCB), the panel discussion on May 5, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. focused on social sustainability in cities.

The crisis of retail spaces, evident from empty ground floors and deserted upper stories, is calling into question the outdated model of monofunctional streetscapes, pedestrian zones, and depopulated city centers. The effects of the digital transformation of retail and of the work and experience society on the city center were intensified by the pandemic. The search for methods for (re)vitalizing the city centers or preventing their devastation is complex. The mobility transition and the urgent imperative to practice consistently sustainable building are at least as relevant as, for example, digitization. It isn’t just a question of architecture and urban planning. It’s a duty to society as a whole. Significant approaches to the problem include the transformation and mixed use of buildings in the city center as well as the creation of more public (meeting) places. Living, working, infrastructure, retail, culture, and leisure must be recombined in a future-ready – meaning sustainable – symbiosis.

“Innen.Stadt.Leben.” is a joint event series organized by ANCB and caspar., the architectural firm founded in 2004 by Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer. His book “Retail in Transition” (2021, JOVIS) serves as a starting point for four discussions involving representatives from different sectors, each with a different perspective on a problem that can be resolved only by visualizing and harmonizing as many approaches as possible.

Photos: © Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk

About „Innen.Stadt.Leben.“

About „Retail in Transition“