grenzgeografien - informal planning in conditions of urban conflict
08.10.03, 7 - 10 pm

im Rahmen der Ausstellung "Learning from - Städte von Welt, Phantasmen der Zivilgesellschaft, informelle Organisation", 13. September bis 17. Oktober 2003; Kooperation: Universität der Künste Berlin und and the AG Learning from*

The symposium has been made possible by the Allianz Cultural Foundation and supported by the following organisations: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung BpB, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst DAAD, Arthur Goldreich Foundation Jerusalem.

The intensity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict of the last decades has transformed East Jerusalem into a laboratory of the extremes. Formal and informal forces of urban change have become part of a complex and inextricable urban system: Western-oriented instruments of planning have been drafted in to cement the imposed unity and population balance of the city through planning constraints, the construction of settlements, roads and most recently the separation wall. Outside planning, a complex shadow city has emerged that escapes the persistent attempts of official control through perseverance, inventiveness and sheer scale. Here, the inhabitants have learned to utilize limited economic and spatial resources to maximum efficiency fusing the traditional interrelationship between social and spatial networks with contemporary building techniques and construction processes. The emerging informal house is a microcosm, which embodies political, social, economic conflicts and cultural traditions in Jerusalem at large.

Within a difficult political context, a trilateral team of Palestinian, Israeli and German architects and architectural students has analysed patterns and principles within informal housing developments in East Jerusalem. Can we discover innovative potential within urban development that emerges within a quasi war-like situation? Can existing networks, systems and practices inform a more forward looking urban planning strategy for Jerusalem? What instruments do we need in order to initiate and steer such a development? During the symposium the first results of the Jerusalem field-work will be presented and discussed in relation to recent research on informal housing worldwide.

The symposium will begin with a series of short lectures followed by a panel discussion in English:

30-minute lectures:
Formality and Informality in the context of urban conflict in Jerusalem
Grenzgeografien ˆ geographies of conflict‚ is a German-Israeli-Palestinian co-operation of the University of Arts Berlin, the International Peace and Cooperation Centre Jerusalem and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem

Informal construction in Mexiko, Usbekistan, Türkei
Eckhart Ribbeck, University of Stuttgart

Informal housing and the role of architects ˆ pilot studies in Damascus, Phnom Pen and South Africa
Iris Gleichmann, Office for Environmental Planning and Urban Development (B.U.S.) Dresden

podium discussion:
The speakers will be joined by members of AG Learning from*,
Prof. Herrle (TU Berlin), Jesko Fezer (Hier entsteht/ ErsatzStadt), studio Urban Catalyst, Kyong Park (New York) and others. The discussion will be moderated by Susanne Schindler (Arch+ Berlin).