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Access for All

Access for All

Approaches to the Built Environment
Wolfgang Christ (Ed.)

With a Foreword by Thomas Sieverts sirkrauser

Basel soston Berlin
Thisbook has been kindly supported by Schindler the
ElevatorCompany and aauhaus-untversltat Weimar.

Graphic design
Miriam Bussmann, Berlin

Translation into English

all texts exceptfor contributions by Jonas Hughes, John Thompson /
Andreas von Zadow andAnna Rose / Tim Stonor:
Julian Reisenberger, Weimar

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(ISBN 978-3-0346-0080-4)

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available on the Internetat Partof Springer sclence-suslness Media

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Table of Contents

Thomas Sieverts 8

Wolfgang Christ 10

Elevation -
A cultural history of the elevator
Jeannot Simmen 16

Megamobility -
Technology for the individual in the urbanised world
Jonas Hughes 30

Cooperation -
Urban planning is a community project
John Thompson / Andreas von Zadow 44

Variety -
The Siidstadt in Tiibingen as a model for the city
Cord Soehlke 62

Planning urban accessibility
Anna Rose / Tim Stonor.. 78

Image -
The imaginary as an instrument of urban and regional planning
Wolfgang Christ 94

Practice -
Reducing barriers
Susanne Edinger 112

Everyday life -
Normalisation breeds discrimination
Tobias Reinhard 120

Public utility -
Car sharing as a complementary means of urban mobility
Willi Loose 134

Reflection -
Philosophy for everyone?
Gernot Bbhme 144

Internet -
Digital inclusion for everyone regardless of their abilities
Jutta Croll 158

Competition -
The Schindler Award and the culture of education
Thomas Sieverts 170

The Authors 181
Illustration credits 184
Thomas Sieverts

Access for All - a comprehensive design tion. The battle to improve means of physical
programme access, such as ramps and lifts, to establish
home s and schools for particular kinds of dis-
It is a basic human right for people with physi- abilities, and to end the discrimination of dis-
cal or cognitive impairments to participate in abled people in the housing market ha s opened
social life. Neverthele ss, access to the built en- up a wider per specti ve of possible improve-
vironment is still not a matter of course. We are ments and set its sights on a much broader no-
still far from achieving Access for All as an ev- tion of what constitutes quality of life: a new
eryday quality of the design of our environment, culture in which all people - regardles s of their
although the path to achieving th is aim has be- abilities or disabilities - should have equal op-
come clearer. The first advances were made al- portunity not just to access the built environ-
most half a century ago with a gradual shift ment but also to experience it fully.
away from the prevailing practice of segregating The issue of "access" has since become a
the physically and mentally handicapped from mainstream concern . General recepti veness to-
the rest of society. It began with the building of wards the issue has increased, fuelled by an
special care home s and special need s schools awareness that, as life expectancy increases,
followed later by the installation of technical the probability that a normal-abled person may
aids to overcome barriers in the home and ur- suffer from one or more disabilities in old age
ban environment and more recently the intro- has increa sed drastically, particularly with re-
duction of integrative mea sures in schools and gard to cognitive faculties as one 's senses be-
at the workplace. Despite this progress, disabled come impaired. We are all called upon to shape
people still face numerous difficulties.The basic the architecture and urban design of our built
human right s of people with handicaps are still environment from the house to the city as a
far from being fully realised, and mu ch still network of diverse spaces with particular qual-
needs to be put into practic e. ities that are generally accessible for everyone ,
Over the last few decade s, more widespread without according certain individuals or group s
prosperity and tireless camp aigning for policy any special status. If we are able to compre-
reforms by the various disabled interest groups hend architecture as a medium for accessing
ha ve raised awareness of accessibilit y aims and and experiencing indoor and outdoor spaces
successfully pushed forward their implementa- with all the senses, we can look forward to a

much more diverse built environment than we ever, this is not just about "access" in conven-
know today. tional terms; it encompasses a wider under-
Ninety years after the founding of the Bau- standing of accessibility, for example with
haus, this challenges the dominance of classical regard to accessing the Internet.
modernism: the typical image of abstract, white, The collection of essays in this book offers
rectangular architectural compositions of light insights into new directions in ongoing efforts
and shadows was an understandable and wide- to fully integrate people with different and/or
ranging answer to the excesses of ornamental- restricted abilities. The challenge is to develop
ism and the dark interiors of 19th century homes. architecture and urban neighbourhoods that
At the same time, modernism's credo of rigor- relate specifically to the physical characteristics
ous functional separation and the radical opti- of people and their senses, with the aim of es-
misation of the individual functions stripped tablishing a kind of "resonance" between man
the environment of sensory richness. and his environment. It is about finding an ap-
By contrast, the principle of Access for AIl propriate spatial and architectural expression
embraces an extended notion of access to our for the ethical norms of equality.
environment, one that engages all our senses.
The integration of people with different abilities
in a built environment that is open for everyone
to use and experience, leads to the development
of unusual design approaches that can be invit-
ing and appealing for people of all age groups
and abilities. As a result, everything that is de-
vised and realised for these groups of people
benefits the quality of the environment as a
whole, creating stimulating spaces for "normal"
citizens too. Children and young people, who
have ever fewer opportunities for physical and
sensory experiences as a result of the complete
commercialisation of the city, will benefit par-
ticularly and directly from Access for AIL How-
Wolfgang Christ

For more than half a century, access to the built built environment is not just about the oppor-
environment has been associated with disabil- tunity to take part, on their own terms, in the
ity. Barriers have been identified and pro- plethora of options available in the urban realm,
grammes of action put in place for their remov- rather this access is a matter of existential ne-
al. What began as a minority group 's campaign cessity.
for greater assistance and recognition has de- The essays make it clear that a categorical
veloped into a civil rights movement. Specific demand for access "for all" will have significant
building norms and design standards testify to implications, not least for the future role of ar-
the progress made and herald the gradual end chitecture. It is foreseeable that architecture will
of discrimination in the housing and employ- have to fundamentally reappraise its very self-
ment markets, in the public realm, in modes of conception. In future, it will not be sufficient for
transport or in the handling of everyday objects. architecture to be merely "free of' barriers to ac-
A laborious process is underway characterised cess. As a place , enclosure and medium in space,
by terms such as rehabilitation, equal opportun- architecture will have to shed its passive role
ities and quality oflife. In the built environment, and actively support accessibility. Barrier-free
the solution to the problem of access is the building is a first stage, the training ground as it
eradication of barriers - for the disabled. were, for a new conception of architecture as an
This book takes a broader look at this issue. architecture of access for everyone .
It proposes a new way of seeing and puts for- Access for All - Approaches to the Built Envir-
ward arguments for a paradigm shift in archi- onment builds on international discourse on hu-
tecture where access is recognised as a struc- man rights, accessible building and products
tural challenge in the urbanised world of the and services for the physically or mentally han-
21st century. Today, access is a problem we all dicapped. Keywords such as Universal Design, De-
face and it has as many different facets and sign for All or Build for All 1 characterise the cur-
contradictions as the environment in which we rent state of developments that first begun in
live.The authors of this book examine this issue the 1950s.The following represents a quick over-
from a broad spectrum of different perspectives, view of key milestones of this process :
reflecting on this experience from their respec- After the end of the Second World War, the
tive professional backgrounds. For people who USA was faced with the challenge of integrating
live with some form of handicap, access to the thousands of invalid soldiers into employment

1 AG Angewandte Geographie/EDAD e.V. (ed.): Von Barriere- 3 .del

tteibeitzum Design fur Aile - Erfahrungen aus Forschungund rezensionen/2007-4-025.
Praxis, MOnster 2007. 4 AGAngewandte Geographie/EDAD e.V.: lac. cit.
2 ud/udhistory.htm 5
Center for Universal Design, College of Design, 6 AG Angewandte Geographie/EDAD e.V. : lac. cit.
NorthCarolina State university.

and education. This marked the first systematic strated by example its model qualities by initi-
research into and subsequent development of ating the "city for everybody" as an official pro-
assistive technology. In 1961 the first standards gramme, which it has begun to implement step
for barrier-free building were published, but it by step."
was not until 1991, 30 years later, that the In 2003, the European Council proclaimed
"Standards for Accessible Design" were imple- the European Year of Persons with Disabilities
mented as enforceable legislation. Civil rights and with it provides the impetus for the Access
for the disabled were first established in 1973 in for AII student competition awarded by Schin-
the form of anti-discrimination laws, which dler Holding Ltd., a Europe-wide competition
came into force in 1977.2 that takes place every two years."
In Germany, the 1970s were regarded as the This chronology of progress in the field
decade of rehabilitation.' Building norms for shows that even in highly-developed, indus-
the severely handicapped and wheelchair users trialised nations with democratic constitutions,
were issued as well as planning guidelines for it has still taken two generations to achieve so-
the disabled and elderly in the public realm. cietal recognition for what are essentially
In 1977, the European Council passed a straightforward and self-evident qualities of life
resolution for the adaptation of housing and its - for example, physical and legal accessibility -
immediate surroundings to the needs of the and to take appropriate action. However, we are
disabled. In 1981, the United Nations proclaimed still far from achieving Access for All! Rather,
the first ever International Year of Disabled Per- exceptions are more the rule. The fact that cities
sons under the motto FuII participation and are able to actively advertise their accessibility
equality. In 1981, the exhibition Designs for In- credentials - for example Illingen in Saarland,
dependent Living opened at the Museum of Germany, or Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg,
Modern Art in New York, heralding an aware- the latter being the first town in Europe to have
ness of the legitimate market potential of peo- established an "accessibility plan"- makes the
ple with restricted abilities. In 1993, the UNO general dilemma painfully apparent. 6
proclaimed the 3rd December to be the annual Access does not enjoy the status of a soci-
International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In etal, economic, technical and cultural principle
1995, the Barcelona Declaration was agreed, af- in the same way as sustainability currently does.
ter which the Catalonian capital city demon- Compared with Universal Design, Green Building
12 wolfgangChrist

is currently having a far more direct and wide- were filled with a desire to find "absolute form".
ranging effect on building and planning legisla- Instead of relying on convention, they relied on
tion' the building and property markets or en- research. Their vision of a new architecture and
ergy and consumer goods industries. 7 a "city of machines and vehicles" as well as their
A possible explanation for the compara- "pursuit of ever more daring artistic means to
tively rapid implementation of sustainability for overcome the effect and appearance of gravity",
all- which started with the Agenda 21 summit served as inspiration for people around the
in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and now benefits from world who wanted to build a new and better
worldwide market promotion by organisations world: for everyone!
such as the US Green Building Council - could The programme of the Bauhaus skilfully
lie in the fact that the protagonists have been translated the fundamental principles of tech-
able to integrate "green" standards as an imma- nical civilisation - division of labour, rationali-
nent part of the system, both in the economic sation' scientific methodology and media orien-
and technical culture of modernism as well as tation - to the teaching and practice of architec-
in respective lifestyle milieus. Although sustain- ture. Their declared intent to get to the root of
able development is a vitally necessary conse- things, to construct them so that they finally
quence of the unrestricted consumption of re- work "properly", to "free them from their respec-
sources and the destruction of natural living tive individual limitations and to raise them to
conditions, it also seems that people are obvi- the level of objective design" remains, in princi-
ously convinced that the forces that brought ple, true to the present day. Nevertheless: the
about this problem will also be able to success- original promise of International Architecture
fully resolve it. to develop buildings "shaped by internal laws
Access for AII can only learn from this: a without lies and games'" was not able to append
successful implementation strategy will ac- a clause to those "internal laws" grounded on
cordingly have to do all it can to im plant the instrumentalised reason and the primacy of
issue of accessibility as the next step forward in progress, that anchors the right of all people to
the canons of modernism - and with it leave a use and access their environment and the build-
lasting impression! ings within, independently and on their own
In 2009, Weimar celebrated the 90 anni- terms, regardless of physical or mental ability.
versary of the founding of the Bauhaus. The pro- Despite the ongoing hotly contested and
tagonists of modernism led by Walter Gropius controversial debate surrounding the Bauhaus

7 9
8 WalterGropius, Internationale Architektur, Mainzand Berlin Center for Universal Design, College of Design,
1981. North Carolina State University.
Introduction 13

Style, the aesthetics of modernism can be con- Mobility has taken on the character of work
ferred to architectural history. Not so, however, and necessity. Those who commute on a daily
its structural principles with regard to construc- basis speak of lost time. Wealth and individu-
tion and urban space, which to date have lost alisation are slowly but surely loosening per-
little of their power. It is here that industrial so- sonal relationships with place, with one's neigh-
ciety, despite the fact that it brought forth a wel- bourhood, within the family as well as one's
fare state, proves to be ambivalent when it social class. The divide between young and old,
comes to the question of how much access it rich and poor, and children and parents also
provides to the built environment. On the one takes on spatial dimensions that become ever
hand, it aims to create - potentially for everyone more difficult to casually cross. Not everyone
- previously unimaginable rights and opportuni- can come to terms with the speed of modern-
ties of access by helping the vast majority of the ism. People who are less mobile become mar-
population to find adequate work and acquire ginalised. In a figurative way this can equally be
modest wealth, and by providing humane hous- applied to modern means of communication
ing, an abundance of goods, training and educa- and digital media. There is a clear divide be-
tion, participation in culture and religion, mo- tween those whose command of new media al-
bility and health care as well as a reliable en- lows them to integrate the potential of these
ergy supply and clean water. As such, people's technologies into their own work and everyday
hopes to be liberated from restrictions have lives and those who only passively consume the
been fulfilled. internet. But the greatest success of the modern
On the other hand, modernism was also way of life, comparatively speaking, is the im-
responsible for erecting new barriers - a fact mense increase in life expectancy. At the begin-
that can be attributed to its exceptional success ning of the 20th century in the USA, average life
- for example by appropriating the landscape as expectancy was around 50 years; at the begin-
a space for living outside of the city. As the sub- ning of the 21 st century, it is nearly 76 years.
urban way of life became more and more preval- 85% of people today will live beyond 65 years of
ent, so too grew the separation between living age. The number of 100-year-olds is expected to
and working, living and shopping, and city cen- rise from 60,000 in 2007 to 214,000 in the year
tre and suburbia. Landscape was consumed. 2020.9 As society as a whole grows increasingly
What started as suburbia for all has ended up older, handicaps will begin to be accepted as the
in the USA as sprawl. norm and people will take note of the barriers
14 wolfgang Christ

that they themselves have erected, directly or as we know it in Europe - must be designed con-
indirectly. textually if coexistence is to be characterised by
In the foreword to the 2nd edition of Inter- synergies rather than conflicts. Accordingly, as
nationaIe Architektur, published in 1927, Wal- living conditions become more urban, architec-
ter Gropius spoke of the "purpose of new build- ture and access enter into an ever closer rela-
ing as the design of life's processes." During the tionship.
era of the Bauhaus, this could only be brought In this book, the authors demonstrate ac-
about by dismantling complexity, "[...] through cess for all using current, prototypical examples.
the categorisation of all building elements ac- They show us which means of access to the
cording to the functions of the building, the built environment already exist today, which
street, the means of transport [and so on]." strategies have proven worthwhile and which
Today, we must come to a conclusion that measures are effective. We learn that access for
is diametrically opposed to the logic of func- all very often means more access for individu-
tionalist modernism and its insistence on "ob- als with special needs and expectations - for
jective design": in an age in which climatic example, when one wishes to reach one's desti-
change, demographic transformations, urbani- nation in the megacity as directly as possible;
sation and knowledge economies are the new when one wishes to help shape the quarter in
paradigms and in which the global population which one lives or with which one identifies;
is now three times what it was in the decade of when one wishes to have access to motorised
the founding of the Bauhaus - currently almost transport that one can share with others; when
7 billion people, a number that looks set to rise one wishes to discover the happiness of being
to 9 billion by 2050 - sustainable development with the help of great thinkers; when one wish-
is dependent on compact spatial constellations es to successively improve the comfort of every-
with a complex mix of functions. day living in small steps or when one wishes to
The success story of modernism is based hear with the eyes and see with the ears in vir-
on a rejection of the traditional city, which the tual space.
German urban designer Klaus Humpert has The series of issues and places in which
characterised as the "container city"" In the in- emerging access scenarios can be examined is,
dustrial age it was not possible to master com- of course, by no means exhaustive. Some impor-
plexity in a compact form. Complexity at close tant aspects are only touched upon or have not
quarters - a basic condition of the urban realm even been mentioned. A case in point is the im-

10 Klaus Humpert, Klaus Brenner, Sybille Becker, Fundamental 11 Jeremy Rifkin, The Ageof Access: The NewCulture of
Principles of Urban Growth, Wuppertal 2002. Hypercapitalism, Where all of Life is a Paid-For Experience,
New York 2000.
Introduction 15

pending tendency to afford access only to those offer and are willing to relinquish their basic
with sufficient privileges, that is to artificially property rights. This has to be interpreted as
restrict access in order to monetise the provi- a warning sign, as an attempt to escape from
sion of access. Jeremy Rifkin was one of the first the complexities and contradictions of urban
to point to this phenomenon in his book The Age civilisation.
of Access. One of his examples, described in the An architecture of access must, therefore,
chapter Access as a way of Iife,ll is the increasing seek to enlighten and connect and must com-
privatisation of residential quarters in the form prehend the built environment as an instru-
of Gated Communities, a phenomenon that is ment with which one can achieve the aims of
also becoming more widespread in Europe. freedom, sustainability and beauty for everyone
These turn access into a consumer product for in the 21st century.
those who can afford to buy into the lifestyle on


Elevation -
A cultural history of the elevator
Jeannot Simmen

The dream of conquering the vertical , of the lad-

der to heaven in Chris tian iconog ra phy, ha s be-
come te chnological reality in th e m odern day.
Th e eleva tor, our profan e an d terrestrial means
of ascension, overcomes gravity and lightens our
phys ical weight. However, the call for Access for
All still rem ains problematic with regard to the
vertical. Only with the help of mechanical aids
are we able to overcome the perpendicular,
whether with a ladder or a high speed elevator.'

Modern technological conveniences banish

fatigue and exhaustion

"Amerika ", a word evocative of promise and the

dream of a new life, was the title? of Franz Kaf-
ka 's unfinished novel in which h e des cribed the
strangeness of a world far away. The protago nis t ,
Karl Rossm ann, is "dispatch ed to America" by his
unfortunate parents "beca use a maid had se-
du ced him and had a child by him '? On arri ving Max Ernst, "Baudelaire rentre tard", 1922, drawing in ink.
in New York, th e you thful hero esp ies the m onu-
mental Statue of Liberty from th e ship and can- that is expected of lift boys and soon th e tips
not he lp but m utter "So high" . He stands in fron t come rolling in . However, a visit from a passing
of the high buildings in New York in wonder- acquaintance, Delamarche, forces him to aban-
ment, im agining how one needs an opera glass don his post causing him to transgress th e "ele-
to look down on the st reet from the balconies vator regulation s"." Fraught with bad luck and
above . Karl Rossmann soon finds a job in New sought by th e police, Rossmann seeks refuge in
York as a lift boy in a h otel. With in a week he is an acquaintance's upper floor apartment. "We
convin ced that he has found his bidding in th e are just ab ove," said Delamarche on ce while
service; he learns the art of a sh ort deep bow climbing the stairs, but his prediction didn 't
18 Jeannot Simmen

want to come true, again and again the stairs set

off in a new, imperceptibly different direction.
Karl stood still, not so much out of drowsiness
but out of helplessness again st the length of
these stairs. "The apartment is very high ," said
Delamarche as they went on again, "but that too
has its advantages.Youleave very seldom ,you 're
in a bathrobe all day,we live very comfortably. Of
course visitors never come this high."
The helplessness Frank Kafka describes Timber elevator cab, Lord & Taylor department store, New York,
when faced with stairs of such length accurately 1870; steam-powered lift by Otis with standing rope control.

portrays an affliction of modern society, that of

psychophysical exhaustion. Mechanical or visi- ern-day successor to the cathedral: "The office
ble injuries are not the cause but rather an invis- tower is capable of the highest artistic effect, but
ible affliction of the nerves . Neurosis is a part of it should only be permitted as a big exception
our body's defence mechanism for dealing with that appears once only in a cityscape, as a town
the new challenges of society" Kafka's "Amerika" hall or single central commercial building:' as-
depicts the European apprehension of the ver- serted Werner Hegemann.' In the metropolitan
tiginous heights of the new world. New York's cities of the world, the elevator was hailed as a
extreme heights represent a traumatic level of remedy: technology to counteract the hectic and
exertion for the gravity-accustomed body; with- mania of exhaustion. By 1880, the elevator had
out an elevator such heights hold the prospect become a facility that "all comfortably furnished
of fatigue and exhaustion as a consequence of hotels in larger cities have begun to introduce."
hectic life in the modern industrial city. Fatigue The process of adoption was nevertheless slow
appears to be "a threshold value for the individ- and protracted: the elevator was initially quite
ual's adaptive capacity to modern society, a hin- controversial; its technology was regarded as be-
drance that needs to be eradicated." ing ugly, it did not fit inside buildings and was
Until 1930, American skyscrapers were very expensive . It took decades for the elevator
known in Europe as "tower houses" and de- to be habitually adopted as a normal, modern
scribed as solitary monuments in the manner of and comfortable means of accessing first class
church spires . They were thought of as a mod- buildings.

1 The modernelevator in the then tallest building in the world, highest building in the world. It is due to be completed by
the Ta ipei 101 Center in Taiwan (508m), can travel at a speed December 2009.
of 50km/h and reaches the top in 37 seconds. At such 2 Franz Kafka published the first chapter in 1913under the
vertiginous heights "the strong winds ... cause the tower to title "Der Heizer. Ein Fragment" (Th e Stoker. A Fragment). In
sway backand forth. One has the sensation of being slightly 1927 Max Brodedited the text and gave it the title Amerika.
tipsy..." (Susanne Lenz, Berliner Zeitung, October 26, 2007). The alternative title "Der verschollene" (in different editions
Since March 2008, the Burj Dubai, measuring 818m, is the translated as The Missing Person or The Man Who Disap-
Elevation - A cultural history of the elevator 19

Lift mechanism versus entreeand stairs, paris, c. 1910; instal- Lift mechanism versus entree and stairs,Paris, c. 1910; instal-
lation in the open well of a staircase. lation in the openwell of a staircase.

While mechanical vertical transport made Ac- "h oistway" guided by rails or tracks. This fixed
cess for All a reality for the tired and exhausted "ch ann el" distinguishes elevators from other
residents of the city, it also had an effect on ar- means of conveyance, such as a crane, travelling
chitecture, in particular the ensemble of en - winch, cable car or ski lift.
trance lobby and staircase, once the calling card
of a building. The introduction of elevators into Three inventions that contributed to the
upper middle class residential buildings reignit- modern elevator
ed the conflict between the "Ecole des Beaux-
Arts " and the polytechnics, between the archi- In terms of historical development, three inven-
tects and the engineers. Ornate staircases found tions were responsible for the evolution of hoist-
themselves competing with a piece of technical ing cages or goods lifts into the modern passen-
equipment which at the time was regarded as ger elevator. These three inventions first made it
alien, mechanistic and ugly. The tra velling plat- possible to practically and comfortably reach
form, hoist and elevator represent the three the upper storeys of high -rise buildings.All these
technical stages of development for mechanical inventions were made in the second half of the
means of vertical elevation. Common to all three 19th century; two are German inventions, one
is that they transfer loads along a fixed channel. American.
The load travels along a predetermined path or

peared) was mentioned by Kafka in a letter to Felice Bauer 5 JeannotSimmen, Vertigo. Schwindel dermodernen Kunst,
datedNovember 11 ,191 2. Munich 1990, pp.11- 28: c.f.: Jeannot Simmen/Uwe Drepper:
3 Franz Kafka, Der verschollene, edited by J. Schillemeit, Frank- DerFahrstuhl. Die Geschichte der vertikalen Eroberung,
furt a. M. 1983, pp.7,289. Munich 1984, pp.57fl., 136fl., 220f.
4 The lift boy was"the lowest and most dispensable employee 6 Anson Rabinbach, The Human Motor: Energy, Fatigue, and
in the enormous hierarchy of the hotel's domestic staff", the Origins of Modernity, University of California Press, 1992.
Kafka, op.clt., p.21 3. Quote pp.187, 225fl. 7 Werner Hegemann, Amerikanische Architektur und Stadt-
baukunst, Berlin 1925, p.11.
8 Ibid.
20 Jeannot Simmen

f '\
f I

= ~ '
~ ,i
~! -:--
jill;''. )l?;\/h

1. Vertical automatic safety mechanism - Eli-

~! ',Ii j
.i r !
~' ,
sha Graves Otis

Elisha Graves Otis was neither an engineer nor a iI

-, I
, 1
h ~! \" D_ _

14 , q
I ;; , ,
wealthy industrialist but rather a typical Ameri- . I
. ';
can craftsman with a tale nt for tinkering . His
c:::::: t-
"V Li~(: ". . '7
invention was born out of an accident. After a I
S r-
:, '\
mishap with a goods lift, E. G. Otis was asked to
1- ': .,
[Ii; ~
build a more safe device for vertical transport. c ~ -, 1
Elisha Graves Otis demon- What later proved to be his pioneering invention o~ ~ ..,'7
strating his free fall braking was the developmen t of a special gravity braking i ~
system in Crysta l palace, New
Yo rk,1854.
system that prevented the fall of the hoisting
n' -

platform in the event of an accident. Otis' idea, r


presented in 1853, comprised an automatic

emergency brake, a self-activating mechanism Automatic gravity braking system, Patent 31128, Elisha Graves
triggered by gravity that was not dependent on OtiS,1861.
human reaction . Patented in 1861,shortly before
his death, his invention consisted of an auto- spring-loaded catch mechanism. Rem Koolhaas
matic clamping mechanism that stops an eleva- has described the spectacular demonstration as
tor platform immediately and abruptly should the epitome of "the non-event as triumph"? To
its cable break, prevening the platform from be more precise, the triumph is the aversion of a
Elisha Graves Otis (1811- descending at excessive speed . more serious eventuality,as the snapping of the
1861), the pioneer and Otis gave a public demonstration of his metal points into the timber runners prevented
founder of the lift empire.
safety elevator as part of the World Fair in New the occurrence of more fatal consequences .
York's Crystal Palace. Otis him self was both actor This early automatic mechanism meant
and stuntman and the presentation was suitab ly that elevator travel could be made safe, marking
dramatic. At a height of about 15 metres above an iconic turni ng point in the history of the ele-
ground, he ordered the supporting rope to be vator. History records Otis' eureka-like pro-
severed by an assistant with a sword. No longer nouncement from the top of the platfo rm high
supported, the fully-laden platform fell momen- above the heads of the amazed audie nce : "All
tarily before stopping automatically thanks to a safe, gentlemen, all safe" - a phrase now syn-

9 Rem Koolhaa s, Delirious New York, New York 1978, p.19. criteria differs (excessive speed instead of cablefailure) as
10 The elevator expert Jan M. Dulmno provides addit ional clari- doesthe braking mechanism (friction/wedge rather than
fication: "With the exception of the automatic trigger mecha- snap-lock)..." (em ail to the author dated November 13,2007).
nism, the arresting devices used later and in the present day See also Andreas Bernard, Die Geschichte des Fahrstuhls,
differ entirely from Otis' invention in 1854. The triggering Frankfurt a.M. 2006,pp.18ff., in particular p.26.
Elevation - A cultural history of the elevator 21

onymous with the safety elevator. History does

not record , however, how Otis was rescued from
the platform, as once wedged the platform could
no longer be hoisted. In all probability, a simple
ladder was used .
The automatic emergency brake was re-
sponsible for transforming the humble goods lift
into a safe passenger elevator. In 1878, the brak-
ing system was perfected further by using a gov-
ernor to trigger the mechanism once the speed
exceeded 15-20% of the regular speed of descent.
This was originally mounted directly on top of
the elevator cab but is now located in a station-
ary position at the top of the elevator shaft and
connected to the car by a second parallel cable
inside the shaft. If the regular speed is exceeded,
the governor causes this cable to be clamped,
triggering the safety mechanism in the car. Now-
adays, a softer braking mechanism is used to
bring the car more gradually to a halt instead of
the abrupt spring-loaded locking mechanism .
The key word then as now, however, is "auto-

2. Heavenly ascension with the help of

profane electrical power - Siemens & Halske The first electrically-powered lift. a climbing elevator by Sie-
mens & Halske, 1880.

The second major invention that paved the way

for the modem elevator is motorised power. Ear- gine could be installed, which in tum needed a
lier steam or gas-driven motors were only suit- machine operator to monitor the steam pres-
able for use in factory sites where a steam en- sure energy levels. Water hydraulic systems
22 Jeannot Simmen

were another means of powering elevators.They was automatically mobile, the motor mounted
were most common in Paris where the inventor beneath the viewing platform. What was dis-
Leon Edoux had built large-scale hydraulic sys- concerting about this lift was that the run way
tems for the World Expositions in Paris in 1867 ran straight through the platform and consisted
and 1889, which publicly demonstrated the use of a ladder. The platform climbed up an outside
of those safe and smooth vertical elevators. Hy- wall and was an early form of the panorama
draulic systems were dependent on water under elevato r.
pressure which at the time also required steam- Acontemporary caricature from 1881 shows
powered pumping machinery. the frees tanding tower and climbing elevator.
The advent of electrical power solved all The caption notes ironically: "The viewing tower
Panoramaelevator, observ- these problems at once : it offered maintenance- with dumb waiter for the he avens ." Several de-
ers watch in amazement as free functionality and could be used more or less tails about the drawing are interesting: the spec -
the lift ascends without any
anywhere. Electric motors were also lighter and tators look high up in amazement, baffled by
apparent hoisting mechanism.
Caricature fromthe year 1881 smaller than steam-powered motors. Electricity wh at is driving th e elevator. They gaze with
of the first electric elevator by revolutionised the prevailing use of other sourc- child-like wonderm entat the artificial mountain
Siemens & Halske. es of energy, although electricity itself is not a toward s the disappearing cab from which a pas-
fuel in the same way as wood, coal, or oil is. Elec- senger waves with a handkerchief. The wind
tricity repres ents a transmitted form of energy whips a top hat from one of the citizens on high ,
and became the medium of the modem age: the strong winds hinting at the lofty heights the
power come s from the socket outlet! Electricity machine is able to rea ch. The climbing elevator
marks a paradigm shift: combus tion processes embodied a number of technical advancements
without oxygen, he at without ashes . Electricity and design improvements but its speed was still
can be transmitted long distances, produced in limited. The run way ladder was not without its
the countryside and consumed in the cities. dangers. Should a rung break, the cab would
In 1880, Werner von Siemens and th e elec- ha ve fallen with considerable impact on the next
tri cal engineer Johann Georg Halske demon- rung and from there accelerated downward s.
strated a new kind of vertical transporter at the The electrical dynamo motor solved the problem
Pfalzgau Exhibition in Mannheim, Germany.The of a suitable drive mechanism once and for all,
platform of this new elevator device was neither however an efficient and safe transmission sys-
pushed by piston nor hoisted by a cable. Instead tem was still lacking. But this had already been
it climbed mechanically, in a similar manner to invented three years before the first electric el-
a rack-and-pinion turned upright. The platform evator by another German engin eer.
Elevation- A cultural history of theelevator 23

3.The mining industry finds a means to go

very high by going very deep . Friction as a
driving principle - Friedrich Koepe

The third revolution in vertical conveyor tech-

nology was discovered not by those wishing
to ascend higher towards the heavens but by
those wishing to descend ever deeper into the
un derworld. Vertical travel distances in the
mining industry have always been greater than
in building construction. However, as pit depths
increased, the dimensions of the cable drum
grew to reach a diameter of several metres. The
succe ssive unwinding of the cable from the
drum caused the machine shaft and bearings to
wear unevenly, increasing the risk of cable fail-
ure .
Toreme dy th is problem, in 1877 the mining The rope is threaded directly over a large wheel (left) with Traction drive elevator with
engineer Friedrich Koepe (1835 -1922) converted a groove that holds the rope(right): traction sheave drive additional sheavesto lessen
mechanism, patent specification 218, Friedrich Koepe, 1877. the amount of rope wearand
an existing drum-based machine for a 234-
slippage. Design for mineshaft
metre-deep mine sh aft (the equivalent of an hoist, Hanover Colliery near
80-storey building!) to a new form of drive own na me, which resulted in a dispute that aocnurn. Germany, by Fried-
mechanism. Instead of using a cable drum , caused the two parties to go separate ways. rich Koepe.
Koepe fed the cable loosely around a large tra c- The key principle was the use of "tr action as
tion sheave. The cable was laid in a dovetail drive". Besides the height of a possible fall, which
groove in its edge and propelled through trac- at that time often exceeded 2000 metres , the
tion. What appea red so simple and straightfor- miners descending in the mine shaft were fear-
ward later also proved to be pioneering. How- ful of three things in particular shou ld the cable
ever, it did not especially impress his employer, slide too quickly: the falling cabin often dam-
Friedrich Krupp, who failing to recognise its po- aged the shaft casing, which then fell in behind
tential neglected to patent it. The mining engi- them. Mine water collected at the base of the
neer Koepe therefore applied for a patent in his shaft; if the miners survived the fall they were
24 Jeannot Simmen

stru cted in 1811 by the British engineer John

Blenkinsop used a cog rail, although it was on
the level! The worry was that the iron wheels
would slide on the rails.
Friedrich Koepe 's brilliant and courageous
invention solved several problems at once , and
the individual elements of the construction are
still used today: a parallel arrangement of trac -
tion sheaves with multiple cables increased
safety in the event that a cable should fail. As a
result, the individual cables could be made thin-
ner and more flexible. The cable was passed
around the sheave only once reducing cable
wear. By aligning the cable centrally, it was easi-
The Woo lworth Building in New York, built from 1911-1 6 to- er to calculate the tension forces at play and to
talled 56 floors andwas, until 1930, the highest bUilding in the eliminate the danger of cable slack. The latter
world. It employed state-of-the-art traction drive elevators.
was a common cau se of accidents with the pre-
vious cable drum drive: if a platform ja mmed on
its way down , the cable would continue to un-
likely to drown in the mud .The third dang er was wind, leaving the cage to fall unsupported once
the cable itself, which fell down the shaft with it dislodged. Finally, by ensuring an even distri-
such impact, th at survivors might be killed by a bution of tensile forces, the life of the cable,
fatal whip of the steel cable . drum and motor could be prolonged.Aso-called
However, contrary to concerns, th e new lower rope was used to evenly balance out the
traction sheave mechanism was almo st totally weight differen ce of the cables.
safe . As the length of the rope increa sed, so too
did the friction reducing the risk of the cable Without the modern elevator there would be
slipping even at very long lengths. In the early no skyscrapers
19th century, the idea of using traction as a means
of driving a mech anism was regarded as pure The automatic safety brake , electrical power and
lunacy. Accordingly the first locomotive, con- safe transmission through traction were the
Elevation- A cultural history of the elevator 25

Schemati c diagrams of lift drive mechan isms:air, water/oil, cogwheel/ladder, drum-hoist. paternoster, traction hoist.

three invention s that heralded the triumph of scrapers confirms the hypothesis that the height
the modern elevator. They made it possible to of buildings is largely dependent on advance-
travel to previously unimaginable heights within ments in elevator technology.The more efficient
buildings .Travelling up and down with an eleva- elevators were, the higher habitable buildings
tor became safe and comfortable. In 1889, the could be.
word "skyscraper" appeared for the first time . Elevator travel combines both modern and
A major advantage of the combination of archaic experiences. It is modern because, un-
electrical power and traction shea ve transmis- like ship or rail travel, elevator travel does not
sion is the limited space they occupy in terms of entail journeying from place to place and offers
machinery and their light weight . The Wool- nothing to see. Instead of passage over time, the
worth building in New York, erected between relevant parameter is the time "wasted" while
1913 and 1916,contained a series of elevators of ascending. In an enclosed elevator car, encased
this kind. Until 1930, it was the highest skyscrap- in a concrete elevator shaft, the passenger is
er in the world with the most modern and fast- confronted with a series of uniform temporal
est elevator systems of its time. Its 29 elevators experiences. The experience is also archaic be-
could reach a speed of 3.5m/s and a fast elevator cause, whether alone or crammed in between
could transport passengers 207 metres above other passengers, the elevator ride triggers an
ground . The continuing development of sky- almost primeval sense of anxiety. The passage
26 Jeannot Simmen

Lifts and utopia: transparent lifts ascend in an architectural scene by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in the film "Things to Come", produced
by Alexander Korda, 1936, after the novel by H. G. Wells.
Elevation - A cultural history of the elevator 27

follows a prescribed vertical path, the car hangs

on a single rope and the passenger is enclose d in
a cram ped space, usually without any view of
the surroundings. The longer the journey takes,
the greater the passenger's level of anxiety. An
elevator ride becomes an experience that evokes
archaic anxieties of helples sness and the loss of
orientation and contro l.
Each person ha s an inner anthropological
threshold. The equivalent to the absolute speed
of light in modern physics is in everyday elevator
travel the anthropological two-minute limit. A
wait of around 30 seconds on working days and
a journey time of about 100 seconds is generally
regarded as tolerable . This tolerance level in-
creases with the number of stops at different
floors while passengers embark and disemba rk.
This is generally also higher for residential build-
ings than office environments. Tourists are con-
sidered the most patient elevator passe ngers
and, particularly whe n visiting attractions such
as the Eiffel Tower or television towers, only rare -
ly regard the journey as lost time or an enforced
break. However, in the modern residentia l and
office towers of 20th and 21st century megacities,
elevator rides can take up to two minu tes. Marcel Duchamp,"Nude descending a staircase, no. 2",1912.
In addition to the duration of the elevator
ride, the amount of space occupied by elevator with additional storeys. In buildings with con-
facilities is a furt he r limitation: the space re- ventional elevators, the proportion of space oc-
quired for elevator shafts increases dispropor- cupied by the elevator rises from 7% to 20% for
tionately to the increase in available floor space towers with 70 to 100 storeys. There are three
28 Jeannot Simmen

main possibilities for reducing the amount of signed by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. The film is an
floor space required for eleva tors: optimistic counterpart to Fritz Lang's "Me-
Twin car arrangements increase the capacity tropolis" (1927), in which slave-like workers
by around 30%.Again, this is a product of les- were transported via lifts into the underworld
sons learned in the mining industry. A tan- to operate machines that kept everything
dem lift was installed in 1930 in the Sixty Wall running smoothly in the illustrious world
Tower in New York (today the American Inter- above.
national Building).
The express/shuttle elevator is regarded as From 1980 onwards, the modern age goes elec-
the most practical solution for buildings with tronic: it becomes international and global. Si-
more than 80 storeys. The building is divided multaneity, immateriality, and virtual environ-
into separate segments. Express elevators ments begin to have a lasting impact on our
travel to transfer points - so-called sky lob- habitual experience of reality. Our personal ex-
bies - where passengers transfer to individual perience in local environments is haptic, in cy-
elevators for that particular segment. Sky berspace telematic. This weightless, communi-
lobbies often double as shopping or catering cative form of "Access for All" takes place in a
areas, sometimes also with fitness centres. world we cannot experience as tactile reality.
The division into segments reduces the The destruction of the twin towers of the
amount of space occupied by elevators in the World Trade Center brutally signified the sudden
building. intrusion of reality in the year 2001: the hype
Panorama elevators that ascend up the out- associated with the dream of verticality was ex-
side of buildings avoid the need for eleva tor perienced as hubris in the very personal dimen-
shafts in the core of the building but also re- sion of vertigo and fear of collapse. The elevator
duce the amount of window area. Nowadays, shafts in the World Trade Center became chim-
panorama elevators are often associated with neys accelerating the fire; the kerosene ignited
prestige buildings. As sensational experiences, on all floors simultaneously, leading to the struc-
they also serve as a dramatic motif for films. tural collapse of the so emblematic high-rise
In the past, they evoked a sense of utopia, as building.
shown in the science-fiction movie "Things to The intrusion and collapse of reality: "It was
Come" by Alexander Korda and H.G. Wells, like, raining people... You could watch them fall
whose futuristic model architecture was de- from like the 90th floor all the way down," re-

11 World Trade Task Force interview with EMT Michael Ober of

October 16, 2001; New York City Fire Department, New York
Elevation - A cultural history of theelevator 29

Mechanical Equipment

called the paramedic Michael Ober, voicing his
despair in the face of such verticality, "It's like
you go to school for so long to be able to take
care of peop le and treat them and be able to fix Skylobby

them when there's something wrong with them,

Mechanical Equipment

and there 's nothing, they hit the ground , and
that's it. You just feel helpless, there's nothing
you can do,"" Th e vertical is turned into a fatal
trap - indepently of how safe device the elevator

is. The Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez In-
arritu dramatises this in his film 11'09"01 (France ,

2002), showing intermittent snippets between
black film sequences with momentary glimpses

Local Elevators
of people springing,falling from the World Trade
Center. New York, 11.09.2001: this date marks Skylobby
the end of the technical im munity of the verti-

Mechanical Equipment
cal. Room

Today, the elevator is a tec hnically sophisti-

cated, safe means of transport. Electronic con-

trol systems optimise the utilisation of capacity,
avoiding empty or individual journeys. The me- Express Elevators ExpressElevators

chanical ensemble of power and transmission
still uses the proven combination of electricity
and traction sheave drive. Emergency braking
systems still trigger automatically and use me-

chanical means. The elevator is the first mobi le
vehicle that doesn't require one to switch gears Mechanical Equipment

or depress an accelerator, that starts at the touch Room
Local Elevators
of a button, decelerates and stops with complete Plaza Level
accuracy and opens and closes its doors on its
own . Schematic diagramof the lift arrangement in the World Trad e Center, New York.


Megamobility -
Technology for the individual in the urbanised world
Jonas Hughes

New ideas are needed on how to apply existing knowledge. The approach: those involvedmustlookbeyond their own
objectivesto a moreencompassingview of the possibilities
availabl e.

With a few exceptions, travelling is one of the sarily stop there. Even in upmarket buildings
least pleasant experiences of being in a city. For with airy atria and glass facades , the journey
motorists, the journey to work in the morning from the ground to the upper floors can be in a
rush -hour is usually a bumper-to-bumper crawl crowded, windowless elevator which may stop
along motorways that lead into ever more an interminable number of times .
congested streets as one nears the city centre. For the elderly, children or people with a
Those who take trains must struggle into car- disability, these problems may be magnified by
riages that too become progressively more obstacles such as stairs, busy roads with no safe
crowded, while bus passengers often have the crossings, or an absence of signposts or audio /
added inconvenience of being stuck in inner- Braille cues. The root cause is a lack of aware-
city traffic. ness of the access issues confronting substantial
The experience of pedestrians is of crowd- numbers of people. In Western Europe, around
ed sidewalks and queues, polluted air, noise and 15% ofthe adult population is estimat-ed to suf-
the general discomfort of spending too much fer from some form of disability, and these num-
time on one's feet. And the pain doesn 't neces- bers are growing as the society ages.'
32 Jonas Hughes

The mobility problems confronting the world's flow of traffic into urban areas, for example,
cities are not in question. The time and energy through congestion charges (in cities such as
wasted in traffic jams is variously estimated at London), or by limiting the number of car li-
tens to hundreds of billions of dollars a year for cences issued (Shanghai). Such measures have
individual cities, while the environmental con- had some success in easing inner-city conges-
sequences of traffic pollution and the energy tion, but the impact is necessarily limited be-
consumed for commuter journeys are widely cause they try to change behaviour without
acknowledged to be unsustainable. As the en- tackling structural deficiencies in urban design
gines of global growth, cities are responsible for and transport. Also, a congestion charge for mo-
generating the lion's share of the world's wealth torists entering a city centre, for example, shifts
as well as the bulk of waste and emissions, a the burden on to the public transport network
substantial proportion of which comes from au- without necessarily a commensurate invest-
tomobiles. ment in the bus and/or metro system. The ex-
Mobility problems in cities are often made perience of London suggests congestion charges
worse by poor planning (or the lack of it) as well may also discourage people from travelling in to
as too little investment in infrastructure. In the centre for leisure activities and shopping,
many rapidly expanding cities of the developing harming local businesses.'
world, mass migration to urban areas has over- Another approach, tried in China, is to
whelmed city authorities, leading to urban manage development of the urban environment
sprawl, slums, pollution and gridlock. In the de- by limiting the size of cities and their popula-
veloped world, congested roads, over-crowding tions. This "structural" approach focuses on de-
and no-go areas have come to be regarded as fining and enforcing city limits and designating
normal in the urban context. new urban areas, or even whole new cities, so as
to prevent cities' expansion from outpacing ex-
City limits isting infrastructure and the authorities' ability
to cope.
One response of governments and local author- Such schemes look seductive on paper but
ities to the gridlock has been to try and limit the tend to overlook or underestimate the actual

1 Eurostat: Disability andsocialparticipation in Europe, 2001. 3 McKinsey Global Institute, Preparing for China's Urban Billion,
2 London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Response to the 2009.
Consultation on the proposed CostIncrease to the Conges-
tion Charging Scheme, 2005.
Megamobility - Technology for the individual in the urbanised world 33

The challenge: to make megacities accessible for individuals. New mobility technology directs, integratesand connects.

dynamics of city development, as well as soci- the trend appears unstoppable. By 2025, it is es-
etal, political and financial obstacles. Shang- timated that six new megacities (with more
hai 's showpiece Pudong district, for instance, than ten million inhabitants) will emerge along -
built on recovered farmland, rivals the skylines side Beijingand Shanghai, and that these will be
of New York and Hong Kong. But, at night, the home to 13% of all China 's city dwellers .'
streets are eerily deserted and the locals admire The experience of China , and most of the
the lights from the other side of the river.A more developing world, is that cities evolve according
ambitious project to build a completely new to their own dynamics, and in spite of the best
"ecological" city on nearby Chongming Island efforts of the authorities. Moreover, there is ac-
ha s so far failed to get off the ground after years cumulating evidence to suggest bigger, denser
of political wrangling. cities are more viable and better at balancing
In the meantime, China 's cities - and espe- the benefits and costs of urbanisation. The rea-
cially Shanghai - are continuing to expand and son is becau se less spra wl leads to a reduction
34 Jonas Hughes

in energy use and pollution, and also because Space as a continuum

dense cities require less investment in public
transport, infrastructure and services to make The experience of the Schindler Group, a global
them work. A recent study of urban develop- mobility provider established in 1874, is that
ment in China over two decades showed bigger city planners, architects, and engineers have
cities performing better on all measurements, the necessary expertise and technologies to de-
including their impact on the countryside, and velop inclusive models of urban development.
specifically waterways and farmland." Indeed, What is needed are new ideas about how to ap-
the world's largest city, Tokyo, with over 35 mil- ply that knowledge, and for the protagonists
lion inhabitants, has been described one of the involved to be able to look beyond their own ob-
most intricately and carefully organised cities jectives to a more encompassing view of the
in the world, despite being nearly twice the size possibilities available.
of the world's second-largest conurbation (Mex- Especially important is that all parties in-
ico City)." volved in design and construction consider their
With these insights, arguments that grid- project - be it a building, a city block, a city
lock and mobility problems are best tackled by quarter or a city itself - from the perspective of
trying to limit the size of cities and using laws the people who will eventually inhabit the space.
or tariffs to restrict movement cease to be per- This means taking proper account of the needs
suasive. Instead, a more compelling argument of all inhabitants, including children, the eld-
points to a model of urban development that erly and people with special-access require-
acknowledges the dynamic character of cities ments. Equally, it is necessary to consider the
and instead focuses on making urban centres activities of the inhabitants - work, leisure,
inclusive and attractive so that people choose to shopping, entertainment, etc. - so that ameni-
settle in them. The basis of this model is high- ties and facilities are accessible and within a
density environments, characterised by "multi- reasonable distance.
functional neighbourhoods," organised verti- Historical attitudes mean that the plan-
cally, in contrast to lower-density clusters of ning and design process typically over-empha-
single- purpose buildings, divided into "residen- sises certain aspects of design and underesti-
tial" and "commercial" areas. mates others. In the design of a building, for

4 Ibid.
5 Deyan Sudjic; quoted from Ricky Burdett,Deyan SUdjic (eds.),
The Endless City: tneoty, policy and Practice, London 2008,
based on the "Urban Age Project".
Megamobility - Technologyfor the individual in the urbanised world 35

Modern urban mobility networks public and privatespaces.

example, the emphasis is almost always on the certain people because of congestion or physi-
use of space for commercial reasons (on the cal barriers.
part of the developer) or for reason s of art, per- Yet,on a typical urban development project ,
ception and mood (the architect) . But space the mobility providers - in a building, the com-
cannot meaningfully be considered independ- pany providing the elevators - are usually se-
ently of the means by which it is accessed . The lected only once the design is complete, since
occupant's perception of a space is always influ- they are not considered critical in discussions
enced by the journey into that space or vice- about space . The building or development is in
versa. If the journey was difficult, the space may effect created independently of its mobility sys-
be perceived as unwelcoming or alternatively as tems, which are seen as add-ons to be included
a place of sanctuary. The mood of a space will once the structure is defined.This leads to para-
similarly influenc e the occupant's perception of doxical outcomes - buildings with elevator s for
the journey ahead. In extreme cases , the space wheelchair users which can only be accessed
may not be accessible at certain times or for from the outside by stairs; plush hotels whose
36 Jonas Hughes

Architects must concentrate on designingthe city ratherthan individual buildings.

Megamobility - Technology for the individual in the urbanised world 37

suites are located at the end of a long ride in a ing multiple functions. Typically, shops, restau-
crowded elevator; crowded hospital lobbies rants, and leisure spaces (parks, sport, and en-
where half of the elevators stand empty in case tertainment facilities) are located in a "podium"
they are needed by staff or patients. or open area at ground level, with residential
Many of these problems can be solved with apartments, offices, and hotel accommodation
traffic management and user-access technolo- in one or more structures above. Underground
gies, which Schindler developed for both new there is usually a subway station, whose plat-
buildings and existing ones. Other common de- forms are linked to the complex above by banks
sign issues, such as "over-elevated" buildings - of escalators. Escalators are highly effective at
where capacity is planned for rush-hour condi- moving large numbers of people from one level
tions - can be avoided by the simple expedient to another very quickly. And because their up
of including the mobility provider in discussions and downward movement can be adjusted, they
during the early design phase. can be programmed according to the direction
In Schindler's experience, including engi- of the bulk of traffic - up in the morning, down
neers in the design process not only leads to an in the evening.
optimal configuration of elevators and escala- Such structures, which may be large enough
tors for a building, it also confers distinct ben- to accommodate tens of thousands of people,
efits during the planning and construction are a complete departure from the dominant
phaseTypical examples are fewer shafts for the urban model of single-purpose buildings locat-
same or higher levels of traffic (in large build- ed next to each other along a street. The hori-
ings' elevator shafts can take up prodigious zontal configuration becomes vertical and in
amounts of space); and more versatile design the process, the once almost inviolate distinc-
options for elevator lobbies. It may also be pos- tion between residential, commercial, and retail
sible to use sections of the elevator shafts for spaces is lost. The transportation network - the
the building's water/sewage and/or electricity equivalent of railways and roads - migrates in-
systems. doors where the trains, trams, and cars are re-
placed by eleva tors and escalators.
A new design paradigm The significance of this change is not to be
underestimated. At a stroke, the public transport
The emerging urban landscapes of many cities network for a "neighbourhood" of 20,000 people
consist of high-density developments combin- becomes the responsibility of the building man-
38 Jonas Hughes

agement, which is directly accountable to resi- central traffic management and user-access
dents and business tenants in a binding com- system, which plans journeys around the com-
mercial relationship. This relationship extends plex for all travellers, and takes account of each
to all "public" services within the structure. individual's mobility requirements, depending
The implications are equally significant for on their status (resident, visitor, office worker,
urban planning and design. Instead of designing etc.) and whether they have special-access
a building, the architect must create a small city, needs.
complete with systems that combine mobility Trafficmanagement technology has brought
and access with varying levels of security, de- a paradigm change to eleva tor travel. The first
pending on the status of the person concerned commercially available system was developed
- resident, office worker, hotel guest, delivery by Schindler in the 1990s, when the company
person, or visitor. The usual approach of design- realised that elevators would have to become
ing a structure and "inserting" the essential sys- more "intelligent," if they were to cope with the
tems at a later date is inconceivable. The new enormous flows of people, especially in urbanis-
urban development will contain various mobil- ing Asia.
ity systems, from high-speed shuttle elevators Schindler's traffic management system
with runs of hundreds of metres, to localised allows passengers to select their destination
routes which serve smaller segments of the before entering an eleva tor, and then assigns
structure. them the car taking the fastest route (with the
fewest number of stops) to their floor. The sys-
Intelligent mobility tem is continuously updating its central data-
base with the position of every elevator and
Managing these mobility systems requires tech- every journey request, and uses sophisticated
nologies capable of directing the movement of algorithms to calculate the optimum route for
people and goods, controlling access to all spac- each passenger. As passengers select their des-
es and connecting the mobility systems to those tination floor, they are directed to "their" eleva-
of the rest of the city. All elevators and escala- tor using visual or (for the visually impaired)
tors, as well as access routes, are managed by a audio signals. Travellers with special needs,
Megamobi lity - Technology for the individual in the urbanisedworld 39

Intelligentmobility systems "recognise" individuals andtheir destinations.

such as wheelchair users, press a special access Secure access

button when selecting their destination to be
assigned a larger car or an empty one, and for As well as traffic management, mobility in mul-
the doors to be held open for longer. ti-fun ctional buildings requires systems that
By linking all elevators in a building and are able to control individual access and to
optimising all journeys, the traffic management monitor the movement of individuals within
system allows the number of elevators (and the building . Schindler makes this possible with
therefore shafts) for a given building to be re- Schindler ro, which combines traffic manage-
duced while preserving the same elevating ca- ment with security, and access technology. The
pacity. It also gives architects more freedom to system "recognises" individuals and allows
place elevators in different areas or lobbies be- them fast and easy access to areas th ey are au-
cause passengers do not have to be able to see thori sed to use .
all the cars.
40 Jonas Hughes

With Schindler ID, everyone using a building is ally impaired person will likely want always to
provided with a form of identifica tion - for be assigned an elevator that can be reached us-
guests and visitors an access card; for residents ing tactile indicators.
and business tenants, a chip that may be in- By developing this technology, Schindler
stalled in a card, mobile phone, watch or other has made it possible for elevators to be quickly
item. The chip contains information about all taken out of public use for a single private jour-
the specific destinations and needs of each indi- ney, and then immediately to be placed back
vidual user. All entry points and elevators in the into public service. Such a technology has nu-
building are equipped with an interface. When merous applications, not least in hospitals
the card or chip device is placed on the interface, where - as mentioned - the elevators for visitors
the display shows all destinations which that are typically crowded and in continual use,
individual is permitted to access. The users may while those for medical personnel stand idle for
then either select their desired destination by much of the time. Another is in office buildings,
touching the screen. If they prefer the touch- where some elevators have historically been re-
less option (perhaps for hygiene reasons), they served for the use of top executives.
simply wait as the display scrolls through the
list of their possible destinations and then re- The future is here
move the chip device once the desired one is
highlighted. -, The technologies and possibilities described
Because the user's information is held in a above lie not so much in the future as in the
central database, the system is able to plan each present. The mobility and access systems re-
individual's journey based on defined criteria. ferred to are to a greater or lesser extent already
Hence, a resident of the building may select to in place in thousands of buildings across the
always travel alone in an eleva tor when going to world. At the moment, they are operating in
his apartment - in which case, the car they are "isolation," which means they have yet to be con-
assigned will not stop anywhere else, or for any- nected to and incorporated within the wider ur-
one else, during that particular journey. A visu- ban environment, such as the public transport
Megamobility - Technology for the individual in the urba nised world 41

From the world to the house: an integrated system of networked access technologies.

network . Their integration into the fabric of cit- vator and /or escalator and train or bus will be
ies is a matter of time, not of possibility. In the indicated on th e interfaces the y pass during
future , access through the public transport net- their journey. On arrival at the destination sta -
work - from airport to apartment, for example tion, the interface will pinpoint the escala tor or
- will be facilitated by a card or chip device that elevator taking the most direct route to their
needs only to be swiped acros s an interface as floor. Residents returning home may choose to
the user moves from one mode of transport to have their front door or office automatically un -
another. Users departing for a particular loca- lock itself once the elevator delivers them to
tion may be able to select their destination at their floor. The door can equally be programmed
the departure point, and thereafter be guided to to lock itself if they do not enter the space with-
the escalator or moving walk leading to the cor- in a specified timeframe.
rect subway train or bus. Their connecting ele-
42 Jonas Hughes

Cities evolve according to their own dynamics.

Megamobility - Technology for the individual in the urbanised world 43

Cities have always defied planners' efforts to istic approach is to accept their dynamism and
control them. As the birthplaces of civilisation instead to focus on making their growth as hab-
and the world's engines of progress and eco- itable and pleasant as possible for the greatest
nomic growth, it would be surprising if they number of their inhabitants, with intelligent,
were easily tamed and controlled. A more real- barrier-free mobility.


Cooperation -
Urban planning is a community project
John Thompson / Andreas von Zadow

A vision for the Liberties in Dublin

"Last night was very important for Dublin 's old-

est and mo st historic area - th e famou s Liber-
ties," say s An n e Grah am, south central area
man ager, Dubl in City Council. "On 2n d February
2009 at th e City Council meeting, the counc il-
lors adopted the draft Liber ties local area plan
subject to amen dments." This loc al area plan
will now become council policy. Over the ne xt
decade it will guide the development of a 136
hectare area within south central Dublin. It is
the direct res ult of a 14-month period of active
engagement with the local community, which
was kick-started by a com munity pl anning
weekend in November 2007. Stakeho lde rs came
from all walks ofl ife.Th ere were long- term local
residents, market traders , cons ultan ts, busin ess
le ad er s, an d politicians. Th ere were stu den ts
and th e elde rly, th ere we re expe rts and enth us i-
asts. Th e Liberties brough t them together, along
with a concern that this hi storic are a of Dublin
h ad somehow mis se d out on th e boom yea rs of
th e Celtic Tiger. Working together over the plan- Dublin - the Liberties model demonstrates how new develop-
ning wee kend , the community helped create "a ment will integrate with the existing urban fabric.

vision for the Liberties."

From Jan uary to December 2008 mo nthly
public community fora were h eld within the ly complex planning situation. During the au-
Liberties, accompanied by bi-monthly newslet- tumn th ere was a formal consultation period in
te rs for every household , to communicate and which the key elements of the planning frame -
inform people about the development of a high- wo rk were displayed, explored, explained and
46 John Thompson I And rea s von Zadow

Dubl in - brownfield opportunity sites within the Liberties. Area boundaries of the local areaplan.

became the subject of submissions. Although Liberties regeneration to rationalise landhold-

there had been years of preparatory research ings and upgrade its brewing facilities .
about the physical and social conditions of the The decision was made to provide access
area, it was the active participation in a com- for all to the planning process at a very early
munity planning process that has helped stage . The draft plans were then amended, al-
achieve an integrated urban development tered, and improved by ongoing public debate.
framework, turning the vision into a reality. This Proposals were tested, ch anged, and tested
method of collaborative consultation has paved again to get the best possible result in terms of
the way for billions of new investment from pri- urbanism, and at the same time the best possi-
vate and public sector projects in infrastructure, ble consensus between local residents, project
culture and commerce, media and technology, developers, property owners, elected politicians,
social benefits, residential developments, mo- planners, and oth er specialists. Participants in-
bility, and environmental improvements. The cluded numerous representatives of Dublin City
Guinne ss brewery, which ha s been closely con- Council, who had the courage to commission
nected with the Liberties for over 250 years, is a this unique process of planning with ongoing
key Dublin industry located at the edge of the public involvement. The success of the Liberties
local area plan. It will use the impetus of the project provides an exemplar for Ireland. The
Cooperation - Urban planningis a community project 47

participation process was transparent and fully

accessible to everyone. It has saved years of an -
tagonistic debate. The result is a realistic and
int egrative planning framework, which can de-
liver regeneration, new developments , and ulti-
mately good urbanism with spaces, places an d,
most importantly, life.

Participation rather than consultation

The Liberties project shows how collaboration

with the community can be used effectively to Dublin Liberties - diagram illustrating permitted heights for Number of storeys (estimated
storeyne,ghts: groonafloor.
inform and advance a sta tutory planning pro- new buildings on brownfield site. 4 metres; upper noors. 3 metres).
.... 15.
cess. I would like to explain the principles and .... 11 -15
practice of a community plan ning approach to .... 8 -11

development and design . Termino logy is all- tory process will engender conse nsus-building, .... 6-8

important. In particular a distin ction has to be help reconcile differences , and create a dynam- .... 4 -6

.... 3-4
made between "pa rticipation" and "consulta- ic, inclusive vision for the fut ure th at garne rs a
.... 2-3
tion." In general, the word "involvement"is used sha red sense of owne rship. Participatory events
to cover all forms of community engagement, are important not only for th eir out puts, but
but in more specific areas "participation"is used also because the y help to enhance social capital
in relation to vision-building processes, and by bringing communities together in a positive
"consultation" to describe involvement with for- way, revealing shared values, mutual interests
mal proposal s. Often these ter ms are used inter- and common goals. Consultation differs from
changeably, when in fact they describe two very par ticipation beca use it is about an exchange of
different modes of comm un ity involvement. views. It has a more restricted scope tha n par-
Participation involves people taki ng part and ticipa tion and involves a community being
sharing in a process that sets th e agenda for the brought to an understanding of formal propos-
future development of an area . It requires an als and then given the opportunity to present
open forum in which all local st akeholder views their views on how well these measure up
are given equal consideration. A good participa- against the aims and objectives that have al-
48 John Thompson / Andreas von Zadow

ready been agreed and set in place for develop- rejected without material grounds, only to be
ment within their local area. lost at appeal. Whilst this may be good for the
It is a lack of understanding of this distinc- legal profession, it is clearly untenable for a gov-
tion that has led many private developers (and ernment looking to private finance to deliver
some local authorities) to resist community in- the development the country needs in order to
volvement because it is perceived as a highly remain prosperous and offer a better quality of
confrontational forum without positive benefits. life. At present there is no best practice guid-
But this hostile response almost invariably ance for community involvement, and, more
stems from the same root cause - that local worryingly, a distinct lack of experience, skills,
communities, even though invited, have not par- and resources within most local authorities in
ticipated in the production of their local plans. the United Kingdom.
When local people are consulted on formal pro-
posals, they become frustrated that discussions Community involvement: how it can be done
about alternatives are not on offer. Hostility aris- and why it works
es because they are presented with the restrict-
ed scope of consultation, when what they really Community involvement is a complex field of
want is an open process of participation. study because there are a myriad of different
This persistent practice of presenting com- approaches being undertaken by practitioners
munities with what amounts to a fait accompli from a wide variety of disciplines including
has seriously undermined people's trust in the planning, urban design, architecture, and land-
present planning system. In our own work, we scape design. In his publication The Community
repeatedly encounter communities incredulous Planning Handbook, Nick Wates lists over 50 of
of the fact that the formal proposals they op- these strategies such as community planning,
pose are actually in accordance with planning action planning, hands-on planning, urban de-
policies guiding development in their own sign studios, and community charrettes. The
neighbourhoods. As a result, planning commit- scale of engagement within these can also be
tee members find themselves caught between extremely varied and range from large-scale re-
the policy-based advice of the local planners gional planning issues down to very small scale
and the highly emotive feelings of the commu- and specific proposals for neighbourhood facili-
nities they have been elected to represent. At ties such as children's playgrounds or pocket
this point, schemes are repeatedly deferred or parks.
cooperation - Urban planningis a community project 49

Collabo rat ive Plannin g

Interest Groups,
Economic Sector

Planning Team Contributions

JTp, Professional Planners

Decision Making

Client, City, Site Owners,


3 - 6 Months 1 Month 1 Month 6 Months- ? Years

Preparation and Analysis Public Event Report Implementation

The collaborative planning process - the planning team facilitates a creative process that involvesdecision makers, other stake-
holders andthe wider public in developingan integrated vision.

It's all about "contribution" volved in what we term "community planning"

for more than a decade and ha ve carried out
What they all have in common, however,is that well in excess of 100 exercises throughout the
they provide local stakeholders, including the United Kingdom and across Europe. Initially our
residents, business people, service providers, lo- commis sions tended to come either from the
cal authorities, and a variety of interest groups , public secto r (local authorities/region al devel-
with an opportunity to contribute to the devel- opment agencies) or from community groups
opment process .As advocates of the process , we backed by government money. Often the se
believe that everyone who lives or works in a projects were located in problematic areas suf-
particular area has something to contribute to- fering from severe deprivation that required se-
wards shaping its future , and we have learnt rious physical, social, and economic regenera-
that by involving them from the outset it is far tion such as parts of Manchester, Newcastle,
more likely that local neighbourhoods will re- and Belfast . In the last few years , however, pri-
ceive the type of development and services that vate developers ha ve begun to see the financial
they really need to prosper. We ha ve been in- and other benefits that can accrue from com-
50 John Thompson / And reas von Zadow

munity planning. Although our approach to

community involvement is constantly evolving,
in recent years we have developed a four-stage
approach that has been widely acknowledged
as delivering impressive results.

1. Project start-up and community animation

The lead-in period for a community planning

exercise can range from a few weeks to several
months, depending on the scale and nature of Chichester Graylingwell - visualisation of a key public space.
the project. Working alongside a commissioning
body, we generally start by establishing a steer-
ing group that includes local council members,
important members of the local community societies, youth clubs , business forums, and
and business people who help to develop the schools. Once the message has begun to circu-
scope of the project. One of the essential aims late on the ground, a Launch Event will be used
during the first stage is to ensure that the widest to focus media coverage, reinforce what is being
possible spectrum of people attend the public asked of local people , and emphasise the impli-
event itself, which may only last two days. The cations it will have for their quality of life in the
importance of animating the local community, future . In a world of intense competition for
of making th em aware of the event and the sig- people's attention, animation has to have both
nificance of their personal contribution, cannot the visibility of a marketing campaign, as well
be underestimated. Our approach to this ha s as the credibility that derives from word of
become more sophisticated in recent years and mouth communication.
goes well beyond the traditional use of mail
shots and posters, and now involves our team 2.Vision building
literally "putting the word on the street" by en-
countering the local community in-situ, at resi- The second stage has by far the highest profile
dents associations, local interest groups, arts for local communities and involves a large-scale
and cultural associations, civic and local history participatory event. During this, people of dif-
Cooperation - Urban planning is a community project 51

ChichesterGraylingwell - new sustainable neighbourhood on a Vision drawingof the carbon-neutral settlement. Conversion of existing her-
disused hospital site. itage buildingsto new uses
can underpin regen eration.

ferent ages, backgrounds and cultures, with dif- into a viable vision. On the day before the public
ferent concerns and enthusiasms, get a chance workshops the professional team familiari ses
to listen to each other, to offer suggestions and itself with the site and location and receives
to enter into a constructive dialogue. These dis- background briefings from key people drawn
cussions are facilitated by a neutral, multi-dis- from the local authority, resident groups, busi-
ciplinary team, with a range of skills and experi- ness associations, and interest groups. The pub-
ence that are specific to the nature and particu- lic workshop s generally tak e place over two
lar characteristics of the project. This will days including a Friday, to en able local schools
include our own community planners, archi - to participate, and Saturday for people that are
tects , and urban designers , as well as a range of working.
specialist collaborators that might include busi- The aim of the public sessions is to tap
ness analysts, funding experts, civil and traffic common intelligence and create value for ev-
engineers, hydrol ogists, landscape designers, erybody. Despite apparent differen ces at the
and ecologists.They arrive with open minds and outset, conventional boundarie s soon break
a blank piece of paper, prepared to listen and down, releasing imagination, positive thinking,
learn before using their own professional skills and collective creativity, out of which a consen-
to help transform the aspirations oflocal people sus almost always emerges. The participatory
52 John Thompson / Andreas von Zadow

processes we employ most frequently are "fu-

ture workshops" and "hands-on planning." The
former of these addresses specific local issues
that have been identified in advance. These
might include housing, education, health, busi -
ness, young people, green issues, recreation, and
transport. Occasionally a number of local peo-
ple might feel an additional issue should be ad-
No rth Littlehampton
dressed and impromptu workshops can quickly
Land Uses
Land Uses and De nsit ies be organised. In the workshops the facilitators

C-..c~ .... _ T~"""

e-,.... _ Oi'''- SK 107.2 January 2()()9

_ 1_ _ _ ~h~..,

Grand tou l: 1.0460 uniu --'~U'J T

are trained to carry out a three-stage process. It
begins with a "problems session" that allows for
Sustainable urban extensionat North Lil llehampton - land use and density.
a critical stock-taking of the present situation
during which negativity is drawn out and local
people are allowed to "get things off their chest."
This is followed by a session entitled "dreams" in
which people are then asked to use their imagi-
nation and say how they would like things to be,
whether they be environmental improvements,
new facilities , services or forms of employment.
Finally, those taking part are asked to consider
solutions - how they might go about achieving
their aspirations and who might fund them.
This concluding part of the workshop is often a
learning moment for the participants - they
know what they would like - but few under-
stand the mechanisms for delivery.At this point
the professional team will use their expertise
.. . .. ~ .. ~ H .. ~O ..
and stimulate the debate by suggesting funding
North Littlehampton masterplanfor a new mixed-use area on an ecologically sensitive town site. streams and management possibilities as well
cooperation - Urban planning isa community project 53

North Littlehampton - hand-drawn vignettes illustrating the character of key spaces.

as providing supportive anecdotal evidence of individual s often leave and open the way for
how dreams have been achieved elsewhere . constructive discus sions.
During these sessions participants contrib- Over the years, our approach to facilitation
ute by jotting down ideas on post -it note s, which has gradually evolved as we have learnt to take
are then read back to them before being grouped account of more aspects of human nature. Fa-
into themes or categories . The lead facilitator cilitators moving amongst the participants are
may request further information or clarification always on hand to put people at their ease, ex-
and engender discussion, but the most impor- plain what is happening or offer advice.They act
tant aspect of this is being seen to listen, to seek like a lubricant, easing viewpoints out of people
local knowledge, and to treat all viewpoints who are initially uncomfortable with the situa-
equally and with respect. The use of post-it tion or unsure of what the y are being asked .
notes is a subtle strategy of inclusion, which They are also alert to the fact that statements
grants everyone the same voice and diffuses the such as "I've forgotten my glasses" can be eu-
potential for aggressive argumentation on sin- phe misms for illiteracy - an d a trigger for other
gle issues of dissent. In this way the loudest appro aches to allow these people to make a
voices often become overwhelmed in a sea of mea ningful contribution.Atthe end of a morning
quiet consensus. Unable to dominate the pro- or afternoon session all the topic groups that
ceedings when asked to write it down, militant have taken place meet together for a plena ry
54 John Thompson/ Andreas von Zadow

Collaborative planning process

pre-Planning Process

Vl ArChitecture
~ Traffic
0- t.anOscape
UJ Economy
:r: Community Planmng

Vl Pollcital Brief
c:: SiteOM'lers
o Deve\Opers
-' local AutnQntles
o:r: RegiOnal AuthOrities
UJ EnVIronment
>.! HealthandHeritage

Contributors to the process.

session. One or two participants in each group themes for these sessions often emerge out of
will work with the facilitators to create a flip- the topic groups , and are then developed into a
cha rt summary of the points of consensus in- more physical form, working in small groups
cluding a list of the most important issues, and around large- scale plan s of the area . Architects,
a series of "action points" that combine aspira- urban designers, and other professionals are
tions with methods of delivery. The report back present to assi st and facilitate these sessions,
sessions ensure that everyone attending the but participants are encouraged to work out po-
event is aware of the range of idea s and options tential solutions along with others who mayor
that are emerging, and further comments and may not be in agreement. Responsibility is
ideas from the floor are added to those already pas sed to the participants to try and reach con-
generated. The presentations are invari ably by sensus amongst themselves .The resu lt of these
topic group participants to reinforce the fact "hands-on planning" sess ions is a number of
that these are local people's ideas, and engender visuall y stimulating plans which h ave been de-
a greater sense of collective ownership. signed on a collaborative ba sis, combining com-
The second type of workshop that produces munity aspirations with commercial realities.
valuable material is "hands-on planning." The Where appropriate these exercises sometimes
Cooperation - Urban planning isa community project 55

Analysis DrawlngS
Press Feedback

AenalDrawing PublIC APProval

UrbanDeSIgn concept FeasIbility snces Vl
Character Areas
Landscape Plans
so ceo MO<lels
TraffIC Plans FlyTI1rougn TH E WAY 0-
WaterPlans FORWARD X
Energy COncept Political APProval
SustalnabilltyCOnCept OwnerApproval :r:
communlty Bulldmgs local GOvernment I-

PohCital Brief
Slte<Mners cr:
DeveloPers ui
local AuthOritieS o
RegIOnal AuthOrities o:r:
=:..-_-------~ EnVIronment
HealUl andHeritage ui
Economics and Market

develop into walkabouts, when professional further consideration and mediated solutions.
team members will accompany participants to Toward s the end of the two public days a "way
areas of particular concern. These are particu- forward worksh op" is held to discuss how the
larly powerful techniques of community in- development process can be taken forward. For
volvement in which local people literally lead community involvement to be successful it is
the way, and data is collected in a variety of vital to maintain momentum and ensure that
forms by mapping, photography, or records of there is an ongoing role for the energy and sense
conversations. Walkabouts are highly visual af- of common ownership built up over the course
fairs and frequently gather up participants as of the participatory event. At the close of the
they progress and engage with pe ople wh ere public ses sion s the huge task of assimilating all
they feel most comfortable - in their own neigh- the information begins. In addition to the mater-
bourhoods. Once again plenary sessions help to ial from the workshops, other team members
communicate the range of ideas coming for- will have been carrying out urban design , eco-
ward and the professional team assist in high- nomic and landscape assessments of the area
lighting areas of consensus, facilitating discus- under scrutiny. The way a place can change over
sions around issues or proposals that require time and its historic significance will also have
56 John Thompson / Andreasvon Zadow

been researched. Over the following days the

professional team works in private, analysing
and evaluating the output from the public ses-
sions, and building a deliverable vision for the
area that meets with the aspirations of the local
community. This vision is reported back to the
participants within a week of the start of the
Speed is of the essence as most communi-
ties have grown weary of endless, drawn out
bureaucratic processes that rarely reach mean-
ingful conclusions. This presentation prepares
local stakeholders for the vision by recounting
Caterham Barracks, Surrey, a disused military site. the process they have just participated in, with
images of topic groups, hands-on planning, ple-
nary sessions, and walkabouts together with
summaries of all the workshops. These are in-
tercut with verbatim quotes from local people
that illustrate the major points of consensus.
Finally, the vision is unveiled with a conceptual
masterplan illustrated with sketches and vi-
gnettes that give an impres sion of how things
could be in the future if the public, private , and
community sectors work towards a common
goal. A delivery mechanism is illustrated using
approachable metaphors and cartoons rather
than abstract diagrams. An associated exhibi-
tion provides the focus for further discussion
later in the evening, a broadsheet publication
Caterham masterplan afterthe cooperative planningprocess: higher density, new jobs, many
more new homeswith a successful community development trust - a greatsuccessstory for provides a brief synopsis of the vision for people
privatesector development.
cooperation - Urban planningis a community project 57

to take away, and briefing packs are made im-

mediately available for the media.

3. Focus groups and project development

In the early years of community planning, ma ny

projects faltered after the vision stage. This was
often due to a lack of continuity or commitment
at a higher political level that meant funding
st reams could not be put in place to carry out
the proposals or even take them forward to the
point where local plans could be altered to bet-
ter reflect community aspirations . In recent Newhomes for sale and rent at Caterham.
years this has begun to change as private devel-
opers have begun to recognise the benefits tha t
can accrue from involving the local community,
particularly on contentious sites. Once private itage, health and educa tion , employment con-
finance began to drive participatory processes, cerns, local business, or touris m opportunities.
rema rkable results were achieved and an en- These groups meet at frequent intervals with
tirely new set of techniques had to be devised to the design team to advance thinking in specific
carry projects forward. For this thir d stage of areas and to share their ideas and viewpoints.
commu nity involvement we tend to favour th e These are fed back into th e mas ter planning
use of focus groups, as has been demonstrated process and frequently affect the development
with the Dublin Liberties project. These are gen- of the project. This iterative process ensures
erally set up at a community forum held soon that by the time formal proposals are submitted
after the presenta tion of the vision and vary in for planning consent , local stakeholders feel a
nature according to the type of project and the strong collective sense of ownership, and objec-
interes ts of the participants. Typically these tions are far less frequent.
might address Agenda 21 issue s, recreation and At Caterham Barracks in Surrey we ran a
sport issues, cultural issues, approaches to her- large-sc ale par ticipatory process involving over
58 JohnThompson / Andreas von Zadow

Lubeck's historical city centre - a world heritage site. Boundary defining the central public realm that is to be rede-

1000 participants including local residents, busi- tial units to be built on the site. Following the
nes ses, schools, the planning aut hority, and event a number of specialist focus group s were
various intere st groups. The consens us vision set up to continue the dialogue, and involved
that emerged overturned th e local au thority's over 100 local people meeting up on more th an
brief for th e site ,which had essentia lly rendered 50 occas ions.
the development of the former Minist ry of De-
fence site economic ally unvi able for private fi- 4. Transferring ownership
nance. During the com munity planning event
local people accepted that, in order to deliver The final stage in a par ticipatory process is pos-
th e level of benefits the y required, additional sibly th e most important in term s of the long-
enabling development would be necessary. This term susta ina bility of a project, and involves the
opened the way for an addi tional 300 residen- establishment of one or more legal entities that
Cooperation- Urban planning isa community project 59

Lubeck- proposal for new cafe at Schrangen Square, winning Technical conditions limit possibilities for new buildings in the
competition entry by the office Petersen P6rksen & Partners. squa re.

assume control of the community assets.These centre, meeting rooms and Skaterham, a highly
can vary and might include Community Devel- successful indoor skateboard and BMX centre
opment Trusts that own and manage commu- for young people which hosts international
nity facilities , Social Enterprise Trusts that look competitions and has over 6,000 members.
after business initiatives or Environmental
Trusts that might be responsible for parks or Overview
recreational facilities. At Caterham Barracks
over S million of assets have been transferred When our team arrives in an area, th ey ha ve no
into the ownership and management of these history of involvement, no hidden agenda, and
vehicles, set up with a financial contribution no personal attachment. We are able to empa-
from the developer.They include a nursery,bar! thise and criticise in equal measures, and usu-
restaurant, dance studio, health and fitness ally gain the trust of the event participants
60 John Thompson I Andreas von Zadow

LObeck - view into the main pedestrian route Breite StraBe proposal for redesignof the central, highly sensitive space as
before the renovation. result of a cooperative planning process "Mitten in LObeck".

within a matter of hours. This is only possible up thinking and joined-up action. Currently de-
because of our perceived neutrality - a status velopment practices often proceed in a piece-
that in our experience is rarely conferred on lo- meal fashion, in accordance with local plans
cal authorities by the communities they repre- that are frequently outdated within months of
sent. Community involvement can turn criti- being published. Such schemes serve their own
cism into a constructive dialogue. It allows local ends and often close down other more exciting
people to understand each other's concerns or beneficial possibilitie s.
within a broader context, and thereby make de- Contrary to popular belief, engaging in
cisions that are based on collective aspirations community involvement is not like opening
rather than narrow personal desires. Commu- Pandora's box. By creating a consensus view
nity involvement can quickly establish a con- amongst stakeholders, development can pro-
sensus vision for an area . It can also help iden- ceed through the planning system unhindered
tify appropriate mechanisms for the delivery of by opposition, and achieve results that tradi-
this vision including potential development tional methods may take many months or even
partners and funding streams. It creates joined- years to produce. Community involvement pro-
cooperation - Urban planning is a community project 61

vides a fast track learning process for all the nity. It can inspire individuals to take on new
participants. This helps ordinary people under- responsibilities. In this respect it supports ca-
stand the development process, the issues that pacity building, local democracy and encourag-
face their local community and the barriers that es good citizenship. It also provides projects
stand in the way of fulfilling their aspirations, with strong advocates who help carry the vision
such as economic viability and funding logistics. forward because they feel collective ownership
Community involvement unlocks the energy of the proposals that will have a beneficial effect
and enthusiasm of people in the local commu- on their quality of life.

Further reading Selected websites

NickWates, The Community Planning Event Manual, Earthscan Liberties Regeneration - Development of a regeneration concept
Publications Ltd, London 2008. for an urban quarteron the Guinness brewery site, 2008-2009
NickWates, The Community Planning Handbook, Earthscan
publications Ltd, London 2000. villageat Caterham
Andreas von Zadow, perspektivenwerkstatt, Deutsches Institut www.communityplanning.neticasestudies/casestudy009.php
fOr Urbanistik, Berlin 1997. Community planning workshop "Mitten in Lubeck" (In the centre
Andreas von Zadow, "Konzertierte Aktionen fur einen inte- of Lubeck)
grativen Stadtumbau," in: Stadt im Umbau - Neue urbane www.communityplanning.neticasestudies/casestudy008.php
Horizonte, salzburger Institutfur Raumordnung undWohnen, Graylingwell, Chichester - Conversion of a former listed hospital
Salzburg 2005. complex to a carbon-neutral mixed-use settlement, 2008
Northlittlehampton - Newneighbourhood on the north edge of
Littlehampton 2008
Community Development Trusts


Variety -
The Sudstadt in Ttibingen as a model for the city
Cord Soehlke

In the 21st century, more people now live in cit-

ies tha n in rura l areas. In western societies in
particul ar, people's everyday lives, and what
the y can and cannot do, are sha ped by their ur-
ban environment. This apparent triumph of the
city can not, however, be attributed to a single
model of the city but rather to a bewildering as-
sortment of urban concepts and developm ental
processes. The much-vaunted European city -
with its compact, diverse mix of functions - is
now no longer the dominant form ,both in terms
of quantity and influence , and ha s been relegat-
ed to a less relevant branch of urban practice.
Since the 1950s at the latest, the ideal of the
func tionally sep arated, zoned city has domi-
na ted. Theoret ical discourse too was similarly
convinced that the future lies in the "city with-
out qualities" (Rem Koolhaas), the post -city,the
vertical city and the suburb an city - urban ty-
pologies that flourish without the dense mix of
func tions and qualities th at ch aracterise the
European city.
Despite such gloomy prognoses, in Germa- Old andnew in the Loretto Quarter.
ny and Europe a gradual renaissan ce of the ur-
ban realm has started to emerge since the late vironment? A comparison of two different de-
1990s. Ever more cities have crea ted and are cre- velopme nt models aims to offer some answers:
ating opportunities for residents and businesses on the one hand, the development of the Sud-
to move back into the inner cities. What do peo- st adt district in Tilbingen, a pioneering urban
ple expect from life in the city? What motivates rena issance project, and on the othe r, a (neces-
families and businesses to point their removal sarily generalised) look at the suburban devel-
van towards the cities and choose an urban en - opment s in southern USA. A fundamental prin -
64 CordSoehlke

tlement. Four key concepts form th e basis for

the (then almost audacious) attempt to convert
an abandoned site into a function al urban envi-

Mixed-use, dense, urban - and nevertheless


The basic typological element of th e develop-

ment is an urban townhouse with apartments
on the upper floors and shops and commercial
premises on the ground floor. In 2008, the Lo-
Residential neighbourhood in Riverside, Ca lifornia. retto and French Quarters, the first two quarters
to be completed, contain more than 200 shops,
ciple of this comparison is the ability, or the offices, workshops and facilities providing al-
privilege, of the city to offer Access for All - ac- most 1,000jobs.The intention of this mixed -use
cess to everyday culture, interaction and par- concep t was not only to stimulate an open and
ticipation in social life for as man y people as lively atmosphere of the kind that can only
possible. come about through functional diversity but
also to create man y high-quality jobs. An equal-
Building cities rather than settlements ly important aspect that becomes increasingly
important over time is that diverse functional
Since the mid 1990s the university town of Til- provisions make it easier to organise one's ev-
bingen ha s been redeveloping a site previously eryday activities. The close proximity of work-
occupied by military barracks to create a new place, childcare facilities, shopp ing, culture and
neighbourhood for 6,000 residents as well as restaurants, sometimes even within babyph one
2,000 workplaces. Alongside local aims, such as reach, facilitate a more flexible and attractive
upgrading the comparatively deprived Sildst adt living arrangement. A further important ele-
district and alleviating pressure on the local ment of mixed -use concepts is the program-
hou sing market, one aim was clear from the matic integration of social and cultural infra-
outset: to build a piece of city, not a hou sing set- structure in urban quarters: children's nurser-
variety - The SO dstadt in TObingen asa model for the city 65

ies, adult education centres , disabled projects

and social centres are not located in separate
areas but integrated into the urb an grain.
Rathe r than demolishing the military build-
ings, these were instead rapidly and flexibly
converted for new uses .Worksho ps and student
accomm odati on, exclusive lofts and comm unal
housing projects moved into the old buildings.
These form the backbone around which th e new
quarter s h ave grown, which with a density of
between 200 and 300 personslhectare are more
akin to a turn -of-the -century neighbourhood
th an the average new housing estate. Although
this level of dens ity is not without its concerns,
it has tan gible advantages : urba n spaces are Outline plan for the SOdtstadt development. TObingen.
created, many facilities are available close to
one ano the r and are only a short distance away, operatives consist of a group of private persons
and land prices are affordable for people with who cooperate to realise larger or sma ller build-
average earnings. ing projects where they retain control of costs,
concept and architecture.This has four key ben-
Laissez-faire: build ing cooperatives and land efits for the clients as well as for the city:
Combin ation effects for various factors bring
The new urban blocks were sub divided much cost savings of 15 to 20%; a considerable
like a large cake: rather tha n predefining the am ount witho ut which many would not be
size of th e plots, th e blocks were divided accord- able to afford to build in Tiibingen.
ing to the appetite of the clients - sometimes Responsibility for one's own project leads to
they are 4 metres wide, sometimes half a street greater identification with the qu arter as a
long. The plots were marketed by the city and whole.
sold primarily to private building cooperatives As the concept of the building cooperative be-
and only rarely to developers. The building co- came more est ablished in recent years , so too
66 Cord Soehlke

Site plan
Date: 12/04/06

t WlrtschaftsfOrderung
Tubmgen ' WIT



D Trafficcalmed
play street"

D 20 mphzone

Public parkingspace

Possible entrance to
underground parking

For easier leglbiliry this plan

stews 1M number of permn-
ted storeys. later plans will
shOw the maximum permis-
sibleheight sothat storey
heights can be allocatedas
desired. For orientation:

I N 3,0 m
11+0 9.S m
lIJ+D 12,5 m
rv+O 15,5 m

The MOhlen Quarter in TObingen benefitted from experience gained in the development of the sudstadt.
Variety - The SOdstadt in TObingen asa model for the city 67

h as the spectrum of different projects. A fun -

damental process of evolution came about
with individua l projects developing their own
specialisation and niche areas: energy-effi-
cient projects, low-bud get h ouses, a commu-
nity -oriented group , an intra-gene rational
concept, an architecturally ambiti ous project,
a sm all project with just two units - the list is
long and cont inues to grow. These all st and
cheek by jowl in the same quarter, creating
contrast and the desired diversity of concepts ,
ways of life and building typologies.
The breadth and variety of approach es con-
tribu tes to the fourth advantage: building co-
operatives by na ture attract a broader range
of social backgroun ds. For some who cannot
afford a developer-built flat or family house,
it offers a means to an own home ; for others
a means of being able to define how they want
to live themselves . Many people who could
h ave afforded a house in the periph ery were
attracted to the idea of a building cooperative
as a mean s of enjoying the urban atmos ph ere Buildingcooperatives in the French Quarter.
of a dense and mixed neighbourhood while
being able to influence thei r own sur roun d-
ings. adu lts bu t also serve as meeting places for the
urban community. Their function as a road or
The outdoor urb an space in the Siidst adt as- park ing area is secondary as parking blocks are
sumes particular importance: within more arranged at the edge of the quarter. As a result
dense and mixed structures, such open spaces the streets and squ ares assume the character of
are not just recreational areas for children and "living rooms for the neighbourhood."
68 Cord Soehlke

Night-time view of the Lorettoplatz.

variety - The SOdstadt in TObingen asa model for the city 69

The former stables in the French Quarter.

Talked about and highly regarded: the colla- urban structures, the tangible vitality of the re-
boration between municipality and private sulting quarters and the collaboration between
initiatives municipal authorities and private initiatives.
The city of Tubingen coordinated all develop-
The combination of these four elements and the ments and established a special project team -
small-scale focus have transformed a series of the Stadtsanierungsamt or Urban Development
previously unattractive barracks to a lively ur- Office - responsible for all aspects of develop-
ban quarter in the space of just ten years . The ment from the master plan to economic devel-
success of the initiative has attracted interna- opment and the awarding and sale of plots.
tional interest: the city of Tubingen and the ur- Ultimately, however, the new Sudstadt dis-
ban design office Lehen drei in Stuttgart have trict was built and designed by the many archi-
been awarded the German and European Urban tects, building cooperatives and private clients
Design Awards and won first prize in the Stern- who passionately and actively created their
Stadt competition as well as many other com- "own piece of the city." The new quarters ha ve,
mendations. therefore, become platforms that demonstrate
Three aspects were commended special the variety and vitality of urban society. For the
importance: the concerted effort to bring about people who live and work there, the urban envir-
70 Cord Soehlke

Dense, mixed-use, urban : bUilding the city ... with private building cooperatives.

onment offers a variety of options for living their velopment. This work was also passed onto the
own independent and flexible way of life. Urban Development Office, which - in addition
to its normal duties - took over the role of a pri-
From the redevelopment of military bases to vate (urban) developer.
industrial brownfield sites The basic principle of this development con-
cept is based on that used for the Sudstadt: the
The experiences gained from the quarters in the city adopts a strong position, not just as the plan-
Sudstadt were so positive that from 2002 on- ning authority but also through its land use pol-
wards the City of Tubingen began to look for icy; development is undertaken predominantly
new ways to transfer the development model to by groups of private clients who are given as
other parts of the city and other scenarios. In much freedom as possible; all relevant aspects of
2003 the city established a land development the complex development are coordinated by a
company attached to the city council's econom- dedicated officein the local authority.
ic development department. Its task was to ac- What makes this development interesting
quire industrial brownfield sites , develop an is that the active involvement of the city in real
urban development plan in accordance with the estate development is not restricted to a par-
city's aims and facilitate their small-scale rede- ticular location or legal model , such as a devel-
Variety - The sudstact inTObingen asa model for thecity 71

opment programme, but can be transferred to

fit other situations - providing, of course, that
there is the political will. The new quarters ben-
efit from the experience gained in the develop-
ment of the Sudstadt, although not all aspects
and building blocks are transferred wholesale .
Instead, the different models follow the same
governing principle : it is the role of the city to
create the conditions for the development of
complex neighbourhood concepts and with it to
create the basis for a diverse and heterogeneous
property market. This approach is based on a Suburbs asfar asthe horizon.
clear understanding of the role of the public
and private sectors: whenever the city wishes to I visited three local authorities, one each in Flor-
pursue strategic development aims, the public ida, Arizona and California. Leavingto one side
authority must intervene actively in order to the specific qualities of each city, although in-
ensure that sufficient options remain available teresting, all three places exhibited similar basic
for private initiatives . characteristics:

Welcome to suburbia - the southern USA Significant growth with almost unlimited re-
strictions on land-use;
In 2006, I had the opportunity to visit several strict functional separation between residen-
municipalities in southern USA as part of a tial and commercial areas ;
three-week travel grant. Three weeks is only development is undertaken by large devel-
long enough to gain a superficial overviewof the oper consortia ;
situation and my observations are therefore not almost no typological variety in residential
as detailed as my own experien ce in Tubingen - areas , just single family houses next to one
Sudstadt. I was nonetheless able to acquire a another;
lasting impression of an urban model that con- no noteworthy social diversity as a result of
trasts sharply with the notion of the European the monotonous typology:the kind of clientele
city. who need and are able to afford 300-square-
72 Cord Soehlke

Row after row: suburban reality.

metre-large houses with double garage and a how close this system can come to the brink of
large garden do not come from diverse social collapse since the US real estate crisis began in
backgrounds; 2008. The subprime mortgage crisis is not just a
total lack of recreational and social functions financial problem but also and specifically the
in the public realm: an urban society that is crisis of an urban model and its dramatic lack
completely reliant on the car as a means of of flexibility in difficult times.
transport and in which shops only function in Equally interesting for me,however, is what
shopping malls no longer needs public urban consequences this model has for the everyday
spaces; way of life and activities of individual people
staggering distances : in Riverside in Califor- and the development of urban society. My time
nia, a residential area advertises proximity to was too short for a more serious inquiry, how-
a public playground as a key location factor. ever, my impressions were sufficient to elabo-
The playground lies just 15 minutes away by rate some questions :
car - providing there is no congestion.
Much has already been written about the eco- What effect do journey times of two, three or
logical and economic risks of suburbanisation four hours a day have on the quality and vi-
and we have become uncomfortably aware of tality of family life? If the next workplace or
variety - The SOdstadt in TObingen asa model for the city 73

Each with its own platform. Riverside, California.

childcare facility is 20 or 30 kilometres away, homosexuals have to move to San Francisco

what implications does this have when par- and all seniors to Sun City?
ents wish to take up work again or to work Where do people get to know each other when
part-time? the only remaining primary points of interac-
How robust are suburban structures when tion are the school , the church, and the shop-
biographical crises occur, for example after a ping mall ?
separation or the loss of a job? If one can no
longer afford to live in one's house or no long- Obviously, the suburban structures of southern
er wishes to live together, how far away from USA are not representative for the multiplicity
home must one move to find alternative af- of urban constellations in the USA. Neverthe-
fordable living accommodation? less, a key impression remains: as suburbanisa-
What implications are there for society when tion increases, the options open to the individu-
families with high incomes, families with av- al become more restricted and with it the degree
erage incomes and the elderly no longer live of social heterogeneity.
in the same neighbourhood? Where do those
people live who do not correspond to the ar-
chetypal "family with two children?" Do all
74 Cord Soehlke

economi c crises; to provide a wide variety of

housing options so that individuals can change
their living situation according to their circum-
stances - and not vice versa; and to provide
quarters that are more than a mere agglomera-
tion of real estate, quarters that ideally become
places in which its residents can determine
their own degree of seclusion or involvement
and in which the diversity of modern society
can be experienced and yet still offers a mod-
ern-day hom e for everyone. When the se are
given, there is a good chance that urban struc-
ture s can form the basis of a plurali st society.
In my view Access for All express es this con-
ception of the city most succinctly. The acces-
sibility and barrier-free nature of urban struc-
ture s is mu ch more than just a matter of barri-
er-free access to the urban environm ent. Access
The former French military magazine in the Loretto Quarter: for All stands for the design of urban environ-
acquired and converted by a group of private clients. ments that improve the options open to the in-
dividual, tha t enable one to take part in society
Access for all : the privilege of the city and provide - in passing as well as on the door-
step - access to the resource s that one need s in
What expectations can and should we have of order to live one's life independently.
the city today? Perhaps more than anythin g else, I am convinced that this understanding of
that the city should fulfil the great urban prom- the city leads to a whole catalogue of practical
ise of being able to offer its residents a wide va- question s which today's urban structures need
riety of different options. This is without doubt to addre ss:
the primary task of urban planning: to guaran-
tee residents access to work, culture, and social What opportunities do children have to inde-
facilities in prosperous times as well as during pendently explore and discover new spaces,
variety - The SOd stadtin TObingen asa model for the city 75

Viewof the French Quarter.

76 Cord Soeh lke

Aerial view of the Loretto Quarter.

variety - The sudstact intublngen asa model for the city 77

to experience diversity in their local environ- What possibilities do individuals have should
ment and to learn from their own experienc- their personal, social or economic circum-
es? stances change radically?
What possibilities do mothers and fathers
have to coordinate work and bringing up their Many of these are without doubt aspects that
children without overburdening themselves exceed the scope of urban design itself - and yet
on a daily basis? urban structures have a particular role to play
What employment opportunities are avail- in society in that they offer as well as obstruct
able for unemployed people in their local en- opportunities. Especially when we consider the
vironment and how easy is it to come by? realities of suburban structures it appears that
What opportunities do migrants have to con- the supposedly obsolete model of the "European
tribute to society and retain their dignity? city" can indeed offer a structural basis for ac-
What opportunities are there for older people tual and wide-ranging Access for AIL
to meet other generations that are not part of
their own family?
How can today's pluralistic society experi-
ence and continually reform itself on an ev-
eryday basis outside of rigid institutions?

For further information see:


Syntax -
Planning urban accessibility
Anna Rose / Tim Stonor

From policy to practice - Space Syntax evi- users.This captures the availability of transport,
dence-based tools for accessibility planning access to services and goods as well as access to
the means of social and economic participation
Over the last decades we ha ve seen a shift of the in a community. On the other hand, the term
UK planning culture from modernist zoning law Universal Access is used to describe a set of de-
to spatial accessibility planning policy. This has sign principles that prevent designers creating
far-reaching consequences including the re- physical barriers in our built environment on a
quirement of a completely new set of skills for more local scale. This supports the inclusion of
planners, urban designers, and everyone in- people with any kinds of disabilities within the
volved in the development process. As a result larger community.
of this process , there is a real need for the pro- Relating urban form to urban function,
fession to catch up with the changes in thinking Space Syntax is interested in how all different
and radically adapt the ways of working in order scales of accessibility overlap , thereby shaping
to produce more convincing results. This would our great cities and neighbourhoods into suc -
support the intentions of policy makers who in- cessful communities. Through investigations of
tend to put all new housing within easy reach of urban layout in relation to different scale s of
work, education, shopping and leisure facilities . movement (local micro environment, neigh-
This also requires stronger cross disciplinary in- bourhood, city, region) we can identify how cit-
tegration of the relevant professions, including ies are shaping the emerging collective patterns
planning, transportation and economics. In this of human behaviour. Great cities provide an en-
context, Space Syntax is supporting local au - vironment that is convenient to use on all scales ,
thorities and private sector clients in creating a safe to inhabit and that offers a high choice of
spatial evidence -base for decision taking and in lifestyles and economic prospects to a majority
communicating the impact of planning deci- of its users. Space Syntax promotes a scientific
sions . This article provides background on how approach to the understanding of accessibility,
the Space Syntax method has evolved alongside which helps contribute to the development of
and in response to developments within the UK sustainable communities and the long-term
planning culture. value of the built urban fabric .
Through over 20years of research-informed
The term accessibility consulting, Space Syntax has developed a tech-
nology that demonstrates the key role of spatial
Accessibility describes the degree to which a lo- layout in shaping patterns of movement on foot,
cation or a service is accessible to all its possible on cycles and in vehicles . This includes activi-
80 Anna Rose / Tim Stonor

ties such as way finding and purchasing in retail work" - the way that the systems of roads, walk-
environments, and deals with issues such as so- ways, squares, and open spaces are joined to-
cial surveillance and vulnerability to criminal gether.
activity in buildings and urban settings, and co- With the help of Geographic Information
presence and communications in the workplace. Systems (GIS) and bespoke Space Syntax soft-
These findings have been shaping thinking in ware, we can analyse the movement network to
the planning debate over the last decades in the quantitatively measure "spatial accessibility".
UK and elsewhere. Space Syntax is now an estab- There are different types of spatial accessibility:
lished tool which uses topological network the first, "metric distance accessibility" relates
models to understand the impact of modern to the distance a person would have to travel
city planning on communities, and helps to re- from one place in the network to the other. The
shape them. This method is applied to the rede- second, "spatial integration accessibility" is con-
velopment of urban centres and public spaces, cerned with the number of changes of direction
the development of spatial strategies for whole that such a journey would require. Spatial inte-
cities, and to the regeneration of informal set- gration is frequently more important because it
tlements. It allows us to anticipate the success measures the complexity of routes within an
or failure of urban policy in advance of its im- urban area.
plementation. Knowing about the patterns of spatial ac-
cessibility is valuable because they help us fore-
Methodology cast movement patterns that we cannot observe
directly, either because observations are too
The important role of spatial accessibility in costly or because the areas in question have not
urban settlements has been extensively docu- yet been built.
mented. It is widely acknowledged that the
quality of urban areas is largely shaped by the Understanding the "crisis"of modernist urban
patterns of pedestrian, cyclist, and vehicular principles
movement. Key results from previous studies
using Space Syntax methods demonstrate that So-called failing urban areas inhibit accessibil-
patterns of movement are, in turn, strongly ity and social and economic inclusion. It can be
influenced by the layout of the "movement net- demonstrated that tragically, the same spatial
Syntax- Planningurbanaccessibility 81

Spatial accessibility map of central London, applying a catchmentradius of 10kmto each route segment, before calculating its
relative accessibility to the overall system.

prin ciples which were originally developed to The British New Towns have been compared
impro ve the quality of life of the urban poor at many tim es with th eir historic counterparts of
the beginning of th e 20th century have signifi- similar size. In fact, the concepts of th e prede-
cantly contributed to the production of spatial- cessors of the New Towns, th e Garden Cities,
ly and functionally segregated urban area s with were developed by Ebenezer Howard on the no-
highly un sustainable impacts and high social tion of a network of small, walkable towns in
costs for communities. rural settings.As opposed to their historic coun-
82 Anna Rose / Tim Stonor

terparts these would be equipped with all the New Towns versus evolved cities
modern amenities such as sewage, electricity,
and transport infrastructure connecting them In the context of the current tight housing mar-
with regional centres. At the time rural towns ket, the historically evolved cities are generally
lacked these amenities and therefore living con- more popular and achieve higher land values
ditions were poor. Combined with a shortage of than New Towns of a similar size. Historic cen-
jobs in the rural areas, this led to the exodus of tres are seen to be attractive and economically
the countryside and the overcrowding of the sustainable places worth investing in. Unfortu-
bigger cities. nately' this is not the case for most New Towns.
The initiative of the New Towns as well as While today both New Towns and historically
a large number of other government housing evolved cities provide the same basic access to
programmes across the UK and Europe was a modern infrastructure and offer the same qual-
reaction to the destruction following World War ity of transport links to the surrounding region,
II,and to the bad state of the so-called inner-city research by Regeneration and Renewal magazine
slums. The separation of the different urban shows that in 2004 three quarters of the 20 New
functions such as housing, working, industry, Towns in the UK were among the 50% most de-
and leisure applied in the New Towns has to be prived UK Local Authorities. Even more worry-
understood in this historical and cultural con- ingly, all but two are more deprived than all the
text. At the same time the revolution of private other authorities within their county.
motorised traffic and the negative effect it had
on the available transport infrastructure, led Identifying the difference
planners and politicians to search for new ur-
ban models. The famous and influential report Over the last decade Space Syntax has conduct-
Traffic in Towns (1963) warned of this effect and ed a series of projects that investigate the differ-
introduced a catalogue of measures for traffic ences in the urban structure of New Towns and
management, including the strong separation historically evolved cities. We use the term ur-
of cars and pedestrians which today is still in- ban structure to define a number of tangible
fluencing the appearance and functionality of spatial measures which we know have a com-
modern cities around the world. bined impact on urban activity patterns and the
Syntax - Planning urban accessibility 83

social-economic development of cities. These could not be sustained as planned and that
factors, which influence urban movement, are: most of the town centres in the New Towns have
not succeeded economically. In a typical New
1. Spatial structure, Town the accessibility core does not necessary
2. urban block size, overlap with the functional core of the town
3. land use structure, centre. In that sense, the spatial pattern does
4. distribution of population density. not reflect the distribution of the hierarchy of
the main functions. Highly integrated segments
Our studies have demonstrated that historically of the route network are usually reserved for
evolved settlements have certain spatial char- one mode of transport, most often for vehicular
acteristics in common. It is also important to traffic. As a consequence, New Towns create ex-
highlight that their age is a proof of their sus- tremely spatially segregated networks which
tainability, since it highlights their adaptability are hard to navigate for pedestrians. This leads
to changing needs. In most of these cities, the to low levels of co-presence and social surveil-
most spatially integrated parts correspond with lance which has a direct impact on character
the centre. There is an accessibility core with a and feelings of security or vulnerability. These
fine urban block structure supporting a mixed- issues have a significant influence on the social
use land use structure which offers short routes and economic profile of these cities. Pedestrian
between destinations, attracting pedestrians to data of eight evolved cities and five New Towns
the area. Within this core we also find all major of comparable size highlight significantly lower
transport interchanges and regional functions, quotas of pedestrians in the New Towns, which
which are concentrated along the main move- reflects unsustainable transport behaviour.
ment corridors. This type of city supports a mix-
ture of transport modes. Sustainable communities and accessibility
The "New Towns Act" 1946 initiated the de- planning
velopment of satellite towns within commuting
distance of existing cities. They were supposed During the last decades of the 20 th century, a new
to offer mixed-use communities for living and Labour Government in the UK faced two major
working. Many studies show that this mixture challenges: regeneration of failed modernist
84 AnnaRose / Tim Stonor

syntactic patterns of two towns

Integration Block size Land use


Historic Town

Spatial integration Block size in sqm Land use

high . 213 000 to 405000 Retail/Catering

69000 to 213000 Commercial/Offices/Leisure
35000 to 69000 Residential
= low
20000 to
12000 to
20 000

Transport/car park
7000 to 12000 Vacant/Others
4000 to 7000
2000 to 4 000
1000 to 2000
Oto 1000

Syntactic comparison between Skelmersdale New Town and Colchester,a historically evolvedcity.
Syntax - Planning urban accessibility 85

areas and the development of new housing to the spatial organisation of different uses and
accommodate growth in demand. The report To- planning for sustainable transport strategies.
wards an Urban Renaissance written by the new The British planning system builds on a ne-
urban task force under Lord Richard Rogers gotiation process between all stakeholders.
deals with the question of how to build 4 million Therefore, clear guidance and requirements are
dwellings within the next 25 years without mak- necessary for a successful planning process. De-
ing the same mistakes of post-war urbanism velopers are well advised to produce the evi-
and without destroying too much valuable land- dence to prove compliance with local and na-
scape. tional planning policies. The official national
Apart from proposals to relax planning guidance documents By Design and Safer Places
laws on density and parking requirements, recy- promote high standards in urban design and
cling of brownfield sites and promotion of pub- provide best practice advice. However, the prin-
lic transport, the report demands fundamental ciples promoted in By Design are not always easy
changes to the planning system in the UK. The to evaluate objectively. While most stakeholders
Sustainable Communities Plan defines areas for agree with the stated aims, few tools are avail-
growth predominantly within the industrial belt able for evaluating design proposals against
in the north of the country and the Thames them. In 1999, the government founded CABE
Gateway. (Commission for Architecture and the Built En-
The report Making the Connections (2003), vironment) to serve as a "government watch-
published by the Social Exclusion Unit in 2003 dog" for design quality. CABE advises public and
is triggering far-reaching reforms in the plan- private sector agencies, organises design review
ning system. Accessibility planning will replace panels, promotes education projects and carries
many of the existing planning instruments and out extensive research in the fields of architec-
local strategies should guarantee that commu- ture and planning. CABE's housing audit in 2006,
nities are planned holistically so that all rele- evaluated 100 new residential developments
vant functions (education, workplaces, retail, which had been built between 2003 and 2006
health facilities, child care, culture, and leisure) and concluded that only 18% of all projects
can be accessed easily on foot and by public could be classed as good or very good. Too many
transport. Planners are now responsible for wide of the developments did not reach the stand-
ranging aspects of public transport as well as for ards stated in By Design and other best practice
86 Anna Rose / Tim Stonor

Creative thinking

Consultation Baseline

Object ive evaluati on Strateg ic design

Evidence-based design process, as developed by Space Syntax.

documents and most problems were identified evidence-based processes and tools which can
in suburban areas. They also concluded that be integrated in the creative design develop-
new housing, mostly without character, provid- ment process .The use of the Space Syntax meth-
ed a low quality pedestrian environment and odology adds value in the following three stag-
the needs of the car superseded the needs of the es:
pedestrian in the public realm landscape.
1. Diagnosis: measuring spatial potentials and
Evidence-based creativity constraints of an area is the first step towards
the identification of new opportunities in any
In supporting clients in understanding and con- area .
trolling the impact of spatial layout in any de- 2. Prognosis: design evaluation and optimi sa-
velopment, Space Syntax developed a set of tion tools give reassurance when a design is
Syntax - Planning urban accessibility 87

developing in a favourable way or alert the translates the objectives of planners, design-
team when it is in danger of functional fail- ers, transport engineers, economists, devel-
ure. opers, investors, and members of the public
3. Communication: Space Syntax methods allow in such a way that they can be understood by
us to speak a common, spatial language that all and organised into meaningful, practical
cuts across disciplinary boundaries and frameworks for action.

Further reading and selected websites Peter Hall and Ebenezer Howard, To-morrow. A Peaceful Path
Bill HillierandJulienne Hanson, The Social Logic of Space, to Reform, London 2003.
cambridge 1984. Joey Gardiner, Regeneration andRenewal Magazine, London
Bill Hillier, Space is the Machine, Cambridge 1996. 2004.
B. Hillier, A. Penn, J. Hanson, T. Grajewski and J. Xu, A. Rose, C. Schwander, C. Czerkauer, R. Davidel, "space Matters,
"Natural movement: or, configuration andattraction in urban Regelbasiertes Entwerfen: Pattern, Graphentheorie", in:
pedestrian movement", in: Environment andPlanning B, ARCH+, no. 189,2008, pp. 32-37.
no. 20,1993, pp. 29-66.
Department of the Environment, Transport andthe Regions (Ed.),
Towards an Urban Renaissance, London 1999.
Department of the Environment, Transport andthe Regions (Ed.),
By oesign, London 2000.
88 Anna Rose / Tim Stonor

]eddah Strategic Planning Framework

Space Syntax was commissioned by the Munici-
pality of]eddah to create a spatial development
strategy for the city. Working closely with the
Municipality we have built an evidence-based
development strategy and produced a set of ur-
ban design guidelines. The project covered three
potential growth scenarios for the whole city
and proposals for a number of action areas.
One of the key aims of the project was to Jeddah's historic core.
rebalance the growth of the city to the north by
strengthening the city centre and its immediate
surroundings. This was achieved by promoting my of a large number of residents. In order for
strategic new developments within the old air- ]eddah to realise its potential and benefit from
port site, the central waterfront area , and in the the cultural and social diversity of its populati-
unplanned areas surrounding the city centre. on, it is essential that the poorer and more af-
fluent segments of the community, and the dif-
Challenges ferent ethnic groups be brought together into an
The most challenging aspect of this project was inclusive society. The spatial structure of the
the sheer complexity of the social, cultural, eco- urban landscape is possibly the most important
nomic, and environmental issues that had to be mechanism at the disposal of planners seeking
integrated in the planning process . ]eddah's to achieve these objectives.
population is extremely diverse, hosting mi-
grant communities from the entire Muslim Solution
world, as well as the strong Arabian host culture. Space Syntax analysis techniques were used first
Many migrants are extremely poor, living in de- as a diagnostic tool to understand how the his-
sperate conditions in older buildings or unplan- tory and evolution of the city's structure has led
ned developments, which on the other hand to patterns of density, land use, and socio-eco-
form the basis of the livelihood and local econo- nomic settlement. The spatial causes of what
Syntax- Planning urban accessibility 89

are seen as barriers to social cohesion were

identified and a priority list of objectives for the
masterplan was drawn up.
Next, the analysis was turned into an op-
tion appr aisal to allow different spatial strate-
gies to be teste d and their likely impacts mea-
sured. A spa tial strategy and a development
density strategy were defined for the whole city,
including its peripheral development areas and
detailed urban design guidelines were defined
for each development area . The strategic plan-
ning framework was adopted by the Municipal-
ity of ]eddah in 2006 and is part of the emerging
]eddah Plan .

]eddah Central Urban Area Masterplan Combined spatial and land usemeasures highlight the shift of town centre activity to the north.

Concept masterplan and urban design

Degree of accessibility to
guideline s The design concept proposes a permeable zone major services
On the basis of our work with the Municipality, along th e whole of the waterfront area , includ -
the waterfront area was iden tified as one of sev- ing public facilities such as parks and promena-


eral strategic development zones to support the des, restaura nts and cafes.Vehicular tr affic will
regener ation of the city centre. Space Syntax led be organised around the historic core of the city,
a concept masterplan for the regenera tion and
development of a SaO-hecta re part of Ieddah city
while all other routes prioritise pedestrians, pu-
blic transport, and service vehicles.This system

centre, with Abdulaziz Kamel Consulting Bu- will be connecte d to existing and proposed new

reau and Arup for Urban Development Co. Ltd. radial routes through the surroundings of the
This is a very challenging area of central ]eddah, historic core.The design of these rout es will pro-
where the historic core, wat erfront, unplanned vide the highest possible standards of pedestri-
areas, and major arteries of the city meet. an amenity, while building mass and landscape low
90 Anna Rose/ Tim Stonor


- low

Growth development scenarios of Jeddah. Spatial strategiesand land use planning for the ring of un-
left: existing, middle: current plan, right: promoting regenera- planned areas surroundingthe historic core of Jeddah.
tion of the city centre (Space Syntax proposal)

are used to modify the micro -climate via strate- plan proposal, which is currently developed by
gic green east-west corridors. Radial routes will a high profile, multidisciplinary te am of inter-
allow city core activity to diffuse into surround- national designers and en gineers.
ing neighbourhoods. A continuation of the pe-
destrian environments of th e historic Souqs,
Nada and Qabil, will provide additional shop-
ping, tourism and leisure opportunities in a
comfortable environment, whilst significantly
contributing to employment and the local eco-
The highest potential for regeneration is
identified around the lagoon s and the develop-
ment area s near th e histori c core and the pro-
posed Shoreline Park. This area h as been as-
signed to Urban Development Company, which
is leading a local land owner conso rtium . Space
Syntax is assisting this consortium in preparing
design guidelines for a comprehensive master-
Syntax- Planning urban accessibility 91

Growth strategy and local sub-centre development. Concept masterplan central urban area.

Existing blocksize. Proposed block size.

92 Anna Rose I TimStonor

Skelmersdale Town Centre, UK

Masterplan Development

Space Syntax ha s been involved in an advisory
role in the design and development of Skelmers-
dale Town Centre. Space Synta x tested the
Benoy Architects masterplan and appraised var-
ious design options which were then progre ssed
in stakeholder workshops in July and September

Currently Skelmersdale suffers from a number
of spatial probl ems typicall y associated with
New Towns:

no overlap bet ween different scales or mode s

of movement,
two distinct movement networks for pedes-
trians and vehicles,
a number of clusters of over permeable, sin -
gle-use hou sing estates located away from
the town centre and connected back to it (and
other estates) very poorly (bott om left),
a town centre comp osed of very large, inward
facing and impenetrable blocks,isolated from
its surroundings.

These spatial problems can result in increased

Spatial analysis of the existingtown centre and pedestrian movement modellingof car use, increased levels of crime, and economic
Syntax - Plann ingurba n accessibility 93

problems such as low property values and a re-

duced retail concentration.

The masterplan as shown begins to address
these problems and makes a number of positive
contributions to the spatial structure which in-
clude :

overlaps between the different scales of

Degree of accessibility
movement, each of which strengthen the
town centre,
the global structure of the town centre is
= = Iow
based around the primary and secondary net-
work of streets instead of the network of pe- Detail of pedestrian movement model of the proposed master-
destrian paths at present, plan for skelrnersdale town centre.

the town centre is defined at the local scale

for the first time and begins to link the south-
east with the north-west , the focus of the tivity is then placed along the se strategic con-
vehicular model shifts from dual carriage- nections to pick up on the natural movement
ways to include the high street. along them. The college is situated to the north-
west of the site , near the town centre but away
The masterplan proposal illustrated here shows from the highe st movement rates associated
the extent of intervention in the centre. The with retail and the major route intersections.
main route alignments create a direct north- The ma sterplan was adopted as a supple-
south connection through the town that accom- mentary planning document in September
modates both pedestrian and vehicular move- 2008 .
ment and an east-west connection straight
through the lower level of the concourse, past
the Asda Supermarket and onto residential
communities at either end . Non-residential ac-


The imaginary as an instrument of urban
and regional planning
Wolfgang Christ

L.A. 70 times over

For a brief period in 1984, the people of Los An-

geles were able to experience a new, unexpected
and for many clearly enjoyable sense of iden ti-
ty: they were citizens of one and the same city.
It sho uld be noted, that this is by no mea ns self-
evident for a city such as Los Angeles. As Ray-
mond Cartier, the French journalist an d co-
founder of the magazine Paris Match , famously
procla imed back in the 1950s,"Los Angeles is so
to speak a conglomeration of suburbs waiting 1984 Olympic Games in LosAngeles: You are here.
for a centre"! - a verdict that holds true to the
present day. No other city in the world - rightly
or wrongly - is, as a product of being omnipres- be eas ily and economi cally removed afterwards.
ent in au diovisual media, film, television and All in all, not the best possible conditions for
computer games, so deeply anchored in global creating a cohe rent impression and presenting
conscious ness as a prototype of the boundless an illustrious image to the na tion and the rest
and cent reless megalopolis. of the world - or to the "western" world at least ,
In the summer of 1984, this image shifted as the "east" boycotte d the games.
and for a short while one was suddenly aware Noneth eless, it is the visual appearance of
of Los Angeles as a city - in the media, of cour se, the 1984 Olympics that springs most readily to
but also in real life. The occasion was the 23rd min d. The architec t Jon Jerde and his office The
Olympic Games which were to take place within Jerde Partnership together with the graphic de-
a radiu s of 100 miles. As th e first privately-fi- sign office Sussman/ Prezja were responsib le for
nanced Olympic Games, the bu dget was dictat- creating this image. Under Jerde 's leadership,
ed by economic concerns. Existing facilities the y developed a set of experimental urban
were renovated, converted, extended. New fa- building blocks. A series of rules were formu-
cilities were conceived from the outs et with a lated for using and combining the variety of dif-
view to their later use after the Olympics , or ferent standardised elements and 30 different
were erected as temporary structures tha t could architectural and design teams were then com-
96 wolfgang Christ

A P" vi, w Df Ih.


farIh, /984 Ol, mpic G,m..

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Kit of parts: pagesfrom the design catalogue for the visual identity of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

missioned to implement th ese for the 70 differ- quite simply to decorate buildi ngs and create an
ent Olympic location s dispersed throughout th e artificial urb an scenery.
urban region. With the hel p of these colourful
and expressive, delicate an d airy,mobile objects Jerde's low-budget urban design concept/ sensi -
it was possible to crea te crystallised archetypal tively mirrored the self-image of the city: Los
images of the south Californian urb an land- Angeles is cosmopolitan, forward-looking, opti-
scape which served, for exam ple, as route mark - mistic, lively, fast-m oving, colourful and, not
ers along routes to the Olympic locations, to least, omnipresent in the visual media . The
mark boundaries and entrances , enclose paths temporary installations, designed and built us-
and spaces, presen t information or services or ing simple, off-the -shelf materials, interpreted

1 Raymond Cartier,50 mal Amerika, Munich 1954, p.63. 4 Gernot sonrne. lac. cit., p.55.
2 FrancesAnderton, "Urban Tran sformations", in: Ray Bradbury 5 Gernot B6hme, lac. cit., p.70.
(ec.): You are here, London 1999, pp.26-33 . 6 wolfgang Christ: "stadttvp surooatscne Stadt", in:
3 GernotB6hme, Anmutungen. Ober das Atmospharische, K.-W. Schulte (ed.), Immobilienokonomie, Band III: Stadtplane-
Ostfildern 1998. rischeGrundlagen, Munich 2005, pp.365- 412.
Image - The imaginary asan instrument of urban and regional planning 97

the spirit of the city in a manner of their own. firstly, a city must provide places that invite one
They offered the people of Los Angeles - an ex- to engage with it; secondly, these places need to
ceptionally ethnically, culturally and socially communicate an impression that people re-
diverse as well as geographically segregated so- spond to, or speak a language that is understood
ciety - something with which they could all by as many people as possible. This offers the
identify. Consequently, the Olympic locations chance of developing a relationship founded on
told a story for everyone. They created places of what Gernot Bohme terms the medium of "at-
common identity. The resulting visual network mosphere." In contrast to the image, which is a
of landmarks and their presence, both in the "consciously outwardly expressed image of itself,
urban environment as well as in the urban me- or rather the totality of the preconceptions
dia, helped condense a 1000 square kilometre which those outside of the city have of it,"4 "the
city of labyrinthine complexity into a compre- atmosphere of a city is the subjective experi-
hensible urban figure that everyone could rela te ence of the urban reality which the people in
to. the city share with one another. They experi-
Seen today, some 25 years later, the archi- ence it as something objective, as a quality of
tectural interventions for the summer Olympics the city."
in Los Angeles seem like a fortunate product of
an experiment in an urban laboratory charged Foam City
with ascertaining how residents can feel part of
the urban society of today's vast cities, metro- When we think of the image of a traditional Eu-
politan regions and megacities; to find out ropean city, it is easy to picture a city that is
where they can meet; what communal experi- embedded in a characteristic landscape, whose
ences they share and what common imagery regional building tradition relates the stories of
they respond to both consciously and subcon- individual houses, whose public spaces reflect
sciously. In short: the challenge of how, as an self-assured citizenship and which testifies
individual, one can relate to urban surround- overall to the events of many hundreds of years. 6
ings that are subjectively perceived as being In both a literal as well as metaphorical sense, it
endless. builds numerous bridges which enable us to en-
Reproducing the image of a city seventy ter into a relationship with it - whether as a
times over makes us aware of two phenomena: tourist or resident. In the "city of old," this prin-
98 wolfga ng Christ

The yearning for a sense of centre: Piazza del popolo, Rome. Allianz Arena, Munich.

ciple of access was cultivated in the design of At the larger scale of the urban region , we rare -
the public realm .We all know, for example, how ly experience any of this. Here, urban dichoto -
city gates and towers mark the point at which mies ha ve all but dissolved. Zwischenstadt, th e
we cross the threshold bet ween out side and in- city in-between , is everywhere.' Nevertheless,
side; how avenues and parks facilitate the tran- in Europe and in the USA, a sense of connection
sition bet ween culture and na ture; how market with place still serves as a means of engender-
and town squares denote places for commerce ing a sense of respon sibility": respon sibility
and culture; and how church and cemetery towards our everyday sur roundings, the world
mark the transition bet ween the earth and in which we live, work and reside, as well as a
heaven . Here, access is not achieved thro ugh sense of commitment and responsibility to-
levelling the transition bet ween different pro- wards the process of urban development when
files bu t in fact the very opposite : the more dis- planning and designing our living environ-
tin ct the profile of the places, objects or milieu ment.
to be connected, the more striking the moment For community building at an urban level,
of access becomes and the more demon strative the sheer size of met ropolitan regions and mega-
its architectural expression in the urban realm . cities represents a barrier that for most people

7 Th omas Sieverts, Cities without Cities. An Interpretation of 10 wolfga ngChrist, Lars Bolling, BUder einet Zwischenstadt.
the zwischenstadt, London, New York 2003. Ikonografie und Szenografie eines urbanisierungsprozesses,
8 Harald sodenscnatz. Barbara Schbnig, Smart Growth - New wuppertal 2005.
Urbanism - Liveable Communities. Programm und Praxis der
Anti-Sprawl-Bewegung in den USA, wuppertal 2004.
9 Peter Sioterdjik, Sph8ren 1/1. sctuium, Frankfurt 2004, p.626.
Image - The imaginary asan instrument of urbanand regional planning 99

is hard to overcome . Being part of the city is,

however, the basis for taking part in the city.
Similarly, being able to communicate, to impart,
is a fundamental experience in engaging with
one another, both for the city as well as its citi-
zens. Social net works such as MySpace or Face-
book employ the Internet as a kind of virtual
sma ll town environment, facilitating face to
face contac t on screen . Economic networks such
as banks or mobile telecommunication com-
panies develop community strategies by "brand -
ing" charism atic places in metropolitan regions pantheon, Rome, zno centuryA.D.: access to the gods in the
and cities. Given th e relative anonymity of the city.

mark et , their aim is to forge a symbolic link be-

tween the provider and customer, the network Carda and Decumanus
and its users, between technology and people. It
is no coincidence that sports sta dia and aren as If the city in its original sense can be underst ood
are favourite targets for brand ing initiatives. as a place for communal activity, then it is clear
Peter Sloterdijk has described these bu ildings that we also need to develop means and ways of
as "the cathedrals of post-Christian society." He engendering civic identification at the scale of
uses the metaphor "foam city" to describe an the urban region." This includes the foun ding
urban land scape without centres, inh abited of a parliament for the urban region which
predominantly by "singles and sma ll families" would be responsible, for example, for manag-
living in multiple isolated cells next to one an- ing the met ropolitan region and mak ing politi-
other. Such "mass containers" satisfy the inhab- cally important decisions. At the level of urba n
itants' yearning for a centre, effectively simulat- an d regional development, however, this should
ing a sen se of centrality for the ma sses." One of only concern the urb an physical and spatia l di-
the principa l sponsors of the Olympic Games in mensions of enabling Access for All: what origin-
Los Angeles in 1984 was McDonalds, who made al function does medium of space have in this
profits of around 200 million dollars . respect? What form, effect an d mea ning do
100 wolfgang Christ

community, between real and simulated pa rti-

cipation , between Genius Loci and bra nded loca-
tion s, between city gates and web portals. Ideal -
istic aspirations collide with market require-
men ts. Neverthe less, some initial hypotheses
for the design of a strategy for access to urban
environments can still be formulat ed. Firstly,
Access for All is not a spontaneous or sporadic
occurrence but sho uld be based on a network.
Secondly, the network and nodes of th is system
of access need not to be commercially con-
Pantheon, Rome: an architecture of access to philosophy, the trolled or drawn up by public authorities. Third-
city and the state. ly, buil t forms of access to the city must assert
themselves again st the prevailing dominance of
economic and private interests in the urban re-
places that enable access to the city have? alm .
Which traditional "bridges", that in the past fa- In the early days of the European city, three
cilita ted access in the "city of old," have the po- places existed that both repre sented the city as
ten tial to be employed in a contemporary form well as facilitated access to th e city: th e agora
at a mu ch larger scale ? Which methods and in- as a place for communicating with one an other,
stru ments of acces s - app ropri ate to modern the temple as a place for communicating with
ways of life an d techn ologies - len d the mse lves the gods and the necropolis as a place for com-
particularly well to representation through th e municating with the dead . Access to the city
me dia? In short, wha t unique selling propositi - acquired a rational st ruc ture with the introduc-
on can architecture offer in the contex t of the tion of the urban grid pla n by Hippodamus of
debate on access to the city? Miletus. The Greek colonial cities, such as Na-
The observations outlined here give no ples, communicated urban culture in the form
clea r picture. Rather, acces s to the city of the of a plan layout . Carda and Decumanus, the east-
21st century shifts ambivalently between differ- west and north-south axes , define at th eir point
ent poles, between authentic atmosphere and of intersection the centre, the mundus, of the Ro-
orchestrated image, between civil society and man city.This point is symbo lically linked to the

11 Lars Bolling, Das Bifdder lwischenstadt - Dekodierungund

tnszenierung teumucner Identitat als Potenzial zur Qualifizie-
rung der verstsctenen Landschaft, Dissertation, Weimar2008.
12 James Hume, Will Alsop's supercit, Manchester 2005.
Image - The imaginary asaninstrument of urbanand regional planning 101

' 1-
__ llr
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. .. .' .J!;'"" p"''' 'I '" ...... . , r ~.
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'~i-"1 . .... ..f ...
It ~ .. . ' t"
......"" ~
h 'W'
The development of an urban region : the Rhin e-Main area in 1925 and 1990.

planet and the cosmos.The boundary of the city, trades, different market squares for all manner
signified by a furrow in the ground, later by a of different products, churches or monasteries.
palisade or massive wall, separated the civilised Gates open and close for the city as a munici-
space within from the wilderness of the natural pality.
surroundings beyond . The later dismantling of
the city walls and the introduction of technical SuperCity
infrastructure - railways , telegraph lines or
drinking water and sewage canalisation - into The current trend throughout Europe towards
the then still compact body of the city, marked the formation of urban and metropolitan re-
the beginning of the process of technical and gions and urban corridors has ruptured our es-
spatial networking of the city with the land- tab lished image of the city.The city has literally
scape, the city with the world, and ultimately fallen by the wayside. It has all but disappeared
the physical with the virtual realm. from view. Different countries ha ve coined a se-
Over the centuries, the city has been a ries of terms such as sprawl , Zwischenstadt, Nev-
sphere of radical spatial centrality and concen- elstad, Tussenland or Cirtu Diffusa to describe this
tration. Its systems of access were simultan- phenomenon." Terms such as "urban" corridors
eously systems of power. They are an expres- and "metropolitan"regions stretch the semantic
sion of the catalogue of the rights and obliga- definition of "the city"beyond recognition.There
tions of its citizens, merchants and craftsmen. is no longer a natural analogue in the everyday
This influence is clearly visible in the functional world for the city of the 21st century: urban cor-
and social segregation of the built form and ridors extend, for example, along the M62 be-
space of the city. Each location has its precise tween the coastal cities of Liverpool and Hull in
coordinates of access : separate streets for the central England." along the so-called Rhine-
102 Wolfgang Christ

perience has shown that they profit from the

principle of clustering by mutually attracting
other related functions , uses and milieus . They
are also the winners in times of demographic
change and migration away from shrinking re-
gions and cities. Similarly, they stand to benefit

FRffilLV TRRIL most from the abandonment of the welfare

state principle of guaranteeing equivalent living
conditions, also in terms of area . The concentra-
tion of public and private capital in growth cen-
tres will further underpin and strengthen the
location factors of the urban corridors .
Metropolitan regions develop, generally
speaking, in two different patterns: on the one
hand, through the cellular division of classic
monocentric metropolitan cities, for example
London. In such metropolitan regions, a large
number of often very different new centres in
the outlying regions grow around the historic
centre. On the other, through formal mergers of
cities and municipalities to form a larger metro-
WillAlsop's suoercity; a playful discovery of the urban region. politan region. They respond to the increasing
manifestation of functional zoning which by
now also influences the education, culture and
corridor in Germany or between Milan and Ven- recreational sectors with the result that the en-
ice in northern Italy. The backbone for these tire region becomes the everyday environment
band-like urban agglomerations typically con- for its inhabitants. The European metropolitan
sists of clusters of transit and communication regions, eleven of which are located in Germany,
infrastructure. In the European Union, these ur- are of a sufficiently large order of magnitude in
ban corridors are seen as areas of growth . Ex- operative terms to compete successfully at a

13 Ecole nationale superieure d'architecture et de paysage de

Lille (ed), L'espace de lagrande ecneue/soece on a large
scale, Paris 2006.
Image - The imaginary asan instrument of urban and regional planning 103

global level for jobs , investme nts, res idents and

touri st s.
If we t ake a closer look at the emerging
"large scale?" of urban develop me nt from the
viewpoint of Access fOT All, we can identify three
key questions for the future: how can we re-
interpret th e process of agglomeration of cities
in the region as growth of "the city ?" Or, does the
quality of cities in the tradition al sense sink to
the same degree as they grow quantitatively?
How can urban regions learn from the emanci-
patory his-tory of the city in Eur ope: what spe- The view from the top of the Gasometer in Oberhausen: the
cific "urban promise" can they offer ? And finally, infrastructural landscape of the "Ruhrpott."

is the congruence of place, structure and form

of the city as a traditional means of engender-
ing identity and facilitating access to the city of its developmen t over time, and of the con -
also conceivable at a large scale in the form of com itant structural changes in the principle of
a regional figure of the city? access to the city. To underst and th is develop-
ment in the conte xt of th e Ruhr region , one
separation and isolation must first pict ur e a region that un til the mid
19th century wa s a typica l, predominan tly rural,
The "Ruh r Metrop olis" provid es an exa mple of cultural landscape with around h alf a million
h ow Access fO T All could be achieved in the city inhabitants. From then on a perio d of inco mp a-
of the 21st century. Still known colloquially as rable growth bega n. From all over Germ any, and
the "Ruh rgebiet," the region is comparable with from Eastern Europe in par ticul ar,peop le flocked
other stretches of la nd in Europe that exp eri - to the region to work in the mining, iron an d
enced extensive urbanisation during the period steel industries. Man ufacturing, chemical and
of industrialisation . Three names th at have suc- energy and power industries followed soon after.
cessively been used to ch aracterise the region - As in England, textile industries also played an
"Ruhrpott,""Emsch er Park" and "Ruhrstadt" - tell important role, as we know from the biography
104 wolfgang Christ

of Friedrich Engels who came from a family of mand (Sigfried Giedion). Technical civilisation is
industrialists from Wuppertal, which lies on the founded on supply and disposal systems above
edge of the Ruhr region. By the turn of the cen- ground, at ground level and below ground. The
tury, the number of inhabitants in the Ruhr re- Emscher is a representative example of how a
gion had reached three million. In the 1960s, na turally meandering river that crosses the re-
almost six million people lived and worked in gion from the east to the Rhine on the west was
the region. In the year 2000, only six of the 128 transformed into the world's largest network of
mining pits remained, and the workforce had drainage canalisation. The building of the sys-
shrunk from 400,000 to only 40,000. Coal extrac- tem of canals was finished in 1906 and chan-
tion had been all but abandoned. Today around nelled waste water from the entire region. Ac-
5.4 million inhabitants live within an area of cordingly, the architecture of the Ruhrpott was
4,400 square kilometres, which equates to a dominated by structures for technical access,
density of around 2,000 inhabitants per square railway lines, embankments, viaducts and bridg-
kilometre, almost ten times the national aver- es, switching towers, freight and public railway
age. Around 600 kilometres of motorway, 1,470 stations, railway switching points, winding
kilometres of railway lines, 70 railway stations shafts, gasometers, cooling towers, steelworks
and four airports provide access to a region con- and coking plants, piping and cabling for water,
taining some 300,000 businesses, 16 universities gas, electricity and telephone, high-voltage pow-
and the world's highest density of theatres, op- er lines, warehouses and workers' housing es-
era houses, concert halls, museums and galler- tates, roads, trams, waterways and harbours.
ies. During this period the natural habitat dis-
At the height of industrialisation, the Ruhr appeared almost entirely. Its aesthetic appear-
region was known as the "Ruhrpott": a melting ance was consumed along with its raw materi-
pot of industry, city, landscape and the people als. Moves to resist this development began to
who lived there. Access was wholly oriented be mobilised. Local history and conservation
around extracting and processing raw materials, movements, moves to save the remaining intact
binding the workforce to the industrial works natural habitat, and restoration initiatives sig-
and supplying the market with massproduced nalled the birth of regional planning in Germany.
goods. The key aspect of access to the region lay, The Siedlungsverband Ruhrkohlenbezirk (SVR) ,
therefore, in the provision of technical infra- founded back in 1919, designated the first pro-
structure. Mechanisation began to take com- tected green areas as stretches of open corridors

14 Technische universitat Dortmund (ed.), tnternationale

Bauausstellung Emscher Park. DieProjekte 10 Jahre danach,
Essen 2008.
Image - The imaginary asan instrument of urban and regional planning 105

in the industrial landscape. Urban design too think tank for the urban redevelopment of the
began to embrace the large scale. However, the former industrial landscape." Under its director
way in which access to the outdoor envi-ron- Karl Ganser, the IBA Emscher Park formed the
ment, to landscape and areas of natural beauty basis for more than 100 projects and became an
was facilitated followed the spirit of modernism, international model for urban and regional de-
which itself stemmed from the industrial age. In velopment. It showed how industrial heritage
order to plan and design each function optimal- could be employed to accelerate modernisation
ly, functions were separated and zoned. The processes and how as a medium for structural
principle of access became an instrument of transformation, it can become productive in a
drawing boundaries between the new world of completely new way.
the machines and the old world of nature. For The name of the building exhibition was
one to function perfectly, the other needs to be itself an outward signal that the impossible has
held at bay. At the small scale, living and work- to be made possible if one is to make Germany's
ing were separated from one another; at the industrial heartlands accessible as attractive
large scale, urbanised industrial zones kept sep- living and working environments in the 21st cen-
arate from regional green belts. The strategies tury. Conversion processes with a time span to-
and architecture of access in the age of modern- talling almost 30 years were initiated to once
ism were, therefore, informed by industrial again transform the Emscher, this time resur-
means of production: serial repetition, mass- recting it as a river, albeit in a relatively elemen-
reproduction, standardisation and a general tary manifestation. The river is the backbone of
emphasis on quantitative values. the Emscher Park, which connects the remain-
ing patches of regional green areas diagonally
Integration and cooperation with one another, forming a band that simulta-
neously links the cities along the Emscher. The
The crisis and eventual demise of this epoch led Ruhr region is in reality the Emscher region, en-
to the establishment at the end of the 1980s of compassing the larger "Ruhr-Cities" of Duisburg
the "Internationale Bauausstellung Emscher and Essen, Bochum and Dortmund.
Park" (International Building Exhibition). Over a The IBA Emscher Park takes the opportu-
period of ten years from 1989 to 1999, the IBA nity to utilise the vast areas of industrial waste-
was a reform agency founded by the state of lands and brownfield sites, along with their of-
North-Rhine Westphalia that operated as a ten huge structures and open spaces, to estab-
106 wolfgangChrist

lish a new structural network of spaces. Sites trial heritage, the industrial landscape and the
that were previously inaccessible, though often social acceptance it has now attained as a sym-
centrally-located in the industrial age, are now bol of "home". Factory buildings and workshops
opened up, effectively removing their barrier- have been repurposed as theatre and concert
function in the urban landscape and investing halls or congress and event locations. And a
them with new uses. The visibility of these closed network of footpaths and cycle paths
structures, for generations closed off behind now criss-crosses the Emscher region, a new
fences and walls, together with an innovative level of infrastructure in the region that, for the
planning culture has led to the development of first time in modern history, is not associated
new functional and design concepts that illus- with work.
trate the paradigm shift modernism has under- The IBA Emscher Park has developed its
gone. In complete contrast to the early forma- projects step by step in an ongoing process of
tive period and hey-day of industrialisation, the discourse as a kind of metropolitan collage of
industrial heritage is now seen as the bearer of local, independent and self-assured locations.
a unique potential for developing an individual, Artists were involved in project developments
unique and local identity, the basis for estab- from an early stage. Competitions were an-
lishing an emotional bond. Building ensembles nounced to find new concepts. The region has
originally slated for demolition have become demonstrated an openness to expertise and in-
symbols of identity for the region: the Zeche put from outside. In the process, local qualities
Zollverein in Essen has since been listed as a and beauty assume an equal role alongside eco-
World Heritage Site for its unique testimony to logical and economic renewal. Tellingly, the
the architecture of the Bauhaus. The gasometer master plan for the IBA Emscher Park was only
in Oberhausen has become a venue for spec- completed at the end of the ten-year project,
tacular exhibitions and art installations. Slag not at the beginning. The IBA has managed to
heaps, immense artificial mountains of stones bring about a new culture of access: the previ-
and constant reminders of the waste material ous modernist strategies of separation and hier-
resulting from coal extraction, have become archy have been replaced by principles of inte-
landmarks in the Emscher Park. New residential gration and cooperation. Instead of securing
neighbourhoods and businesses have arisen on and demarcating boundaries, barriers are now
brownfield sites. In Duisburg, an entire steel- being removed. The overlaying and intermin-
works embodies the new relationship to indus- gling of previously isolated spheres liberates the

16 G. Willamowski, D. Nellen, M. sourree. Ruhrstadt. Die andere
Metropole, Essen 2000.
Image - The imaginary asan instrument of urban and regional planning 107

metropolitan region from its notoriously cellu-

lar rigidity. The IBA motto "Living and working
in a park" is emblematic for the structural trans-
formations, joining three previously isolated
functions in a single phrase. The revitalisation
of th e industrial heri tage represe nts an oppor-
tunity to link the memory of a time tha t unites
many people in the region biographically with
the beginning of a new age which itself cann ot
provide a band of unity that comp ares histori -
cally with that of industrial labour. This realisa-
tion puts the often immense construction and
operation costs of the projects into perspective. Gasometer Oberhausen: a landmark in the IBAEmscher Park.
In this sense the IBA Emscher Park manages to
build a bridge bet ween the "Ruhrpott" an d the
"Ruhrstadt". To use the terminology of access- lowing hypotheses for the design of an urba n
ibility: the IBA makes industrial functions ac- strategy of access for the urban region: firstly,
cessible for urban strategies.With out the vision Access forall ha s a greater cha nce of success, the
of the "Emscher Park", there would be no notion more it reflects the historical developme nt of a
of a "city made of cities!"15 region and is able to revitalise its historical heri-
Although in the year 2000, only a year after tage; secondl y, only a culture of integrative and
the official end of the IBA, the muni cipal asso- cooperative th ought and action has the capacity
ciation (KVR) published a book entitled Ruhr- to overcome barriers; and thirdly, spaces that
stadt. Die andere Metropole," it took almost ten are inta ct in the way they are experienced offer
years for the idea of the Ruhrstadt to assume the best guarantee for long-t erm stable access
concrete dimen sions in the form of a success ful to the urb an region.
application to become the European Capital
City of Culture in 2010. This success ha s result- Romantic rationalism
ed in a growing readiness to use the terms city
and region to describe the same thing .As a kind In the mid 1990s, a large exhibition took place
of interim conclus ion, we can outline the fol- in the gasometer in Oberhau sen . With a dia-
108 w olfgang Christ

the subtitle of the exhibition catalogue ex-

plains." A review of the exhibition in the Frank-
furter Allgemeine Zeitung 18 was accompanied by
a photo showing a view from above through the
steel trusses that support the expansive interior
of the gasometer with the caption "Romantic
rationalism: view of the exhibition in Ober-
hausen". The gasometer was scheduled to be
demolished on the 13th March 1988 . This never
happened thanks to the intervention of the lEA
Emscher Park. It has managed to establish both
a rationale for romanticism as well as instil a
romanticism for the rational. As a result, it has
been able to revitalise the then stale process of
urban and regional planning.
In the mid-I?" century in England, "roman-
ticism " and "the romantic"were used to describe
the "fanciful" and "rapturous." One hundred
years later, Jean-Jacques Rousseau used the
term to describe the "thrill" and "enchantment"
of the panorama of the Alps.The Romantics saw
the poetic side of the world. August Wilhelm
Duisburg Nord Landscape park, landscapearchitect Peter Latz. Schlegel wrote : "The proces s of depoeticisation
has gone on for long enough; it is about time to
once again poeticise air, fire, water and earth."19
meter of 67 metres and a height of 116 metres, The artists of the Romantic, in their desire to get
the "piston gas-holder" built in 1929 is a giant to the root of things, were fascinated by the
legacy of the industrial age. The exhibition enti- mine s in the same way that they were fascinat-
tled Feuer und Flamme (Fire and Flame) docu- ed by ruins, by night-time as well as its opposite,
mented 200 years of the history of the region, as light. Caspar David Friedrich painted transpar-

17 U. Borsdorf (Ed .), Feuer und Flamme - 200 Jahre Ruhrgebiet, 19 Eckhart KleBmann, Die deutsche Romantik, K61n 1981 , p.79.
an exhibition in the Gasometer o berhausen, Essen 1994. 20 Horst Nitschack, Kritik der estneuscnen Wirklichkeitskonstitu-
18 "Feuer und Flamme. Erinnerung an die Zeit der tion, Frankfurt a.M. 1976, p.136; cited in: RolfFreier,
'crosen lndustne". in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der eingeschrankte Blick und die Fenster zur Welt, Marburg
August 27,1994. 1984, p. 18 f!.
Image - Th e imaginaryasan instrumentof urban and regional planning 109

ent paintings to be viewed illuminated only by a
~ ~,
dim light in a darkened room along with musi- . -- \
:;: ;~'; " /~
.-.:. ~
cal accompaniment. The proponents of the Ro-
mantic were also interested in puppets, in au-
~~- f" ..

tomatons and artificial people . The figures in _'*"""rn-_

.. .
IllhT............. .

their novels are constantly on the move in the

search for a clear aim that they, however, never .\
reach. The Ageof Romanticism is not least about ~.
individualism, in extreme cases about loneli-
ness . The places described in novels or depicted
in paintings have something unexpected, un- Tetraeder: a landmark in the ISA Emscher Park as an iconic symbol of the "Ruhrstadt."
predictable, overwhelming, perhaps also bizarre .
They are authentic - in the way the places and
space s of the industrial age are! Today, in the Iconic turn
heart of the urban realm, the industrial heritage
offers the equivalent of the shadowy forests , icy The transformation of the region's industrial
seas and shady ravines portrayed by the artists heritage in the 1990s, which also encompasses
of the Romantic before industrialisation set in: industrial architecture and the increasingly in-
a counter-concept to the contemporary environ- dustrialised natural landscape that surrounds
ment and prevailing socioeconomic forces. Now it, constitutes a new aesthetic experience of the
that the heavy industry in the Ruhrpott has city - and with it a new way of accessing the city
withdrawn and its fire has been extinguished, of the 21st century. We can compare this with
nature is returning. If this process is controlled the aesthetic experience of nature in the 18th
- as it has been in the Duisburg Landscape Park century. "In the landscape, the subject becomes
in the IBA Emscher Park - then we are able to constitutive for the object ; through it nature
experience the simultaneous process of demise has become a form of space that is experienced.
and growth, of stasis and dynamism. It becomes Nature as landscape is nature which is no long-
possible to watch a place gradually die. That is er subject to the objective laws of nature and
no small thing in the heart of one of the most has thus been freed from the clutches of direct
densely settled metropolitan regions in Europe. exploitation; nature which has taken the place
110 Wolfgang Christ

of direct exploitation" - can be romanticised

and are accessible for poetic strategies.
The aesthetic renaissance of the demysti-
fied machinery of modernism in the form of "el-
ements of urban beauty" comes at a time in
which visual media culture, fuelled by digital
technology, is rapidly becoming an everyday
part of people 's lives.With its help , we are learn-
ing to perceive polycentric, dynamic, fragmen-
tary structures which will slowly replace the
traditional, centrally-oriented perspective of ac-
cess to the city via city gates (the railway station
for example), along a main axis, with a view of
the minster or castle to aid orientation. The
Ruhrstadt is presented in the media as an archi-
tectural collage. Its set pieces are for the most
part identical to those "magical places'?' from
the lEAera . From today's point of view,it is hard
to imagine how in socio-political terms it was
possible to publicly finance such large -scale
projects in a so socially unstable region , all the
La Tour Eiffel in "Paris Las vegas:' Las vegas. more so when these projects are "fundamen -
tally useless"- as is epitomised by the "Tetraed-
er" in Bottrop. Roland Barthe s argues, however,
of objectified space!"? If one replaces the term that it is pre cisely this quality that explains the
"nature" with "city" in this sentence, it becomes mythology of the EiffelTower. It "is a condition
clear why an aesthetic experience of the city, in for the fact that in essence the tower belongs to
the Ruhr region , has only become possible in everyone. Moreover it belongs to each of our im-
the post-industrial age. Only the vast numbers aginations. A fundamental truth , recognised
of industrial facilities and areas - that part of even by law, as a ruling once permitted every-
the city "that has been freed from the clutches one the right to reproduce the Eiffel tower : its

21 Olaf kaltenborn, Magische one, Essen 2003. 25 Gottfried Bbhm, "Das paradigma 'Bild'. Die Tragweite der
22 Ro land Barthes, Der Eiffelturm, Munich 1970, pp.77fl. ikonischen Episteme", in: Hans Belting (ed.), Bilderfragen. Die
23 Bildwissenschaften im Aufbruch, Munich 2007, p.80.
24 Roland sartnes. lac. cit., pp.32-33.
Image - The imaginary asan instrument of urban and regional planning 111

image is not protected property. The Eiffel tower 1984 in Los Angeles and the superfluous build-
is public.'?" ings in the Ruhrpott as transformed by Karl
The "Industrial Heritage Trail'?" can be seen Ganser's IBAEmscher Park. In this way - accord-
as stepping stones to the right and left of the ing to our final hypothesis - it is possible to re-
Emscher that serve as a playful means of Access claim sensory-coded images of a better world
for All to the history and future of the metro- for the arsenal of methods and instruments of
politan region. To use the language of Roland urban and regional planning. Here they can
Barthes in his analysis of the Eiffel Tower, their work their wonders in the space between the
"usefulness [... ] is without doubt incontestable, individual and society, between place and city.
but appears of ridiculously little value com- "The power of an image within us is not jaded by
pared with the phenomenal potential it offers to contrasting reality. Because man does not have
the imagination which helps people to be in the to subordinate himself to the dictate of fact or
actual sense of the word.?" In technical terms, existing conditions, because he can imagine a
the tower built by the accomplished bridge way forward where no path seems possible; this
builder Gustave Eiffel is "just" a vertical bridge, is possible thanks to man's forward-looking, in-
but in symbolic terms he created probably the quiring fantasy and power of imagination. Many
most powerful means of Access for All to a mod- open questions are initially full of doubt, appar-
ern metropolis. ently insurmountable and allow no way forward.
An architecture of the imagination appeals The imagination can be a highly productive in-
to the people's capacity for fantasy. It stimulates strument which ultimately proves its worth in
images, images that we make, images that come reality. It is that Plus Ultra, that taps our inner
to life within us. This is what unites Jon Jerde's capacity for imagination in order to create ex-
temporary buildings for the Olympic Games in ternal images.?"


Practice -
Reducing barriers
Susanne Edinger

Less is more

The housing market is awash with all manner of

terminology. The elderly in particular, as long-
ter m and reliably paying residen ts are a much
sought -after consume r group, and are courted
with promises of senior-friendly, full-comfo rt, in-
tra -generational or accessible housing. Of these,
only the term accessible is formally defined, and
is detailed in the German DIN 18025/2 norm
"accessible dwellings." The oth er "labels" are not Even paving makes it easier to walkor use wheelchairs and
obliged to fulfil any meaningful criteri a. So how strollers in old town centres.

can yet another undefined term, low-barrier,

contribute to the debate?
The term low -barrier aims to relate acces- lieve, is often one of the first are as whe re cost
sibility targets set down in th e buildin g norm s savings can be made. As a result , attempts to
to the actu al situation in existing housing stock. reduce existing barriers are all too often aban -
In practice , the adapta tion and alterati on of ex- doned entirely, although a num ber of mea sures
isting housing stock to fulfil accessibility norms towards this aim would still be possible.
is beset with difficulties. Passageways may be a This is where the term low-barrier can con-
few centimetres too narrow, rooms a few squ are tribute. It defines a "collection of measures
metres too small or the struct ure or design may aimed at redu cing barriers in existing dwellings
prove limiting , for example in the case of his - with a view to improving th eir usability".' If it is
toric buildings. It is much more difficult to fulfil not possible - or feasible - to adap t housing to
accessibility norms in existing housing stock fully conform with accessibility norms , the n it
than in newly built housing - and even here it is is neverthele ss sensible to remove or avoid as
by no means automa tic. Cost constraints are an many barriers as possible during adapta tion,
additional factor. Housing associations and in- rather than to ignore the issue ent irely.
vestors are already hard-pressed to provide eco- It follows too that the term low -barrier
nomical hous ing at an affordable price for a should not be used in conjunction with new
broad sect ion of society. Accessibility, many be- housing. Accessibility norms such as the
114 Susanne Edinger

DIN 18025/2 apply for all new buildings . The ability to carry out everyday activities. For ex-
number of new buildings in Germany is, how- ample:
ever, relatively small and will remain so in fu- For many residents, a lift helps even when
ture: while around 200,000 new housing units one still has to ascend a last flight of stairs to
are built per year, there are nearly 39.5 million reach one 's flat. It is better than having to
existing dwellings. Most of the dwellings in climb three full storeys .
which we will live in the coming decade s have It is simpler to manage a single step out onto
therefore already been built. Given ongoing de- a balcony than to have to step over a raised
mographic developments, these will also be threshold.
home to an ever increasing number of older A handrail helps residents to ascend or de-
people . Most people wish to continue living in scend even two steps more easily than with-
their own four walls for as long as they are able out such support.
to live independently, and in national terms too A door width of 119 centimetres to a bath-
this is also the only way to cope with the de- room is better than 95 centimetres, even
mand for elderly care as society ages as a whole. when 1 centimetre short of the 120 centime-
Because there is no lift, the The need to make dwellings usable for all sec- tres stipulated in the norm.
planners have not considered tions of society, with particular regard for the
accessibility needs and in
needs of the elderly, will in future shift from be- These are just four examples of the low-barrier
the process introduced new
barriers (above): the ramp ing a "special needs" consideration to a central adaptation of existing dwellings . More than
is too steep, the stepshave principle . 80 such individual measures have been com-
no handrail and there is an piled in the document Barrierearm - Realisierung
unnecessary step in front of Harmonising everyday usability and design eines neuen Begriffs .2 The focus is on small, cost-
the entrance. In outdoorareas
it is much easier to adjustthe
qualities effective, clever, and practical solutions - ex-
terrainto avoidthe need for actly the kind of solutions that make it easier
steps(below). People's ability to be able to live independently for us all to live our everyday lives. This neces-
on an everyday basis in their own home, even sitates that planners and architects look closely
with physical impairments, is as different as at how different kinds of people live in their
people are themselves. Formany residents, even dwellings and living environment, which routes
a partial reduction of barriers can substantially they take, what they change , repurpose or don't
improve the usability of their home and their use at all.

1 Susanne Edinger, Helmut Lerch, Christine Lentze, ingand Regional Planning, issued by the SRH-Hochschule
Barrierearm - Realisierung eines neuen Begriffes. Kompen- Heidelberg. Fraunhofer IRB-Verlag, Stuttgart, 2007, p,17.
diumkostengiinstiger MaBnahmen zur Reduzierung 2 Ibid.
und Vermeidung vonBarrieren im Wohnungsbestand,
Research project funded by the BBR Federal Office for Build-
Practice - Reducing barriers 115

A typical low-barrier adaptation : the lift provides access to Slim-line sanitary installations increase the space available in the bathroom from 105 to
each half-landing "only" - an improvement for many despite 119 centimetres - not quitenorm-conform but adequate for most people.
the need to still use stairs.

For example, an unused bicycle cellar in an ex- sociated with high-rise slab blocks and 1950s
isting building does not necessarily mean that housing estates. It also helps older people retain
no-one there rides a bicycles. More than any- their radius of activity for longer and improves
thing, it means bicycles first need to be carried everyday life for others as they no longer need
up the stairs before one can use them. Residents to carry groceries and the like all the way home.
who find this difficult physically may eventually Similarly, easy access to a bicycle can help peo-
give up cycling altogether. A simpler and more ple lead a healthier and more enjoyable lifestyle
practical solution is to provide a means of stor- wh ile simultaneously using an ecologically-
ing bicycles at ground level, for example in the friendly means of transport.
form of individually lockable outdoor boxes. Another example is the relationship be-
These can also double as a means of providing tween storage space and balconies: when resi -
definition to otherwise open outdoor spaces, for dents use their balconies as a place to store
example to help break down the bleakness as - items from their flat, th is suggests that there is
116 Susanne Edinger

insufficient storage space in the flat itself. When

residents erect screens around their balconies,
this testifies to a need to shield against sun,
wind and prying eyes which the architecture it-
self does not fulfil. Maybe the architect mini-
mised the amount of available storage space in
the flat to improve the sense of space in the in-
terior; maybe the transparent balcony was in-
tended to communicate a sense of lightness.
The architect needs to realise that in such cases
the facade may then be dominated by the resi-
dents ' clutter. Similarly, the residents are forced
to cope with an apartment that could have been Floor-flush showers should become standard in the future,
more usable than it actually is. also for conversion measures. If space allows, partially open-
able shower cubicle partitions make it easier for helpersto
What makes architecture both useful and
sustainable is its ability to fulfil the need s of its
residents while also preserving the planner's
design intentions. Good-quality, intelligent so-
lutions of this kind not only help architecture goes further than the conventional interpreta-
retain its spatial and aesthetic qualities over tion of implementing "specific measures for
decade s of use ; they are also a prerequisite for specific user groups," aiming instead for "uni-
encouraging long-term residency and identi- versal design"solutions. This corresponds to the
fication with one's living environment - which definition of accessibility in the norm , which is
in turn contributes to social and economic described as the "capacity of buildings [...J to
stability. enable all people regardless of age, ability or dis-
ability to make largely equal [...J use of its fa-
Attention to detail cilities."3
The concept of the low-barrier adaptation
By striving to achieve the greatest possible re- of existing home s calls on architects, clients ,
duction of barriers to accessibility, this approach and landlords to examine closely the opportun-

3 Draft of the DIN 18030, which is expected to be replaced im- investment measuresfor existing buildings in North Rh ine-
minently by the DIN 18040, c.f. Westphalia). Issued by the Federal Ministry for Buildingand
4 Richtlinien zur F6rde rung von investiven MaBnahmen im Transport MBV NRW, January 26, 2006, IV B 4-31-03/ 2006 .
Bestand in Nordrhein-Westfalen (Guidelinesfor promoting
Practice - Reducing barriers 117

ities of removing or reducing existing barriers rofit special aids at a later date, which are then
whenever they undertake works on the building, generally more visually intrusive and announce
however small, whether renovation or mainte- unequivocally that there are residents who need
nance work, alterations or conversion measures. assistance. Only through such pro-active plan-
At this stage, noticeably improved usability can ning is it possible to achieve more discreet "in-
often be achieved without additional costs. For visible" accessible solutions that combine us-
example: ability with elegance.
The fact that the low-barrier adaptation of
The thermostat on a new radiator is posi- existing buildings advocates the implementa-
tioned so that one can read and operate it tion of measures that do not fully conform to
when seated. the stipulations of the DIN 18025/2 norm was
A light switch in a retiled bathroom is - com- initially met with some opposition. There were
pliant with the norm -located at 85 centime- worries that the aims of the norm would be di-
tres above floor level so that it can be reached luted, at a stage when the notion of accessibility
by all users without being uncomfortably low had finally gained widespread recognition after
for users who are used to 115 centimetres nearly 20 years of intensive campaigning. Ac-
above floor level. cessibility as defined in the DIN is now standard
A new bath tub is chosen that allows helpers practice for new buildings but not for the adap-
to stand closer to the bath so that it is easier tation of existing housing stock. Low-barrier de-
to assist people. notes a shift of focus to "achieving as much as
possible rather than everything at all costs" and
The above examples show clearly that in order can ease the situation considerably.
to avoid barriers, close attention must be paid This line of thought has now been taken up
to the details of execution when planning build- in the most recent financial aid guidelines" and
ing measures. The aim of improving accessibil- there is growing recognition that a stronger fo-
ity - whether or not it is 100% achievable - has cus on the reduction of barriers to accessibility
to inform the entire design process from con- in existing buildings has a greater chance of
ception through to detailed planning. By ex- widespread implementation so that people can
pressly considering such issues in the initial independently live their own lives for as long as
planning stages, one can avoid the need to ret- possible. Recent German funding programmes
118 Susanne Edinger

"Discreet" accessibility measures: the topographic situation is cleverly exploited to affordsame-level

access to the entrance without anysteps.
Practice- Reducing barriers 119

When bicycles can be parked at ground-level, it helps old Facilitating same-level access to balconies eradicates a typical
people in particular to remain mobile for longer. barrier in existing housing stock.

formulate such adaptations as "measures to re- recognised internationally by experts in the

ducing barriers in existing housing stock ," which field, does not have the same appeal in the Ger-
is a more accurate if wordy description. In Ger- man housing market and is more likely to baffle
many the more succinct term barrierearm (low- consumers. It seems that a new and more pre-
barrier) has, however, quickly become estab- cise term to add to the terminology jungle may
lished. Nevertheless, this term unites two words be called for. In Germany, two terms currently
which taken alone have predominantly negative under discussion are generationengerecht (intra-
connotations : barriere (barrier) and arm (weak, generational) and demografiefest (demography-
poor). A more positive, politically-correct, self- resistent) . It will be interesting to see what oth-
explanatory and easy to remember term with er proposals may follow and which term will
obvious market appeal has yet to be found . The prevail in the long term.
use of Anglicisms such as Access for All , although

Selected websites
www.susanne-edinger. de
www.mir.brandenburg. de


Everyday life -
Normalisation breeds discrimination
Tobias Reinhard

Longer life expectancy and the increasing Good mental health but with defecti ve motor
problems of old age functions,
good physical shape but with defective men-
Lifeexpectancy in modern, post-industrial soci- tal faculties ,
eties appears to be growing ever longer thanks defecti ve motor functions and defecti ve men -
to advan ces in medicine, job legislation, educa- tal faculties .
tion , and environmental prote ction. As a result
of comprehensive health care, low levels of The ideal scenario, where we remain mentally
manual labour, shorter working weeks, and a and physically fit in old age, will incr easingly
healthier diet , society is faced with a growing become the exception , despite, or perhaps pre-
number of pensioners who are no longer in em- cisely because of, the great advances made in
ployment but are fit and active and have plen ty medicine.
of leisure time to enjoy.' Current demographic
changes - in which the "age pyramid" is gradu- The health hazards of a leisure and pleasure-
ally mutating into an "age pagoda " as the pro- seeking society
portion of young people decreases and the
number of older people increases - not only The reduction in the number of workdays per
present challenges for future pensi on funding year gives us more time for ever more elabo-
but will also result in an increasing number of rate and extravagant leisure activities, an in-
older people with physical or sen sory impair- creasing number of which are hazardous to
ments who will nevertheless wish to continue our health . Particularly apparent are recrea-
to take part in everyday public life. tional sports with ever faster sports equip-
As studies ha ve shown, longer life expect- ment such as mountain bikes, skateboards or
ancy does not result in an extended period of carving skis as well as the growing trend to-
youth but in a significantly longer period of old wards extreme sports such as free climbing,
age. As a consequence, there is a greater risk of paragliding and base jumping, which ha ve re-
suffering from some kind of physical or mental sulted in an exponential increase in the
imp airment for th e last part of our longer number of serious accidents and attendant
lifespan. The following constellations are in injuries. Alongside injuries caused by falls ,
principle possible: brain damage following diving accidents and
122 Tobias Reinhard

chronic disorders sustained as a result of con- Changing mentality - moving away from the
tinuous sport-induced strain contribute to a infirmary
steadily growing number of mostly young
sport-invalids who, despite the enormous ad- A historical review
vances in rehabilitative medicine, will have to
cope with restricted independence and an im- Society's attitude towards disabled people has
paired quality of life for the rest of their lives . changed over the centuries, and more rapidly
Long-term social pressures such as unemploy- over the last few decades. Until the Age of En-
ment, work-related stress or a lack of per- lightenment, the mortality rate among disabled
ceived prospects, in combination with ever people was high and disability in general was
more anonymous leisure activities give rise to heavily stigmatised. Those who reached adult
a new category of invalids : those suffering age and could not serve any useful purpose in
from addiction. The burgeoning party scene the family were mercilessly cast out of society
and wider variety of addictive substances and and were forced to beg to survive. With the En-
designer drugs, as well as the widespread lightenment, disabled people were gradually ac -
availability of medication , contribute to the corded more rights. Infirmaries and asylums
number of people with long-term health prob- now served a wider purpose than merely quar-
lems stemming from dependency. antining the sick.Although the establishment of
Society as a whole is facing new challenges infirmaries improved the social standing of the
as a result of such developments: disabled compared with their previous exclu-
sion from society, housing the disabled in infir-
The proportion of people with disabilities is maries did not serve the purpose of integration
rising steadily. but rather the structural order of an increas-
The number of young people with disabili- ingly rationally organised society. Those who
ties is growing disproportionately. were committed to an infirmary or asylum re-
The demands of disabled" people in society ceived a minimal level of care and assistance
will rise . but were also, to all intents and purposes, "re-
People with disabilities will no longer be out moved" from society. Infirmaries and asylums
of the ordinary. remained an effective means of segregation
The unrestricted integration of people with which protected the supposedly better society
disabilities is a declared aim . from those who were different. In the 20th cen-

1 This is, of course, not universally the case: manyteenagers ate: numerous other, usually cumbersome descriptions or
andyoung adults have unhealthy diets; large sectionsof the euphemisms arealsoused in its place but very often entail
US population have no health insurance; air andwater pollu- additional unintended categorisations (e.g. mentally or
tion in some industrial regions in China is horrendous, and so physically disabled). We preferto usethis unequivocal term
on. in the knowledge that it is usually the inflexible environment
2 Despite its widespread useandgeneral understanding, or prejudiced mentality of people that actuallymake people
the term "disabled" is not always regarded asappropri- disabled .
Everyday life- Normalisation breeds discrimination 123

tury, such "protective measures" reached their well into the 19th century to exhibit people with
negative culmination with the compulsory ster- disabilities as a public attraction. As long as the
ilisation of disabled people" and the euthanasia disab ility was "interesting" and "unique"enough,
programmes established by the Nazi regime. society seemed willing to forego conventional
It was not until after the Second World War segregation pra ctices and haul such "specimens"
that previously undisputed "preventative mea- out of the infirmary and into the sho w booths.
sures" such as compulsory sterilisation, prohibi- In the 19th century, Joseph Merrick, better
tion to marry and other patronising practices known as "The Elephant Man ," became famous
were called into question. The right of disabled around the world. He suffered from Proteus
people to lead a dignified life began to be recog- Syndrome which disfigured his face and body
nised. Nevertheless, the process of integration with grotesque, "eleph an t-like" tumours and
progressed only slowly up until the end of the growths. Cast out of society, he earned his living
20th century. Significant improvements in the in side sho ws and chambers of horrors. He was
integration of disabled people first came about later given quarters in a hospital by a physician
as a result of a profound change of mentality in return for allowing medical examination by
among disabled people themselves who were medicine students, though even there, patients
no longer prepared to tolerate discrimination could pay to see him . Only after direct interven-
and segregation . tion by Queen Victoria was Joseph Merrick able
to live the rem aining years of his short life in
Show booths and vaudeville comparative dignity.
Even in the 20th century, children with con -
Although tod ay unthinkable and degrading, for spicuous physical deformations were sold by
hundreds of years it was common practice until their parents as a fairground attraction, as was
the case with th e Siamese twins Daisy and Vio-
let Hilton in 1908. Barely two weeks old, the
twins were sold by their mother, who worked as
a bar lady, to the lady owner of the bar. From the
age of three onwards, the twins began a stage
career managed by the bar owner, and their
song and dance show travelled throughout Eng-
Infirmary, 1846. land, Germany, Australia and the USA. Aged 15,

3 In Switzerland the practice of compulsory sterilisation contin-

uedon into the second halfof the 20'hcentury.
124 Tobias Reinhard

they were bequeathed to the bar owner's daugh- convicted for the same offence five years later
ter who exploited them for a further nine years. and admitted to the Waldau Clinic near Bern as
At the age of 24 they finally sued their "manag- a schizophrenic, where he spent the remaining
ers" and gained their independence. From 1931 35 years of his life. During this period he devoted
to their death in 1969 the twins appeared in his time to the production of vast numbers of
their own right in vaudeville theatres in the USA collages, to writing and creating an epic Gesamt-
and also starred in a movie. kunstwerk. Practically unknown during his life-
time, he was "discovered" in 1945, 15 years after
Public recognition and acceptance his death, by Jean Dubuffet and is now regarded
as a leading exponent of Art Brut and a gifted
Greater equality for people with disabilities in artist with immense creative energy. In 1950,
society was a comparatively late consequence some 2,000 works by Wolfli, from 45 different
of the Age of Enlightenment and their standing collections, were shown at the Exposition inter-
has improved slowly but steadily, although not nationale d'art psychopathologique in Paris, which
to the same degree in all cultures. Particular attracted 10,000 visitors. In 1962, Andy Warhol
credit should be given to strong-willed and employed a motif for his iconic Pop Art painting
charismatic personalities in prominent public Campbell Tomato Soup, which Adolf Wolfli had
positions who have played a major role in break- previously used in 1929 in a collage entitled
ing down prejudice and bringing about wider Campbell's Tomato Soup. Is the choice of motif
acceptance of people with disabilities. The fol- pure chance or is there a link between the be-
lowing personalities stand for all those who ginning of Warhol's career as a graphic artist in
have demonstrated endurance, courage and 1949 and the Wolfli Exhibition of around the
self-confidence in fighting for equal treatment same time? One way or the other, society now
in society and contributed to a general change pays tribute to the artist Wolfli and accepts his
of mentality over the last 150 years. mental and psychological disability.

The artist AdolfWolfli, 1864 -1930 The politician Franklin D. Roosevelt,

At the age of 26, Adolf Wolfli, farmhand and la-
bourer' first served time in prison after raping a At the age of 39, Franklin D. Roosevelt contract-
minor. Feeling increasingly lonely, he was again ed polio and from that point on was confined to
Everyday life - Normalisation breeds discrimination 125

a wheelchair. In 1933, after intensive campaign- The scientist Stephen Hawking, born 1942
ing, he was elected President of the United
States of America. Great effort was made to con- Stephen Hawking achieved recognition from an
ceal his disability and up until his death in 1945, early age. Since childhood he has suffered from
it was forbidden to publish photographs or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS) which re-
drawings depicting the President of the USA in sults in the degeneration of nerve cells. He nev-
a wheelchair. Even in the first half of the 20 th ertheless became a brilliant astrophysicist, ex-
century, therefore, people in the highest posi- pert on black holes and successful writer. De-
tions still felt unable to dispel the stigma of dis- spite seriously incapacitating disabilities he has
ability; instead, the disability was suppressed published numerous pioneering works on astro-
and concealed. It was not until 2001, after inten- physics and quantum mechanics. Since 1985 he
sive lobbying by American disability associa- has only been able to communicate with the
tions' that the unveiling of a bronze sculpture in help of a speech syn thesiser, selecting each in-
the Washington Memorial depicting the Presi- dividual word from an on-screen menu by mak-
dent seated in a wheelchair publicly acknowl- ing small hand gestures. He could manage
edged his disability. around 15 words per minute, however the pro-
gressively degenerative disease has since weak-
The singer Ray Charles, 1930 - 2004 ened his hand to such a degree that this is no
longer possible. He now chooses words using an
By the time he was a young man, Ray Charles, infra-red transmitter attached to his glasses
blind since childhood, had already overcome which he controls by contracting the muscles in
numerous prej udices in order to be taken seri- his right cheek. Stephen Hawking continues to
ously as a musician by the American music publish and is a positive example for people
business. He went on to become an internation- with or without disabilities.
al star and an icon of soul music. His dark glass-
es were to become his hallmark. Despite the The politician Wolfgang Schauble, born 1942
hard-won recognition he earned, in sixty years
of stage appearances he never once appeared The German politician Wolfgang Schauble is
without his dark glasses. For the duration of his frank and open about his disability. Since sur-
life, his disability was more or less concealed by viving an assassination attempt in 1990, he has
a fashion accessory. been confined to a wheelchair but has not with-
126 Tobias Reinhard

drawn from politics. He became Home Secretary but also in the steadily increasing degree of or-
and was even considered a possible candidate ganised representation among the disabled.
for president of the Federal Republic of Germany. Most are in the form of NGOs that represent
He has not attempted to conceal his disability in their interests nationally and internationally
any way ; the courage and will to pursue his po- and collaborate to form new networks.Anumber
litical career is remarkable and exemplary. of declarations and action plans for improving
the integration of the disabled in society have
The music star Andrea Bocelli, born 1958 been issued as a result of their initiatives :

Andrea Bocelli was born in 1958 with a heredi- Founding of the European Institute for
tary form of glaucoma and his eyesight deterio- Design and Disability (EIDD) in 1993.
rated as he grew older. At the age of 12, he lost Design for all is propagated as a means of
his sight altogether after a sporting accident. social integration for the disabled.
Classical music and singing has been his pas- In 2002, the Madrid Declaration on Discrimi-
sion since childhood. Despite his talents he was nation called for equality for the disabled.
nevertheless unable to make a living from mu- 2003 was proclaimed the European Year of
sic and chose instead to study law and worked People with Disabilities.
as a court appointed lawyer. In 1992, after a joint In 2004, the Stockholm Declaration was
recording with the Italian rock star Zucchero, he published, introducing the motto Good design
finally rose to fame with the title Can Te Partin). enables, bad design disables .
Unlike Ray Charles, Andrea Bocelli does not hide
his eyes behind dark glasses, whether on stage Access for All
or in court, and has successfully overcome the
stigma surrounding blindness. By the end of the 1990s, the continued lack of
public awareness among non-handicapped peo-
Milestones in the development of ple for the needs of disabled people along with
Non-Government Organisations growing assertiveness and better organisation
among the disabled and the availability of tech-
The gradual change in public mentality is re- nical solutions, led to the formulation of a
flected not only in the lives of prominent people number of concrete demands by disabled inter-
Everyday life- Normalisation breeds discrimination 127

est groups. These were summarised by the mot - Technology in transformation

to Access for All.
Alongside a change in awareness in society, an
Equal access to the urban realm, indoor increasing number of technical solutions have
environments and transport, been developed specifically for the disabled.
equal access to technical machinery and There can be no doubt that technical advances
means of communication, and their subsequent application have come
equal opportunity to make use of public about as a direct result of increasing self-asser-
spa ces, tion and political lobbying by the disabled as-
equal opportunity to take advantage of sociations and NGOs. The most visible progress
educational, cultural and other services, ha s been made in transport technology, and
equal sensory experience for body and spirit. even more so in communication technology.lm-
proved mobility and specially -adapted commu-
Alongside these, further mottos were coined: nica tion devices have helped the disabled to
expand their radius of action, in turn promoting
Design for all: inclusive design of equipment the development and implementation of ever
and spatial concepts, better assistive technology, a process that rein -
smart Architecture for all: buildings and forces itself in a spiralling pattern.
facilities that cater for the needs of people
whe ther disabled or not, Greater independence through communica-
stim ulating environments for all: Natural tion and mobility
and urba n landscapes that can be experi-
enced by everyone, A sense of orientation, the ability to perceive
inclusive urbanism: integration rather than dangers, process information, and move around
segregation; an urban realm for all. physically are basic prerequisites for today's
mobile society. Walking difficulties , poor eye-
While these mottos adapt, expand, or add focus sight , deafness as well as physical disorders or
to the main principle of Access for All, the cen- dementia can significantly restrict one 's free-
tral message remains the same: the need for dom of movement, radius of action and in turn
equality. often one's ability to make contact with others.
128 Tobias Reinhard

1975 1995 2005

Thanks to ne w com m unication technologies, tion, enables communication acro ss boundaries,

many of these restriction s are no longer so er adic ates the m onopolies of state-ru n commu-
acute. The wides pread availability of mobile nication and represents a quantum leap on the
telephones ha s m ade it possible to conduct con- road to self-determination. It makes it ea sier to
ver sations from afar and establish network s of es tablish self-help networks and form s the ba -
contacts. The Int ernet facilitates the exchange sis for many disabled organisations, witho ut
of information as words, images and sou nd and wh ich the current level of coordination at a lo-
makes it possible to work with out h avin g to be cal, national, and international level would not
at a particular pla ce of work . In the h om e office, be possible .
for exam ple, softwa re and unprepossessing pe-
ripheries such as Braille keybo ards, Braille print- Persistent lobbying for mobility for all
er s and speech syn th esisers help blind people
acces s the world of the written word. Technical Collabo ra tion betw een th e NGOs has strength-
solutions that help resolve communication def- en ed the disability associations and allowed
icit s are in effect aids th at provide a virtua l them to lobb y m ore widely and effectively for
me an s of overcoming the isolation of a h om e or their in teres ts. Low-floor wh eelch air access to
private apartment. Simil arly, the Internet as a public trans po rt and toilets for the disabled in
global net work provide s eas ier ac cess to edu ca- pu blic spaces an d public tr an sp ort are minimum

4 In 1853, the first crash -proof elevator with safety brakewas

introduced in the USA.
5 In 2001, Sch indler was awarded the European Union Breaking
Barrier Award for its Miconic 10 lift control system.
6 RFI D stands for Radio Frequency Identification.
Everyday life - Normalisation breeds discrimination 129

goals that have nevertheless only come about Lift and elevator technology
as a result of dogged lobbying. Significant im-
provements are not so much the result of gen- Although the lift has done more to improve the
eral technological advances alone but rather of mobility of the disabled than almost any other
persistent lobbying which has contributed to technological advancement, it has taken almost
their implementation. 150 years since its invention in 1853 4 for eleva-
tors to be fully adapted to the specific require-
Trams ments of the disabled. Elevator sizes large
enough for wheelchairs to turn in, control pan-
The tramway system in Bern, Switzerland, is a els mounted lower down, Braille inscriptions
good example of how disabled organisations and acoustic announcement of floor levels are
have successfully brought about improve- features that have become industrial standards
ments: not so much through technical improvements
In 1975, very little attempt was made to ca- but as a result of ongoing pressure by disabled
ter for the needs of the public. Three unevenly organisations.
spaced steps had to be negotiated to reach the Further technological improvements have
floor level of the tram 85 cm above ground. Ac- been introduced by the lift manufacturer
cordingly, only agile passengers were able to use Schindler with their intelligent destination con-
public transport - those who wished to use the trol system, the Miconic 10. 5 The control system
tram had to come to terms with the vehicle. Sol- includes functions that cater for the specific
idly built, these trams are durable and some are needs of the disabled. Lift users choose their
still in use today. In 1995, a new model brought destination when calling the lift from a central
significant improvements for the passenger, re- panel that then indicates which lift will bring
ducing the floor height to 34 centimetres above them to their destination most quickly. Disabled
ground, accessed via two steps. Nevertheless, people can use a special touch-panel. This lets
the pole between the doors still barred access to the lift know that the doors should stay open for
wheelchairs! In 2005, the trams now have a sin- longer and that the floors should be announced
gle step of 17 centimetres and each door is wide acoustically. Additional access functions are
enough to be used by wheelchair users. available in combination with a badge-ID or
radio-frequency RFID-system. 6
130 Tobias Reinhard

Electronics assist orientation, safety, and only way to ensure that emerging technological
comfort developments serve an inclusive purpose. It is
clear that organisations for the disabled will
The combination of miniaturised electronic continue to exert the necessary pressure to
components, inexpensive processor chips, wide- achieve this.
spread mobile telecommunications and satel-
lite positioning and navigation systems has Sensory technology
sparked new developments that have the po-
tential to provide a hitherto unknown level of Compared with our own extensive sensory fac-
support for the mobility needs of disabled peo - ulties and ability to react to stimuli and to com-
ple . Some facilities are already undergoing trials municate, the spectrum of our abilities current-
in pilot projects: ly covered by ne w technology is limited. A rea -
son for this lies in the fact that most people only
Navigation aids based on GPS and RFID tech- become aware of their abilities if they lose them
nologies allow blind or visually-impaired peo- to a greater or lesser degree as a result of illness
ple to find public services, commercial facili- or an accident. The following table provides a
ties, and cultural activities on their own, en- simplified? overview of our spectrum of percep-
abling them to take part more actively and tion and potential for communication for each
independently in public life. of our sensory organs.
The combination of medical monitoring In the same way that the Schindler Award
equipment, GPS-based positioning devices, attempts to promote awareness of the experien-
and conventional mobile telephones allows tial world of disabled people in architectural
people with health restrictions to continue to education, so too must such experiences and
be mobile in the secure knowledge that med- knowledge inform the interdisciplinary educa-
ical care can be called immediately. tion of mechanical, electronic, and software en-
gineers. The complexity of the "h um an machine"
Such technologies will, however, only prove use- makes it absolutely necessary to involve biolo-
ful when we are able to establish comprehen- gists , doctors, and psychologists as equal part-
sive networks based on norms and standards ners in discovering and developing ways in which
rather than in dividu al solutions - this is the technology can assist people with disabilities.

7 This representation is necessarily simplified: no attempthas

been made to represe nt complex interactions between or-
gans which are responsible, for example,for communications
in writingor for emotional responses to information received.
Everyday life - Normalisation breedsdiscrimination 131

Obstru cted perception

Organ How we perceive our environment How we communicate

Eyes Facial expression, images and

What use is technological progress whe n this is Sight
neu tr alised by our inability to appreciate tech- Ears Hearing
nological advances? When incompetency hin-
Nose Smell Facial expression
ders the realisation of even the simplest solu-
tions? When reluctance and inhibitions obstruct Mouth Taste Speech, facial expression

even the perception of the problem ? When edu- Touch (contact, temperature,
Face Facial expression
air movement)
cationa l inst itutions fail to address the issue of
Touch (contact, temperature,
Access for All in their curric ula? This unhappy Skin Touch
air movement)
situa tion is not solely attributable to omissions Body hair Touch (contact, air movement) Touch
in architectural education; it is a product of a Muscles Physical resistance, movement, posture Gesture, mobility
fundamental lack of apprecia tion, egocentrism
Inner ear Balance, spatial orientation
and thoughtlessness among us all. The follow-
ing examples show how a lack of awareness and
empathy can lead to technological an d emo-
tiona l discrimination. stone passageways. 90%of the passageways are
The linear markings that provide a tactile either very na rrow, steep or uneve n and as a
mea ns of orientation for the blind are very worn conseque nce for the majority of the now elderly
down . We all know the purpose of these lines holocaust survivors no longer navigable. Here it
but as we are not depen dent on them ours elves, seems we are not even able or willing to realise
we pay too little attention to them. In addition, solutio ns that can be experienced by a key tar-
the lines are obstructed by an advertising stand get group themselves!
that juts out over them. As the lines mark the On a trip to Vienna to collect photographic
most import ant and direct conn ections, the y material for the Schind ler Award, the author of
also denote the location where int rusive adver- this arti cle noticed a middle-aged man labori-
tising should be placed to be most effective - ously negotiating a series of steps to an under-
which was not the original intention ... ground station pushing his elderly mother in a
The holocau st monument is a labyrinth of wheelchair. The ma n ha d obviously overseen
concrete colum ns separated by narrow cobble- the lift and the people ru shing past him on the
132 TobiasReinhard

ities still is.While the referendum on changes in

the law did not shake the fundamental basi s of
disability insurance, the reforms would result in
significant reductions in insurance provisions in
certain area s. The unions embarked on a post-
card campaign to protest against th e reforms
showing photomontages of the responsible pol-
iticians as potential victims . The justice mini s-
ter was depicted with an amputated leg, the fi-
nance minister as an alcoholic , and the health
minister in a wheelch air. While the majority of
disabled people welcomed the campaign, many
"normal" people found the approach "vulgar,"
"degrading," "indescribable"or even "denigrating."
Bern Railway Station, Switzerland - public transport inter- It is, however, not so much a lack of respect that
change catering for 10,000 people per day. troubles people, as a ba sic reflex to suppress
and screen out disabled people and their disab-
ilities . Wh at we do not see, we do not ha ve to
stairs or the adjoining escalator seemed un- deal with - if it doesn't affect us, we don 't need
aware of the situation. The author volunteered to take any action .
his help and took hold of the wheelchair. A sur-
prising situation ens ued: alth ough until then Normalisation
no-one had apparently noticed his predicament,
many people suddenly offered their assistance Disabilities are relative. Different individual
and the wheelchair was too small for everyone abilities are normalised accord ing to a variety of
to hold onto . It seems tha t the fear of makin g categories and average levels of ability are de-
contact is a barrier that is also difficult to over- clared a norm , an official designation of wha t is
come . "normal"- anything that deviates from the norm
This example from recent political dis- may then be stigmatised as a disability or spe -
course in Switzerland illustrates just how prob- cial case. Byestablishing norms we are discrim-
lematic and inhibited our perception of disabil- inating. It is our adherence to norms that actu-
Everyday life - Normal isation breeds discrimination 133

Berlin, Holocaust Monument by Richard Serra andPeter Postcard campaign accompanyingthe Swiss referendum.
Eisenman . The justice minister depicted with an amputated leg (photo-

ally makes anything not conforming to the ity. The more tolerant society is, the more peo-
norm a disability. The more tolerant society is, ple are able to make full use of their abilities for
the more able we are to accept variance, and the the good of all, and to contribute to the develop-
wider is our notion of what constitutes normal- ment of society without fear of stigmatisation.


Public utility -
Car sharing as a complementary means of urban mobility
Willi Loose

Car sharing as a means of extending mobility

Mobility is generally described by transport

economists as the ability or willingness to move
from one place to another. Accordingly, acces-
sible mobility means the provision of different
modes of transport that are easier for people
with restricted mobility or mobility handicaps
to use with a view to enabling Access for A ll. To
this end, often elaborate building measures are
undertaken to remove existing barriers such as
stairs, steps and changes in level or to insert Fifty new low-emission vehicles for "cambia Bremen."
lifts into multi-storey buildings.
Car sharing extends the palette of available
modes of transport by offering a personal means tablishment of a car sharing scheme in Switzer-
of mobility that is well suited to urban environ- land. Since then, the idea has spread rapidly
ments and, at the same time, contributes to re- throughout the larger cities in Germany result-
ducing the dominance of cars in our cities .As an ing in a network of decentralised associations.
organised and communal form of vehicular Today there are around 110 independent provid-
transport it complements existing modes of ers on the market, and in larger conurbations,
environmentally-friendly public transport, such these have even begun to compete with one an -
as bus and train, bicycle or walking. The only other. The idea of organised car sharing was
prerequisite for being able to use this service is born out of the ecology movement and has de-
a valid driving license and the ne ed to sign up veloped continually since then without state aid
with a professional car sharing provider or be- or outside inve stors in the form of countless
come a member of a car sharing association, self-help initiatives.
many of which are run by volunteers. Today, thanks to the pioneering work of the
first generation, the branch is now so well estab-
From grassroots initiative to professional lished that it has attracted the interest oflarger,
mobility service in 20 years wealthier companies from other economic sec-
tors, as the recent market offerings by some of
The first car sharing initiative in Germany was the larger car rental companies or the Daimler
founded in 1988 in Berlin, one year after the es- Group have shown. This is a significant achieve-
136 Willi Loose

ment given the fact that the ownership of a car, turers. In an anni versary publication commem-
or more than one car, is generally regarded as a orating 100 years of the DVWG German Associa-
status symbol , or at the very least as synon y- tion of Transport Sciences, Eckhard Minx, direc-
mou s with being equally able to participate in tor of the DaimlerChrysler Society and
public life. It is a model that continues to re- Technology Research Group, elaborated a vision
ceive strong political backing despite negative in which car manufacturers may in future sell
side effects for energy consumption and the cli- less car s and instead offer customers guaran-
mate. teed long-term use of their chosen model via a
Nevertheless, the idea of car sharing has service contract agreem ent.' And indeed, in au-
become more and more socially acceptable and tumn 2008, the Daimler Group initiated the
is even bein g openly discu ssed at a strategic "Carzgo" programme, a pilot project that resem-
management level by well-known car manufac- bles car sh aring. Initially, the trial period was
restri cted to Daimler staff and their familie s in
and around the city of VIm, Germany, but as of
spring 2009, the pilot programme has gone pub -

~ deve lopment of car sharing in Germany

lic with 200 "Smart" car s in the VIm region.
At the beginning of 2009, over 137,000 car
I 140'~r sharing users were registered with providers in
Germany.This represents a 20% rise in 2008 due
to the fact that car sh aring was able to profit
. 100.000 4~
from generally unfavourable conditions for car
~~ 80,000
owners, such as the high cost of petrol, expen-
sive car price s and the lack of parking spaces in
inner cities. The undisputed ch ampion of car
40 .~
sh aring is, however, Switzerland which h as al-
most seven time s as many car sharing users in
prop ortion to the population.
Car sh aring is currently available in around
1997 1998 1999 2000 200 1 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
measured on January 1 each yea, 270 cities and municipalities in Germany. Over
- - - - - - ~~ _~ ~ ~ ~_~__ ~ ~ ~~ ~ the last year, commercial car sh aring providers
~ ~ __ ~ ~O

The development of car sharing in Germany from 1997 to 2009. and associations ha ve again endeavoured to po-

1 Eckhard Minx,Thomas wasch ke, "Mobilrtat von morgen -

xonzepte der Automobi lindustrie, " in Deutsche verkehrswis-
senschaftlicne semeinscnatt (ed.): 100Jahre DVWG . Berlin
Public utility - Car sharing as a complementary means of urban mobility 137

"Greenwheels" carsharingstations in Amsterdam, Nether- "Stadtmobil Hannover" car sharing stations in Hanover,
lands. Germany.

sition their services closer to where privat e or with a high proportion of social housing or in
commercial users live and work, establishing outlying districts that consist predominantly of
decentralised pick-up points or stations dis- villas. In the se areas, the number of car sharing
persed throughout the city. As a result, a car for stations is correspondingly smaller.
communal use situated just around the corner Car sharing in Germany has also becoming
with its own dedicated parking space has be- increasingly popular among business users.
come reality in many more built-up urban areas . Shared vehicles offer an alternative means of
Traditional car owners , on the other hand , mu st mobility for many companies, offices, agencies
circle repeatedly in order to find a parking space and organisations which staff can make use of
nearby. The figure on the right shows the spatial when own company car facilities are stretched,
distribution of car sharing stations in the city of or as a cheaper alternative to using own vehi-
Hanover, which corresponds to that of many cles for business journeys. Almost 23% of car
other larger cities. Here one can see that there sharing users are company employees who use
are comparatively few users in neighbourhoods car sharing services regularl y or sporadically for
138 Willi Loose

business-related trips. For the providers, a mix - eas. Estate cars, minibuses and small vans
ture of private and business customers is ad- are provided to cater for shopping trips or
vantageous as these users' respective periods of family trips at the weekend.
demand complement one another, ensuring a Dedicated stations or pick-up and drop points
relatively even level of vehicle usage. Business exclusively for car sharing vehicles are locat-
customers use car sharing services primarily ed as close as possible to where private users
during the day on weekdays while private use live or in business districts where they can
peaks in the evenings and at the weekend. serve multiple business customers. These are
typically densely-populated, mixed-use inner
The elements of a modern car sharing system city neighbourhoods. The aim is to ensure
that car sh aring vehicles are always close at
All larger providers employ modern, customer- hand so that their use can be easily integrat-
friendly technological systems that have been ed into people's everyday way of life. The dis-
custom-developed for car sharing services and tribution of the stations generally follows the
are now also being adopted for commercial fleet pattern of customer growth. Unfortunately, in
management. For example, for the FIFA World many towns, providers are not always able to
Cup in Germany in 2006, the entire VIP-fleet was find appropriate parking spaces in densely-
managed using a technological system that built, inner-city neighbourhoods , whether on
originated from the car sharing sector. Invest- private land or in publicly accessible car
ment by the providers made it possible to de- parks.
velop it further to its current operational state. For the future development of the branch, it
A customer-centred car sh aring concept is char- will be necessary to establish a nationwide
acterised by the following qualities: statutory regulation that allows the creation
of car sh aring stations on public streets. This
A fleet of modern vehicles including a series is a matter of increasing urgency. Some cities
of different models to cover all typical user have already taken a step in this direction by
requirements. In accordance with demand, implementing special arrangements of their
around 70% of the vehicles are compact car own . In Weimar, for example, a car sharing
models. These cover most general day-to-day station has been established on the Goethe-
requirements in the city and surrounding ar- platz in the city centre.

2 ADACe.v., verkehrspolitik undverbraucnerscnutz (ed.):

Kfz-Anschaffung und -Unt erhaltung 2007. Munich 2008.
Public utility - Car sharing asa complementary means of urban mobility 139

It is possible to make vehicle bookings around

the clock, either online or by telephone. In
some cases, bookings can be made as text
messages sent from a mobile phone. Bookings
can be made several days in advance or at
short notice - provided the desired vehicle is
not already booked . For example, a user sub-
mitting a booking via mobile telephone may
be able to use a vehicle within around two
minutes - as soon as the booking system
transmits a confirmation of reservation by
text message to the on-board computer in the Car sharing stationon the Goetheplatz in Weimar.
The larger providers employ electronic access
control systems in conjunction with a chip ADAC, the cost index for running a privately
card issued to the customer along with in- owned car had risen by 20% by the end of 2007
structions when they register. With a so- compared with the year 2000 while in the same
called stand-alone system, access to the car period , disposable income had stagnated or
is gained via a combination of remote activa- even decreased." Private car ownership has
tion of the on-board computer and a card ID therefore become a disproportionately large
reader mounted behind the windscreen. Al- cost factor. According to fuel cost prognoses,
ternatively, a key deposit box located near to this looks unlikely to change in the future.
the car is sometimes used where several ve- Fixed costs constitute a large proportion of
hicles are available from the same location. the cost of private car ownership, most notably
value depreciation which typically amounts to
Flexible costs due to low fixed cost ratio several hundred Euros per month. As a result,
new car owners use their car for many journeys
The increasing attraction of car sharing is a log- that they previously undertook using other
ical consequence of proven cost efficiency. Ac- means of transport: "The car cost us so much, so
cording to the German Automobile Association we should now use it properly" is a common
140 Willi Loose

Stand-alone car unlocking system usingan electronic chip "Car2go" Ulm user instructions via on-board computer.
card and sensor mounted behind the windscreen.

mentali ty among new car owners. With car ryday personal expenditure. It also keeps open
sh aring the fixed costs are spread across many the option of using multiple mode s of transport,
shoulders . This explains its cost advantage, unlike private car ownership which tends to dis-
which on average applies up to an annual usage place the use of other me an s of transport.
of around 10,000 kilometres, provided one
doesn't need a car on a daily basi s. In addition, Car sharing reduces emissions and impact on
the cost component of each and every journey the urban environment
is listed with each billing. This motivates users
to consider whe ther all journeys really need to The following summarises a series of findings
be und ertaken with a car or whether perhaps from recent scientific studies on the impact of
another form of public transport, bicycling or car sh aring on the environment and traffic load .
walking might be more appropriate. Car sh aring The beneficial effects of car sharing are ba sed
makes the concealed costs of mobility visible so on separate individual effects which in combi-
that consumers can factor the se costs into eve- nation reinforce one another:

3 The study encompassed 1042 car sharing vehiclesavailable the transport network project "Intermodi - Sicherungder
for hire through the DB-Carsharing tarif. Anschluss- undZugangsmobilital durch neue Angebots-
4 Andreas Kni e, Weert Canzler, Die imermoasten Dienste der bausteine im Rahmen der 'Forschungsinitiative scniene".
Bahn: wirkungen und Potenziale neuer Verkehrsdienst- roroerkennzelcnen 19 P2049A + B. Berlin 2005, p 51.
leistungen. Joint final report by DB Rent and the WZB on
Public utility - Car sharingasa complementa ry means of urban mobility 141

Car sharing vehicles have a lower fuel con-

sumption than most average private cars and
produce lower levels of emissions.

In Germany, car sharing vehicles are on aver-

age newer than the average age of private
cars . With the exception of smaller associa-
tions, most providers renew their car pools
THINK -e o
every three to four years . Technological '"
improvements to vehicles that help reduce Car Sh arin g Ita liB:"
la mobiltta intelligente
..,.; ,
their impact on the environment are put into ,,'
,Co. ,
-. )/ ,.!f:,C

effect at a faster rate than with private vehi- " 0

cles. Advertising for car sha ring in Italy.

According to a study by the WZB Social Sci-
ence Research Centre in Berlin," car fleets
managed by the larger urban car sharing pro-
viders exhibit on average 16% less specific join a car sharing arrangement, or at least
carbon dioxide emissions compared with the shelve plans to purchase a new car.
national average for new private vehicles ." A
contributing factor is that the majority of car Car sharing reduces pressure on parking
sharing vehicles have less horse power than spaces in inner city neighbourhoods, also
the average private car and that different making it easier for private car owners to
vehicles can be chosen according to the kind park.
of journey.
The reduction in car ownership as a result of
Each car sharing vehicle replaces on average an increased uptake in car sh aring leads - in
between four to eight private vehicles! terms of figures - to a reduction in the space
required for vehicles .These areas can be then
Many private car sh aring users and some used for other purposes more beneficial for
business users sell their own car once they the city. For example, parking spaces can be

5 Arou nd halfof all households in those areas where a choice

was possible have officially declared their households to
be car-free,obviating their need to create a parking space.
A large proportion of these households participate in the
local car sharing scheme. Twelve car sharing vehicles have
been provided for their use.
142 Willi Loose

converted into more space for bicycle paths

or pedestrians. The redesign of urban street-
space and the creation of public spaces can
also contribute to improving the quality of
life in urban areas. For example, in the newly
built Vauban quarter in the city of Freiburg,
parking spaces set aside for households that
are officially designated as car-free are "given
back" to the local residents in the form of
green, recreational areas."

Car sharing as a means of tackling climate

change. Parking spaces set aside lor car-free households in the Vauban
Quarter of Freiburg. II the households were to purchase cars,
parking spa ces would have to be provided here.
In 2006, a study undertaken to examine the
impact of car sharing in Switzerland came to
the conclusion that car sharing users in Swit-
zerland produce 290 kg les s carbon dioxide people can contribute to individually. In po-
emissions per year than they would if car litical terms, promoting car sharing is a cost-
sharing was not available (theoretical control effective means of tackling the greenhouse
situation) ." This value is a factor of the afore- effect and , in addition, is viewed positively.
mentioned lower level of specific fuel con-
sumption for car journeys as well as the over- Car sharing - a form of motorised mobility
all use of more ecologically-friendly modes of ideally suited to compact cities
transport for the sum of all journeys under-
taken. As a result, car sharing is an effective In the above we have seen that car sharing not
means of tackling climate change that many only extends the available means of personal

6 Ueli Haeleli, Daniel Matti, Christoph Schreyer, Markus Mai-

bach, Evaluation Car-Sharing. Final reportcommissioned by
the BFE / SFOESwiss Fed eral Office lor Energy, Bern 2006.
Public utility- Car sharing asa complementary means of urban mobility 143

mobility and augments other modes of public to slow the pattern of migration away from the
transport but also alleviates the effects of traffic cities to the regions and the accompanying un-
on the city and the environment. The fact that restrained settlement of green field sites, which
such services are comparatively ecologically- in turn has led to increasing levels of car owner-
friendly and can contribute to urban develop- ship. Today, a countermovement is emerging
ment means that overall they contribute to the where sections of the population are beginning
common good. At the same time, they also bene- to return to the inner cities of urban conurba-
fit others who do not themselves use the service, tions. In the compact inner cities, however, there
such as those who continue to use their own car. is not enough space to continue the same pat-
Every additional car sharing vehicle makes the tern of car usage as practiced in the suburbs.
concept more appealing and attracts new cus- Car sharing offers a suitable alternative - to a
tomers. This is confirmed by the high level of private car or a second car - by providing people
customer satisfaction that has been voiced in with motorised transport as and when they
numerous surveys in different cities. Satisfied need it. And, unlike with private car ownership,
customers and word-of-mouth recommenda- the potential and possibility to use other forms
tions to friends, colleagues and family are the of public transport where appropriate remains
best form of advertising for the branch. Car an attractive and also realistic choice. In short,
sharing represents a form of motorised mobility car sharing offers as much motorised transport
ideally suited to the denser urban environments as required with as little impact as possible!
of compact cities. It has taken several decades

For further information see:

Reflection -
Philosophy for everyone?

1. Barriers to access of the first universities in Europe, the role of phi-

losophy remained unchanged for hundreds of
The respect accorded to philosophy in public is years: the philosophy faculty served as a pre-
generally accompanied by a peculiar shyness, a paratory propaedeutic through which every stu-
sense of unease, of head-shaking perplexity, and dent had to pass before entering one of the ac-
stalwart proponents of common sense may at tual professional faculties: theology, medicine,
times even treat it with contempt: philosophy, and jurisprudence. This relationship between
so it seems, is incomprehensible, extreme, ar- philosophy and science first began to change
rogant, out of touch, in short abstruse. This am- with the emergence of the modern university
bivalent reception of philosophy is almost cer- from around the 18th century onwards. Although
tainly grounded in its claim to be applicable for philosophy remained a propaedeuticum for
each and every one of us while simultaneously many scientific disciplines until well into the
denying that people in their everyday behaviour 20th century, it also had to adapt to the spirit of
fully realise the qualities by which human exist- the universities and that meant that philosophy
ence is defined. However, long before such am- could only defend its position as an academic
bivalent claims can come into effect, there are discipline by developing into a science in its own
barriers to be overcome that hinder, or even ob- right. A lengthy process of transition began,
struct, the average person's ability to engage in shaped for example by Kant's endeavours to es-
philosophy. And these have less to do with the tablish a critical philosophy and explicitly elu-
actual nature of philosophy than with its fate as cidated by Husserl in 1900 in his paper Philoso-
an academic discipline. phy as a Rigorous Science. In contemporary uni-
Philosophy can be regarded as the mother versity studies, philosophy is no longer a
of all sciences. It is, after all, Socratic inquiry preparatory or supplementary discipline but
into the nature of things and its tireless insist- stands alongside other sciences as a science of
ence on substantiating knowledge that first its own kind. That means it has its own curricu-
brought about the desire to anchor knowledge la, its own methods and own qualifications. It
qua science. At this time, philosophy was not ac- also means it has its own problems. The work of
tually a science in itself but rather a means of a professional philosopher today is primarily
approaching science and a discipline that pre- concerned with problems raised by the disci-
sided over methodology. Even after the founding pline itself. It relates to a particular state of re-
146 Gernot Bbhme

Immanuel Ka nt.

Gernot Bbhme, EinfOhrung in die Philosophie.

Weltweisheit - Lebensform - wissenscnett, Suhrkamp,
4th edition, Frankfurt a.M. 2001.
Reflection - Philosophy for everyone? 147

search or discourse and in turn refers for the never entirely vanished. Characteristic of this is
most part to work undertaken previously by Wolfgang Wieland's remark that one should dif-
other colleagues. It seeks responses and recog- ferentiate between philosophers and professors
nition from others in the field, that is, from the of philosophy. Admittedly, the term philosopher
academic discipline of philosophy. can be understood nowadays as an occupation-
This seems to me a very restricted under- al title and therefore academic professors of
standing of philosophy. In my Introduction to Phi- philosophy are indeed also philosophers. Wie-
losophy' I differentiate between three kinds of land's remark, however, implies that to hold the
philosophising: philosophy as a way of life or status of a philosopher, one needs much more
mode of living, philosophy as practical wisdom than simply academic knowledge of the disci-
and philosophy as a science. One can immedi- pline of philosophy.
ately see that according to this division, what is Among the barriers that make it difficult
officially regarded as philosophy, namely the for many people to engage in philosophy, we can
academic discipline, constitutes only one third identify three in particular: its language, its ab-
of what belongs to philosophy - those aspects stract nature of thought and to a certain extent
that one can describe as a science. Philosophy the radical nature of philosophy itself.
as a mode of living describes a way of philoso- Here the term language points in turn to
phising on an everyday basis that recalls Socra- barriers erected by the aforementioned schol-
tes' vision of a philosophical way of life. Philoso- arly "scientisation" and professionalisation of
phy as a "practical wisdom" (Weltweisheit) de- philosophy. Every academic discipline develops
scribes - according to Immanuel Kant, who at its own language and terminology, and without
that time already endeavoured to distinguish appropriate social awareness of this terminol-
this from the so-called philosophy of the schools ogy, one is unable to fully understand the knowl-
- the kind of philosophy that is concerned with edge of the respective discipline. In the case of
"what interests everyone," that is with questions philosophy there is a further aspect that differ-
of public importance. As such, this kind of phi- entiates it from other disciplines: its historicity.
losophising is not concerned with issues brought Specific academic terminologies generally have
forward by professional colleagues but with the an instrumental character and their meaning
broader problems facing society at large. depends only on the current definition. This is
Our awareness of philosophy as more than not the case with philosophy. Philosophical ter-
what is dealt with in the academic realm has minology almost always has a historical dimen-
148 Gernot Bbhme

sion. For this reason, it would be illusory to be- tions of the quintessence have been developed,
lieve that one need only adhere to the current including among, others, Paracelsus' assertion
usage as each term is always accompanied by a that man himself could be the quintessence. To
diffuse cluster of historical connotations. This truly understand the language of philosophy,
applies in particular to terms such as substance, one needs to be aware of such historical con-
quality, identity, and causality. Byway of example, notations.
I will briefly consider a less ambiguous term: A second barrier to engaging in philosophy
quintessence. This expression is rooted in Plato's is the abstractness of philosophical thought.
attempt to link the concept of the four elements Abstractness is not the same as generality - the
with his at-the-time new and most impressive latter is shared by all sciences not just philoso-
concept of the five pIa tonic solids. These five phy. The abstractness of philosophical thought
solids describe perfectly symmetrical convex refers to the fact that the issues under consid-
bodies in three-dimensional space: the tetrahe- eration are rarely tangible or perceptible. Rather
dron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron and the they are gained through reflection or through
icosahedron. When relating these solids to the speculation. Characteristic of this approach is
four elements, fire, water, earth and air, Plato the process of nominalisation, which in the
had one solid left over which he attributed, Greek or German languages is achieved very
partly out of a need to resolve the predicament easily through the addition of a preceding arti-
and partly as ironic gesture, to the universe as a cle. A word used as a verb in everyday language
whole. Plato's pupil Philip of Opus, who is cred- such as sein (to be) is converted into a noun, das
ited with completing Plato's unfinished Epino- Sein (being) - and immediately we have the sub-
mis, attempted to resolve the predicament ject of an entire philosophical discipline, name-
through systematic consideration, reasoning ly ontology. For the layman this process is, shall
that five platonic bodies necessitated five dis- we say, somewhat confusing; it is as if suddenly
tinct elements. Accordingly he attributed the one is left with nothing to stand on. One no
fifth body to the ether. As a consequence, the longer knows, at least not immediately, what is
ether became the quintessence, the fifth es- being talked about. The topic has shifted to
sence. Since then, fuelled in particular by the things that one cannot experience directly but
practice of alchemy, all manner of interpreta- nevertheless ultimately form the basis of how

2 Kritikder reinen Vernunft A158/B197; Immanuel Kant,

Critique of Pure Reason, Transl. by Norman Kemp Smith,
St. Martin's Press, New York 1965, p.194.
Reflection - Philosophy for everyone? 149

one experiences things at all. The philosopher thought. The word radical is related to radix, to
Immanuel Kant described this type of thinking roots, and indeed philosophy is radical in as far
as transcendental. In his Critique of Pure Reason he as it is concerned with fundamentals, with prin-
strives to elaborate the conditions of all possible ciples, with origins and beginnings. Conse-
experience. He offers an answer in his first prin- quently, philosophy is also paradoxical in the
ciple, according to which "the conditions of the literal sense; it goes against what we commonly
possibility of experience in general are likewise believe, against preconceptions. Those who are
conditions of the possibility of the objects of ex- interested in philosophy are expected to put
perience."? Here we have a prime example of a aside everything they have believed until now
philosophical sentence which is extremely dif- and to call into question the balance and securi-
ficult to decipher. It requires that we do what ties that have been the basis of their sense of
Plato has described as "turning our whole soul certainty in everyday life. Our day-to-day think-
inside out" by averting our gaze from empiri- ing is, generally speaking, governed by compro-
cally experienced objects and directing our at- mises that mediate between conflicting tenden-
tention to that which is purely thought - with cies and opinions. For the most part, our think-
the concomitant promise that only then will we ing balances one thing with another. Compared
be able to properly understand that which we with this, philosophical thought is radical and
experience empirically. Philosophy therefore de- requires that at first we pursue a train of thought
mands of all those willing to engage in it that, at to its conclusion, without regard to other con-
the very moment of engaging, they adopt a way siderations or counter-arguments.
of thinking contrary to common sense. Truth is In an age in which people increasingly seek
not to be found through direct confrontation to establish resonance for their ideas through
but rather through indirect, reflexive considera- media publicity and in which the reputation of
tion. What is given to us is explained through philosophers is likewise made through the me-
what is not given to us; the concrete is explained dia, philosophy's fundamental trait towards
by the abstract. radicalness translates into scandal: that which
This tendency towards abstraction can also is radical and contradicts common sense can
be attributed to the third aforementioned bar- through the media assume scandalous propor-
rier, that of the radical nature of philosophical tions. One example from the comparatively re-
150 Gernot Bbhme

cent past is Peter Sloterdijk's speech Regulations general public as it is concerned with what in-
for the Human Park and his talk of anthropotech- terests and involves everyone, and because it
nics therein. A more recent example is Giorgio aims to be effective in the public arena. Philoso-
Agamben's book Homo sacer in which he mythol- phy as practical wisdom consists predominant-
ogises the victims of the concentration camps, ly of criticism. The reason for this lies in the fact
stripped down to their bare life, by subsuming that philosophy can and must participate in the
them under a term used in ancient Roman law: resolution of matters of public interest through
homo sacer. The radicalness of his train of its own means and methods. For the most part,
thought culminates in the sentence: "today it is the problems facing society require political, ju-
not the polis but rather the camp that is the fun- ridical and economic solutions. However, there
damental biopolitical paradigm of the West." 3 is one aspect where philosophy is well-nigh in-
In using such a sentence Agamben profits dispensable in the resolution of public ques-
from the morbid fascination that continues to tions: the question of how these problems are
surround the crimes of the Nazis to the present thought about in the first place. It is not uncom-
day. The radical nature of his approach mani- mon to find that public issues are dealt with in
fests itself in the assertion that the administra- public in a way that does not solve the problem
tion of human life - when thought through to its but in a sense actually prolongs it. This is the
conclusion - tends towards its very destruction, case whenever the way of thinking is itself part
whereas the reproduction of human life hap- of the problem. An example helps here to illus-
pens on its own. Real biopolitics is, of course, trate what I mean. Approaches to dealing with
always primarily - or ostensibly, as Agamben environmental issues generally revolve around
argues - directed towards the reproduction of a notion of nature, in which nature is defined as
life. that which occurs naturally - and as such is
deemed good. Consequently, a key strategy is to
2. Philosophy as practical wisdom conserve the natural environment: the supposi-
tion is that one can address environmental
The accessibility of philosophy is by definition problems by protecting what is endangered by
very different when used as "practical wisdom." human intervention. In actual fact what one
Here philosophy is actively oriented towards the wishes to preserve is not natural in the true

3 Giorgio Agamben, Homo sacer. Sovereign Power andBare

Life. Stanford university Press, Chicago 1998, p.181.
Reflection - Philosophy for everyone? 151

152 GernotBbhme

sense of the word but in most cases already a socially subordinate to doctors, so that under
historical product of human interaction with the prevailing conditions a strengthening of the
nature. The actual natural environments in role of midwives would mean the professionali-
question are themselves rarely defined purely in sation of midwifery through the introduction of
natural terms but instead socially, for example scientific training. Here too a particular way of
in terms of land ownership and land use inter- thinking - in this case the assumption that sci-
ests. Philosophy can help demonstrate that em- entific knowledge is the best form of knowledge
ploying a classical notion of na ture to deal with - has characterised the problem so deeply that it
environmental problems is dysfunctional. If na- cannot be resolved and will in fact be perpetu-
ture is that which needs to be protected against ated through the proposed solution. In this case
human intervention, it will over time be pushed a philosophical criticism of forms of knowledge
back ever further. Instead nature needs in these would have helped to break down the structure
cases to be conceived of as something that has of preconceptions and in turn contribute to the
already been shaped by human involvement." resolution of this issue of public importance.'
Another problem where the way it has been
approached obstructs its solution is the inade- 3. Philosophy as a mode of living
quate psychosocial support of pregnant and
childbearing women. Here one can easily show Although philosophy as a mode of living or way
that the traditional knowledge of midwives en- of life is no longer part of scientific philosophy,
compasses practices that fulfil the human needs this does not mean that it has been entirely for-
of expectant mothers. A closer inspection of gotten at a broader level. On the contrary, the
modern-day obstetrics, as practised by gynaeco- philosophy of the Stoa - that is from a time in
logists, reveals that it is unable to fulfil the psy- which philosophy was a practical part of every-
chosocial needs of mothers-to-be due to its ob- day life for large sections of the population -
jectified and technological approach. Given this, still has a loyal following. Authors such as
the correct response would be to revive and Epictetus, Seneca, and Marc Aurel are still
strengthen the empirical knowledge of mid- among the bestselling classical philosophers.
wives. Instead, the primacy of scientific know- Their writings offer consolation and guidance
ledge is such that midwives have long become for greater peace of mind and level-headedness

4 GernotBbhme, Engelbert Schramm (ed.), Soziale N.Stehr, V. Meja (eds.). Societyand Knowledge. Contemporary
Naturwissenschaft. Wege zur Erweiterung der Okologie, perspectives in the Sociology of Knowledge, Transaction
Fischer, Frankfurta.M. 1985. Books, New Brunswick/London 1984, pp.365- 385.
5 Gernot Bbhme, "Midwifery as Science: An Essay on the
Relation between Scientificand Everyday Knowledge", in:
Reflection - Philosophy for everyone? 153

and champion the ideal of wisdom. Whether, the risk of biographical catastrophes. Where
however, the classical ideal of a philosophical self-control was central to the classical ideal of
mode of life, that of self-control, self-sufficiency, a philosophical conduct of life, today we can say
autonomy and ataraxy can still be a model for that everyone more or less fulfils this ideal in a
leading a philosophical life in the present day is trivial manner, for example when driving a car.
perhaps questionable. Until such questions Most people can behave calmly and soberly in-
have been debated in full, it could be that the dependent of their respective emotional situa-
classical notion of a philosophical mode of liv- tion - although not actually through self-control
ing serves more of a compensatory role, and but rather through the compartmentalisation of
therefore a masking function, in the context of behavioural responses. If we continue in this
modern day life. way to address each of the individual aspects of
How exactly philosophy as a mode of living the classical philosophical mode of living, we
should be defined is something that, in my view, see that they are indeed fulfilled in modern life,
must be examined anew in every age - it has to though not emphatically; rather, in a trivialised
be able to respond to the contemporary living form. A new question arises as a consequence
conditions; it has to defend humanity against of this analysis: in what way do our average liv-
the deformatory or levelling tendencies of the ing conditions, particularly the technically reg-
day. If we can describe our modern day living ulated living conditions, influence our ability to
conditions as that of technological civilisation, experience ourselves and our lives as human
we can see that under these conditions the beings? I would like to elaborate on just two ex-
modern way of living is in many respects a triv- amples. The first concerns our physical bodily
ialised fulfilment of the classical ideal of a phil- experience, our sense of suffering and our path-
osophical conduct of life. Where the ideal of ic existence in general. The second concerns our
classical philosophy promotes a way of living own existence in the sense of our consciousness
not subject to the vagaries and upheavals of of being in the present.
emotion and circumstance, we can note today In our civilisation, people have long been
that most people's lives are on average relative- driven by an active conception of the self and in
ly uneventful and unemotional and that institu- today's work and achievement-oriented society,
tionalised safety mechanisms exist that reduce this self-conception is largely defined through
154 Gernot Bbhrne

Reflection - Philosophy for everyone? 155

one's activities and achievements. This has, A philosophical development of such compe-
among other things, resulted in an understand- tencies could also have very practical conse-
ing of ethics almost solely in terms of an ethics quences. It would, for example, be a prerequi-
of actions. All those human aspects where we site for being able to fulfil the needs of self-as-
are given to ourselves, where things happen to sured patients. Over and above the medicinal
us, where we suffer, are by contrast neglected. appraisal of the advantages and disadvantages
We are not equipped with the appropriate com- of particular therapies, the patients would
petencies to deal with these and such phenom- themselves be able to contribute through a
ena are either masked or simply unknown; readiness to "embed" a particular therapy in
those moments where we are left to ourselves their conception of themselves and their de-
do not contribute to our own sense of identity. sired way of life. Such decisions can only be
This applies particularly to our own bodies, that made when the patient really feels at home in
part of nature which we experience as ourselves, his body, that is to say that his body is truly his
despite the fact that, or perhaps precisely be- own and he knows how to integrate illness and
cause, we do not produce it ourselves. Innately suffering in his conception of himself.
linked with this is the feeling of pain, or more The second example that I mentioned of a
generally of suffering, which we understand as way in which a philosophical mode of living in
something to be overcome, something to be cast the present day could counteract a loss of hu-
out of the self. Despite this, we are able to com- manity concerns the terms existence and the
prehend that the self, of which we modern day consciousness of being in the present. One can ar-
citizens are so proud, is on the face of it empty gue that both classical philosophy's attempts to
without things that directly impinge on us. We cultivate a sense of self as well as Christianity's
are consequently far from an understanding of strivings for spiritual salvation aim to overcome
ourselves as affected beings. This is precisely the weakness and vulnerability of human exist-
where philosophy as a mode of living can apply ence in the immediacy of the moment or - as
today. It would be concerned with regaining a Christianity calls it - to dominate the animality
sense of bodily experience, a positive compre- of human existence. This is, of course, grounded
hension of suffering, the development of virtues in the fact that such direct and immediate ex-
of pathic existence or, in more modern terms, istence, with its charms and challenges and also
the development of competencies that allow us its volatile, transitory character, was experi-
to actually experience things that happen to us. enced as a burden and also with a sense of con-
156 Gernot Bbhme

tinual loss. In contrast to this, one erected the Against this background, a philosophical mode
ideals of a purely spiritual existence, of eternal of living should be concerned with recovering
life and salvation in the hereafter. Today one the direct experience of being. It should consist
can contend that human existence is no longer of practices that school attentiveness and per-
directly experienced at all and is in a sense de- ception and would seek the suspension or, as
void of the present. The modern day conscious- one would say in philosophy, the bracketing out
ness of man has been divided on the one hand - the epoche - of all intentions as well as argu-
into projections and intentions, i.e. imagined mentation, in short of all forms of justificatory
notions of the future, and on the other into discourse. This modern day approach would, in
memories and justification strategies, i.e. an stark contrast therefore to the classical ideal of
awareness of the past. We compensate for our a philosophical mode of living, be concerned
inability to exist in the present through docu- with the directness of experience, with the abil-
mentation, for example through recorded sound ity to immerse oneself in the present and with
and images which chronicle what we should the development of a consciousness of how we
have experienced directly so that we may take live our lives. This will be almost impossible to
them in as fact after the event. This lack of con- achieve without the help of meditative practic-
sciousness of the present also translates as a es. Except that in this case, in contrast to the
disregard for actual physical presence and the classical philosophical ideal, these would not be
inability to experience sensations aesthetically. of the kind in which one aspires to eternal truths
What we are missing out on is in actual fact life but the very opposite, those in which one can
itself, the very vitality of being, in as far as we submerge oneself in the present in all its sen-
are able to fully experience it. As a consequence, sory richness and in one's own existence as we
modern day man is missing out on the most el- experience it in all its physical vitality.
ementary form of happiness, namely the happi- In the same way that philosophy as a prac-
ness of being." Instead he seeks happiness in tical wisdom is open to everyone in as far as it
riches, in the good things in life. He spends his is concerned with problems that interest every-
lifetime acquiring these and is then all too often one, so too philosophy as a mode of living is not
unable to enjoy them fully. subject to professional barriers. Of course, the

6 GernotBbhme, "oas Gluck, da zu sein,"in: R. J. Kozljanic (ed.),

1/. Jahrbuch fOrLebensphilosophie, Albunea verlag, Munich
2006, pp.209 - 218. Also in: Renate Breuninger (ed.). GlOck,
Humboldt-Studienzentrum, Ulm 2006, pp.57-69.
Reflection - Philosophy for everyone? 157

same applies today as ever: philosophy as a To cite Kant, one could also say that to lead a
practical wisdom entails in essence a shift in philosophical life today means to assume re-
thinking and the overcoming of preconceptions sponsibility for one's life, to neither allow one's
while philosophy as a mode of living consists life to simply pass - that is to consign oneself to
primarily in a reversal and a revision of the pre- the respective trends and fashions - nor to allow
vailing behavioural patterns set down by techni- experts to dictate the way one lives one's life.
cal civilisation and an efficiency-driven society.

Internet -
Digital inclusion for everyone regardless of their abilities
Jutta Croll

Internet for all- digital inclusion as parts of the rural population - these meas-
ures include providing specific targeted pro-
The term digital divide was coined in the mid- grammes for communicating media skills as
1990s in the USAby the National Telecommuni- well as facilitating opportunities where digital
cations and Information Administration (NTIA)l media can be experienced first-hand .The digital
in its Falling through the Net report, which identi- inclusion of people with disabilities is achieved
fied a divide between those groups of society primarily through the increased number of web-
who have access to information and communi- sites that are designed in such a way that they
cation technologies and those who have not. In can also be used by these target groups.
Germany too there are debates on the different
possibilities various societal groups have when Barriers in the Internet
it comes to accessing digital media and the In-
ternet in particular. The overall aim of ensuring People with disabilities are confronted by a va-
equal access to and use of new media for all riety of different kinds of barriers when using
sections of society is described as digital inclu- the Internet. Internet users without physical or
sion , or, at a European level, also as e-inclusion . mental disabilities often find it difficult to com-
In recent years a more differentiated view prehend that this medium can also be used by
of how to realise this aim has arisen that focus- people with disabilities when designed appro-
es not solely on providing general access to the priately. The barriers that obstruct usage of the
Internet but also takes into account the hetero- Internet often only become apparent once one
geneity of the respective disadvantaged societal becomes aware how Internet content is per-
groups and recognises that individual approach- ceived and how particular functions of websites
es are necessary that are appropriate to particu- are used or once the handicapped users ' spe-
lar sub-groups and their respective specific liv- cific culture of communication is understood.
ing conditions. In addition to providing access to Blind people are able to use the Internet
the Internet, such measures must therefore also with the help of a so-called screen reader or a
help users to make appropriate use of what di- refreshable Braille display. A screen reader is a
gital media have to offer. For those groups of software programme installed on the user's
society that are disadvantaged with respect to computer that reads out loud what appears on
Internet usage - the elderly, immigrants, socially the screen - at least what is present as text or
or educationally disadvantaged people as well has been annotated as text in the source code .
160 Jutta Croll

rution softw are for controlling the computer

through spoken commands, can assist these
users in using the Internet.
Deaf or hearing-impaired users are unable
to access an y inform ation that is available ex-
clusi vely in acoustic form . In addition , deaf peo-
ple very often lack writte n language skills as for
many, particularly tho se wh o are deaf from
birth, sign language is their mother tongue; they
ha ve to learn th e written alm ost like a foreign
language. Complicated syntax and the use of
Parallel usage of a Braille display and keyboard. technical jargon , profe ssional language, or for-
eign words represent a barrier to understanding.
Sign lan gua ge videos can be used to pre sent
Byhearing wh at is read out aloud, blind people complex issues in a form appropriate for deaf
are able to access the same content other peo- people. They understand the text by seeing the
ple see . A refreshable Braille display translates hand and mouth movem ents of the person on
the same con tent into Braille characters, pre- the screen. People with learn ing difficulties or
senting them usin g a system of protruding and reading or spelling difficulties such as dysle xia
retractable studs that can be felt. Blind or par- can also find it difficult to understand content
tially sighte d people are reliant on being able to in text form . Further ba rriers include the inco n-
use the keyboard to na vigate webs ites as th ey sistent use of symbols and terminology and
are unable to perceive the position of the cursor com plex navigational structures and interac-
or mouse pointer. The user can switch from one tion methods.
link to the next by pres sing th e tab key; pressin g
the return-key visits the link . Accessible websites -
For people with impaired motor fun ctions, straightforward for everyone
the usability of navigati on and fun ctional ele-
ments in a website - for example input boxes in For people with disabilities, the ability to use the
forms - might be a probl em . Special input de- Internet offer s clear advantages: th e Internet
vices that replace the mo use, or speech recog- helps them overcome limitations in their ability

Internet - Digital inclusion foreveryone regard less of theirabilities 161

to lead their lives independently such as mobil-

ity restrictions or limited ability or opportunity
to communicate. Digital media can offer them
an equal opportunity to take part in society. A
precondition for this is the accessible design of
websites and their contents, and an awareness
of the respective target group's specific usage
requirements when accessing online services. It
is not just disabled users who benefit from such
design considerations. Accessible websites gen-
erally require less bandwidth so that they load
more quickly and can also be used on mobile Controlling the computer using a headmouse that records
devices with small displays. Clear and commu- head movement as well asother inputdevices.

nicative navigation structures - which access -

ible websites should offer - also help fledgling
users with less experience of using web-based ture relaunch - i.e., a revision and redesign - of
services. The use of plain language helps people the web service is less complex and therefore
with migrant backgrounds as well as deaf people also less costly.
or people with learning or language difficulties.
Similarly, websites that follow a consistent pat- No progress without enforcement - policies
tern and are simple to use make it easier for the and statutory basis
elderly to come to terms with an unfamiliar me-
dium and make the most of the advantages of At a European level, the eEurope Action Plans
the Internet for their everyday lives. from 2002 and 2005 required providing equal
The design of accessible websites involves opportunities for people with disabilities. Al-
the separation of content and presentation.This though all member states were requested to
is achie ved using so-called Cascading Style implement the action plans, this process has
Sheets.2 This is also of benefit to the website's progressed differently in the individual coun-
providers as much less space is required on the tries . For example, equality for disabled persons
server to store the web pages and less traffic has been regulated in Great Britain since 1995
generated to load them. It also means that a fu- by the "Disability Discrimination Act," in Spain
162 JuttaCroll

by the "Ley 51 de igualdad de oportunidades, no sites, publicly accessible intranet and graphical
discriminaci6n y accesibilidad" ratified in 2003, programme interfaces provided by public insti-
in France since 2005 by the "Loi pour l'egalite tutions must be designed so that they can be
des droits et des chances, la participation et la used by disabled people without any restric-
citoyennete des personnes handicapees," and in tions. While the BGG applies to all national
Austria by the "Behindertengleichstellungs- public authorities, the federal structure of Ger-
gesetz" which came into force on 1 January 2006. many means that all German states have their
Other European countries have issued only own corresponding statutory regulations for
guidelines or agreements and have no statutory their own public authorities. The regulations
basis how to achieve these aims. set out in the BGG are recommended for the pri-
In Germany, the version of the "Bundesbe- vate sector, but are not mandatory. Instead,
hindertengleichstellungsgesetz" (BGG, Disability the law provides an instrument known as a "tar-
Equality Act) that came into force in 2002 was get agreement." This allows certain organisa-
the first statutory basis for regulating the access- tions and interest groups that are certified by
ibility of information and communication tech- the responsible ministry to request private sec-
nologies. This encompassed an inclusive under- tor providers to enter in to "target agreement
standing of accessibility that rejects the provi- negotiations." Private sector providers are then
sion of special alternative or partial solutions obliged to take part in the negotiations and fail-
for specific user groups. ure to enter into or observe an agreement can
According to 4 of the BGG, "[... J informa- be juridically prosecuted. According to German
tion processing systems, auditory and visual law, such legal action can only be taken by the
information resources and communication fa- aforementioned organisations, not by private
cilities, and any other areas which are designed, persons.
[are accessible when they are] usable by dis- In Austria, for example, the situation is dif-
abled people in the usual way, without any par- ferent. The Austrian "Behindertengleichstel-
ticular difficulty and, fundamentally, without lungsgesetz" is likewise applicable for all public
external assistance from other people." authorities but also for private websites where
11 of the BGG regulates "Accessible Infor- these are "concerned with accessing and provid-
mation Technology" and stipulates that all web- ing goods and services which are available to

2 The Cascading Style Sheets (C55) formating language was 4 Buhler, Christian(ed.), Barrierefreies webdesign. Praxishand-
developed in the early 1990s to describe how content on the buch tur webgestaltung und grafische etogremmcoetttecnet:
web is presented. c.f. dpunkt-Verlag, Heidelberg 2005, p.6.
3 c.f.
Internet - Digital inclusion for everyone regardless of their abilities 163

the public" and where "direct state regulatory sibility. Both terms describe the same basic prin-
competence is given" (2). This means that ac- ciple of ensuring "the technical accessibility of
cessibility can be enforced wherever the Aus- software along with observance of the funda-
trian consumer protection legislation CKonsu- mental principles of software ergonomics."
mentenschutzgesetz") applies. In effect, this On an international level, the requirements
permits a level of enforcement similar to the of accessible web design are defined in the Web
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the USA Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) devel-
which allows private persons to take legal ac- oped by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)5 .
tion and can - as with similar action in other The German BITV is based on the first edition
fields - involve extraordinarily high compensa- WCAG 1.0 of these guidelines. A completely re-
tion claims. Equal opportunities for people with vised version 2.0 of the WCAG has since been
disabilities in sections of public administration issued in December 2008. 6 A corresponding revi-
in the USA is regulated by "Section 508 of the sion of the German BITV is being undertaken by
Workforce Rehabilitation Act" as amended in the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Af-
1998. This law requires US federal departments fairs (BMAS) and is planned for release some
and agencies to ensure that their web sites are time in 2009.
accessible and to only procure, develop and em-
ploy information and communication technol- Accessibility as a matter of principle - the
ogy that is also accessible and usable by people basics of accessible web design
with disabilities.
In Germany, the term "Barrierefreies Web- For a better understanding of what accessible
design" denotes the design of accessible web- information and communication technologies
sites and services as elaborated in the "Barriere- means, it is useful to examine the principles of
freie Informationstechnik-Verordnung" (BIT V, accessibility detailed in the Web Content Access-
Barrier-free Information Technology Regula- ibility Guidelines that are carefully formulated
tion), which is a supplementary regulation that independent from any special technology in
came into effect in 2002 to augment 11 of the use.' These four principles clearly illustrate the
BGG and governs technical implementation. In- diversity of requirements that are people with
ternationally one speaks of Web Content Acces- different impairments have.
164 JuttaCroll

Perceptibility: This principle aims to ensure that ity and compatibility with common products
all website content and functionality on a web- should also be ensured.
site is presented in such a way that it can be The table opposite illustrates the kinds of
perceived by all users. The only exception is barriers disabled people face with regard to the
content that cannot be expressed or circum- principles of perceptibility, operability and un-
scribed in words. derstandability. The crosses denote pre-existing
Operability: To ensure that websites can be barriers and minus signs denote barriers that
used, all interface components must be opera- cannot be overcome, while a plus sign indicates
ble by any user, wherever possible without the which kinds of representation are advantageous
need for special input devices. It is also impor- for respective user groups. Where both minus
tant that all functionalities can be accessed and plus symbols appear in the same row, users
from a keyboard - i.e. without a mouse - and with different impairments have conflicting de-
is not subject to any time restrictions. Moving mands for that respective means of presenta-
interface components should be avoided in tion, which need to be resolved.
general. In the evaluation prodedure of the BIENE
Understandability: The ability to easily and Award for best-practice examples of accessible
quickly navigate and move around within a websites in German language, in addition to
website and the user interface is key to the suc- the WAI principles also criteria including orien-
cessful use of any web-based content. Informa- tation, relevance of the content, an incIusive ap-
tion presented through a website and the user proach and design are of relevance. This ensures
interface should be easy to understand and in- that web sites fulfil not only accessibility criteria
tuitive to use. Site designers must take into ac- but also apply to general quality requirements
count that people learn in different ways and as well as ethic and aesthetic criteria.
have different backgrounds and levels of experi-
ence in using web-based services. The BIENE Award for accessible website
Robustness: This principle is intended to design
ensure that the web technologies employed are
robust enough to allow a website to be accessed Since 2003, the Stiftung Digitale Chancen" (Dig-
with current and future access technologies ital Opportunities Foundation) and Aktion
(browsers, assistive technologies). Interoperabil- Mensch? (German Association for the Care of

5 8
6 9
accessed: 23/02/2009).
7 TheWCAG 2.0 guidelines use the terms: perceivable,
operab/e, understandab/e

Internet - Digital inclusion for everyone regardless of their abilities 165

partially sighted / Deaf / Learning or read- Restricted motor

colour blind hard of hearing ing difficulties functions

Graphical content + +

Inability to scalecontent x x

Colour contrast x

Mouse-dependent navigation x x x

"Cramped" navigation x

Audiolvideo content x +

Timelimits x x x x

Complex structure x x x x

Complex language x x

Barriers to accessing web content.

the Disabled ) have organised a regular compe- In 2005, a special junior award was introduced
tition for the best accessible German-language for student and trainee web developers.
websites. The acronym BIENE stands for All websites submitted to the competition
"Barrierefreies Internet eroffnet neue Einsichten" are subjected to a multi-stage eval uation proce-
(a barrier-free Internet reveals new insights ; dure. In th e first stage, all websites that do not
Biene also means "bee" in German) and promotes fulfil the basic requirements of accessibility are
communication, joint action and productive co- eliminated. The remaining entries then undergo
operation. a fine-test undertaken twice by two different as -
Entries to the competition can be made in sessors. Th e assessors apply the criteria and
a number of different categories which corre- evaluation steps detailed in the BIENE-Cata logue
spond to the type of web service. The degree of to the relevant content and functionality of each
complexity of each website is taken into ac- website. Th ose websites that score h ighly with
count in the evaluation procedure as experience both assessors are then tested in practice situa-
has sho wn that thi s plays a subs tan tial role in tions by peop le with different disabilities. The
the implementation of accessibility require - users first test how easy it is to follow through a
ments. The competition differentiates between sequence of actions step by step and are then
information and communication websites, research asked to undertake a general global task.
and service websites, shopping and transaction The evaluation procedure is monitored by
websites and community and interactive websites. a profession al board comprising disabled users
166 Jutta Croll

and experts who then draw up a shortlist of the lished with the help of Internet-based pro-
very best candidates for the final jury. Finally, grammes and do not require any prior web
the jury awards a gold, silver and bronze ElENE knowledge. Visitors are able to comment on
to the top three websites in each category, tak- journal entries and see their comments pub-
ing into account not only accessibility but also lished in real time . Initially predominantly pri-
aspects of general quality and design . The jury vate diaries, blogs are now also used as an in-
The BIENE Award trophies. also decides on the awarding of special prizes strument for business communication or polit-
for sites that address the needs of particular ical expression . In the 2008 US presidential
user groups. Sponsorship prizes can also be election, blogs by and about the political candi-
awarded to operators of non-commercial web- dates played a key role in the campaign. The
sites , such as associations or self-help groups , ability for end users to publish content them-
providing services or content of public interest. selves is a central characteristic of web 2.0 ap-
Most of the winners of a BIENE Award go further plications, as epitomised by so-called wikis. The
than merely fulfilling statutory and technical online-encyclopaedia Wikipedia, whose entries
minimum requirements for accessibility and are written by the Internet community, is per-
the competition's assessment criteria; they haps the most well-known example of a wiki.
build on these as a basis for developing innova- Online office applications, mapping applica-
tive and creative solutions. Websites that are tions and online surveys and voting systems
awarded a BIENE can be regarded as best-prac- that reflect the opinions of visitors in real time
tice examples. A list of all prize winners is avail- as well as so-called mash-ups, in which end us-
able online on ers are able to assemble information from dif-
ferent web servers according to their own needs,
Web 2.0 - participative Internet are further examples of web 2.0 services . Many
of the above mentioned elements are integrated
The term Web 2.0 has become synonymous with into interactive community platforms. While
the emergence of new kinds of Internet services services such as Flickr or YouTube primarily fa-
that aim to involve the end user more actively. cilitate the quick and easy publication of images
The most well-known of these are weblogs, or or video for cost-free exchange with others, por-
blogs for short: online journals that can be pub- tals such as Facebook or StudiVZ allow people
Internet - Digital inclusion for everyone regardless of their abilities 167

to publish a profile of themselves and make study in 2007 to examine the user behaviour of
contact with other users. people with disabilities when using such serv-
A key characteristic of web 2.0 applications ices, with the intention of further development
is the provision of functionality for creating and of the catalogue of criteria for accessible web
publishing content that could previously only be design from the findings. The study consisted of
undertaken by website providers, using content- three steps. In an initial exploratory stage, inter-
management systems for example. Now end us- views were conducted with experts to ascertain
ers are able to create and publish content inside a basic understanding of general patterns of In-
other websites - the user can switch from being ternet usage and the respective communication
a recipient to a producer. This places new de- cultures of the different disabled user groups. In
mands on the media literacy of the users as well a second stage, group interviews were conduct-
as on the design of web services and the acces- ed with actual users of different disabled user
sibility of the functionality they offer. When one groups to understand their motivations when
considers the aforementioned principles pub- using the Internet, their most favourite websites
lished by the WAI - perceptibility, operability, un- and online habits. Based on the findings of these
derstandability and robustness - it becomes two qualitative steps, a questionnaire was de-
clear that the accessible design of services such veloped for implementation as an accessible
as social-community platforms presents devel- online survey. 10 experts took part in the expert
opers with entirely new challenges. interviews, 57 disabled users in the group inter-
Websites that offer content that was previ- views, and a total of 671 disabled users answered
ously created by predominantly professional the online questionnaire.
content producers can - at least to a degree - Parallel to the evaluation of the qualitative
through legislation be obliged to fulfil accessi- and quantitative surveys, BIENE also examined
bility standards. The same does not apply to so- the accessibility of typical web 2.0 services and
called user-generated content as well as web ap- potential barriers to their use. The findings were
plications with a stronger focus on interaction then used to revise the BIENE catalogue of eval-
or communication. In view of the rapid develop- uation criteria for accessible web design and to
ment of the Internet and the increasing avail- add new evaluation steps. The results of the
ability of web 2.0 services, BIENE undertook a study will be published in 2009.
168 Jutta Croll

Seeing with the ears, hearing with the eyes still necessary to raise awareness and provide
information on accessible web design. The mes-
People who hear with their eyes and see with sage of the BIENE - that accessible web design
their ears have very special skills but are never- benefits all web users - aims to further this
theless regarded by society as disabled. The pro- course.
vision of equal opportunities for the disabled is As web 2.0 services become increasingly wide-
an aim for society as a whole and is anchored in spread, a new situation begins to emerge that
the German BGG. Since 2002, when the acces- offers chances as well as risks for people with
sibility of information and communication disabilities. The BIENE study on web 2.0 services
technologies was first laid down in legislation, testifies to the high level of interest in such serv-
the accessibility of web content has improved ices among disabled people. To fully realise In-
significantly and with it the ability of disabled ternet accessibility, the end users themselves
people to participate in the information society. are called upon to ensure that their own user-
Nevertheless, large sections of the Internet re- generated content is also accessible. The digital
main inaccessible for the greater majority of inclusion of people with disabilities is some-
people with disabilities. Further initiatives are thing that we all can contribute to.
Internet- Digital inclusion for everyone regardless of their abilities 169

Further reading Jakob Nielsen, oesigning Web usability: The Practice of Simplici-
BSI, Bundesamt fur Sicherheit in der Informationstechnologie, ty, NewRiders Publishing, Indianapolis 2000.
e-Government-Handbuch; Reinhard Oppermann, Harald Reiterer, "Software-ergonomische
Christian Buhler (ed.), Barrierefreies webdesign, Praxishandbuch Evaluation," in: Edmund Eberleh, HorstOberquelle, Reinhard
tii: webgestaltung undgrafische Programmoberflachen, Oppermann (ed.), EinftJhrung in die Software-Ergonomie,
dpunkt-Verlag, Heidelberg 2005. deGryuter, Berlin 1994, pp.335-371.
Joe Clark, Building Accessible websites, NewRiders Publishing, Angie Radtke, Michael Charlier, Barrierefreies webdesign,
Indianapolis 2003. Addison-wesley verlag, Munich 2006.
Jutta Croll, Ulrike Peter, "Benutzergerechte und zugangliche PeterRainger, "Dyslexic perspective on E-Content Accessibility",
Gestaltung von Internetanwendungen tur Senioren", in: Cle- available online under:
mens Schwender (ed.), Technikdokumentation tiu Senioren,
Schmidt-Rbmhild, Lubeck 2005 (tekom Hochschulschriften, Christa Schlenker-Schulte (ed.): Barrierefreie Information und
vol.12). Kommunikation. Horen - Sehen - Verstehen in Arbeit und
wolfgangDzida, "oualltatsslcherung durch software-ergonomi- AIItag, Neckar verlag, villingen-Schwenningen 2004 (Wissen-
scheNormen", in: Edmund Eberleh, HorstOberquelle, Rein- schaftliche seitrage aus Forschung, Lehre und Praxis zur
hard Oppermann (ed.), EinftJhrung in die Software-Ergonomie, Rehabilitation von Menschen mit Behinderungen).
deGryuter, Berlin 1994, pp.373-406. Beate Schulte, Ulrike Peter, Jutta Croll, Iris Cornelssen, "Metho-
Gesetz zur Gleichstellung behinderter Menschen. Date of issue dologies to identify best practice in barrier-free web design",
April 27,2002, BGBII 2002,1468; field of reference: FNA in: European Journal of E-Practice, May2008.
860-9-2, GESTA G086, changed by Art. 210V of November 25, Constantine Stephanidis, User Interfaces for All: Concepts,
2003 I 2304; Methods, and Tools, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah,
ISO/TS 16071: Ergonomics of human-system interaction - Guid- NJ 2001.
anceon accessibility for human-computer interfaces. Jim Thatcher et. aI., Accessible Web Sites, glasshaus,
National Telecommunications and Information Administration Birmingham 2002.
(NTIA), Falling through the Net, 1995; 1998; 1999; 2000:

~..7;?-;"!=' ~. - T ~ .' ::-:--.~ "',~~~

_ C,

. ~'" ;;.~


Competition -
The Schindler Award and the culture of education
Thomas Sieverts

Since 2004, Schindler, the international manu- lowed in the second competition by a project in
facturer of elevators and escalators based in Paris. The last project was located in Vienna.
Lucerne, Switzerland, has organised a competi - The winners are invited by Schindler to attend a
tion for schools of architecture in Europe enti - gala ceremony in Lucerne. The public award
tled Access for A ll. Its aim: to foster greater sen- ceremony therefore becomes an opportunity for
sibility towards the needs of disabled people in talented, enterprising and adventurous archi -
the city and in buildings among architectural tectural students and their teachers to meet
schools in Europe. Simultaneously, it helps im- and exchange experiences.Alongside architects
prove practical knowledge and skills in planning and specialists for planning and building for the
and implementing building mea sure s that make needs of the disabled, the jury also consists of
a lasting contribution to a better quality of life experts in the field who are themselves dis-
for everyone, not just for people with disabilities . abled .
From its inception, the goal of the competition The results to date are somewhat ambiva-
has been to enable people with different abili- lent. The architectural quality of the designs in
ties to enjoy the same conditions of access , the upper third , and of the winners in particular,
rather than to separate them by using dedicated ha ve for the most part been of a high-quality.
technical solutions. Certain characteristic differences are apparent,
Right from the beginning , response to the for example with regard to the different archi-
announcement of the competition was consid- tectural cultures in the respective countries and
erable: in 2004, 72 architectural schools from the individual learning cultures of the schools.
throughout Europe with a total of 497 students With regard to the specific issue of Access for All,
took part, and by 2008, the third iteration of the one can detect an increase in conceptual ap-
competition, this had risen to 95 architectural proaches to the issue from competition to com-
schools and a total of 957 students - from Yeka- petition but overall it is evident that students in
terinburg in the Ural mountains to Madrid in general have only a limited awareness of the is-
Spain, from Lund in Sweden to Naples in Italy. sue . A primary reason for this is that designing
The competition projects to date have consid- and planning for the needs of the disabled , not
ered a wider urban environment with special to mention Access for All , is rarely an integral
focus on the design of a large building . The first part of architectural teaching and not commu-
project was a planning task in Brussels fol- nicated or practised systematically in design
172 Thomas Sieverts

Layout showing the "service wedge," "green wedge," and the southern "housing wedge."

project work. Almost none of the cours es in- Schools sho uld participate with at least
clude exercises in which students simulate the twelve studen ts.
experience of being disabled themselves, for ex- Students mu st receive ongoing tutoring and
ample by spending 24 hours in a wheelch air support during the competition.
with restricted vision , although thi s h as been Schools mu st offer at least two specific lec-
demonstrated to be th e most effective way of tures and one seminar or workshop on the
helping designers properly underst and and in- topic of accessibility.
ternalise the problems disabled people face. For Schools mu st undertake an internal pre -se-
this rea son , participating arch itectural schools lecti on of the most qualified students.
will in future be required to offer a more com-
mitted tea chin g programme in this field. Archite ctur al schools that fulfil these condi-
To qualify for the University Award , institu- tions qualify for the University Award totalling
tions mu st fulfil the following conditions : 25,000 Euro. The first Schindler Award for Archi-

Schindler Award 2008: Design for the redevelopment of a derelict area in centre of Vienna,Austria.
First Prize: university of Applied Sciences, Coblence
Students: Nils Krieger, Thorsten Stelter
Professor/lecturer: Eva von Mackensen, Sabine Hopp
Competit ion - The SchindlerAward and theculture of education 173

Material & design of different speed zones and "lawn sculptures."


sceoaoc- r
dynamlk of the isle

visual guidance- and

Iightsystem: pole lamps

scenarlo 2
statKS of the iste - _.

Conceptual plan derived from a triangular field of "tension andrelaxation." Tactile and visual orientation system for different types
of impairment.
174 Thomas Sieverts

North-eastview of the riverside parkwith the community centre. View from the east showing the opennessof the project. The riverside park with the
vibrant community center.

Cross-section of the community centre andthe promenade alongthe Vienna River.

Schindler Award 2008: Designfor the redevelopment of a derelict area in centre of Vienna Austria.
Second Prize: CzechTechnical university, Prague - Faculty of Architecture
Students: Jakub Krcmar, Martina sotkovska
Professor: Ivan Plicka
Competition- The Schindler Award and theculture of education 175

tecture was won in 2006 by the Bauhau s-Univer-

sitat Weimar. In 2008, the prize was awarded to
Koblenz University of Applied Sciences .
Overall, however, experience to date has
shown that lasting improvements to architec-
tura l educat ion in this area , both in teaching
an d in research , are not realistically to be ex-
pected in the short term: further patience is ob-
viously required! This need not be a cause for
despai r if we consider the experiences of two
other reform movem ents : the organic food
movement an d green building movement. Both
first emerged some 2S years ago as th e product
of sm all groups of near-sectarian cha racter.
Driven by a strong belief in the greater, global
relevan ce of their mission, they began with
practical experiments and by adopting a way of
life in accordance with their beliefs, well aware
of the fact tha t much of society would at first be A slopinggreen "carpet" is spread out overthe site, creatinga
derisive of their endeavours. large public space.

Some time later, a dramatic turning point

in public opinion came about which enabled the
small, sectarian groups to be seen in a new light: tion on the one hand and the climate and en -
what were once the opinions of a fringe group ergy crisis on the other that propelled the prin-
became more an d more a key aspec t of larger ciples of ecological building into the mainst ream
socio-political debate. As their beliefs became of political debate and ult imately int o legisla-
mainstream concerns they were taken up in the tion. In the case of the organic food movement,
manifestos of the leading political parties. In wider general environmental consciousness
the case of the green building movement, it was and the impact of environmental scares on pub -
a growing awarene ss of environmental pollu- lic awareness were responsible for bringing or-
176 Thomas Sieverts


ervlewof the Link 1. 500

Thezigzag bandadheresto permissible gradientguidelines.

Schindler Award 2006: Design for a barrier-free museum walk in paris, France.
First Prize: Technical University of Vienna, Austria
Students: Marco di Nallo, Marta Neic, Manfred Sponseiler
Professor: porte Kuh lmann
Competition- The Schind ler Award and theculture of education 177

View from the upper courtyard.

t:::.'- ~ T-
1 _
.- .. -'-... . . .
. , "

<-- - -........-~-- .'-L -...

"' ~


The zigzag band continues in the interior of the Palaisde Tokyo.

The path of discovery leads alternately through the courtyards and interior spaces.
178 Thomas Sieverts


The pathway begins at the pavilion, crosses the seine, embraces the Palais de Tokyo, andends in the driveway.

The pavilion is a resting placeon the museum promenade, aswell as a belvedere and boat station.

Schindler Award 2006:Designfor a barrier-free museum walk in Paris, France.

Second Prize: Technical university of Delft. The Netherlands
Students: Adam Beard. Marie Henrike Haase
Professor: Kurt van Belle
Competition - The Schindler Award and theculture of education 179

ganically farmed produce back into public de-

mand, lending weight in the process to a new
slow food move ment. Access for All must simi-
larl y transcend the narrower te chni cal and geo-
metric aspects of accessibility and be come a
cent ral concern of a movement committed to
humanist urban design an d architectur e: a
m ovem en t th at adds a physical and sensory
compone nt to th e conventi ona l notion of func-
tionalism and is committed to creating a digni-
fied living environment for everyone incl ud ing
tho se with restricted physical , sensory, m ental,
and ofte n also economic mean s.
A moveme nt of this kind must also incor-
porate princi ples of Univers al Design , which
aim prim arily to addre ss the needs and limita-
tions of old people, and wh ere poss ible to ex-
ceed these. At the same time, it should strive to The formerdrea ry back of the Palais changes into an exciting
create spaces in the public realm that especial- showcase for the senses.

ly allow children and youn g people to develop,

exp eriment and experience - spaces that previ-
ously existed as open land and nich es in the city bin ation s of architecture and electronic media .
but which h ave su ccessively disappeared as a With time , persistence in th is field will payoff:
result of the total commercialisation of the city. as life expectan cy increases while the popu la-
In today's architectur al schools, the curren t tion simultaneous ly declines, the elderly an d
move ment promo ting Access for All is still very very elderly, with their h ealth an d mobility
sm all an d barely visible. Among the few excep - probl ems, will grow to become one of the largest
tions are daring attempts to postulate an archi- sections of society, and will increasingly be able
tecture that is able to respond to the needs of its to ass ert their particular interests politic ally.As
res idents, sometimes in the form of hybrid com- with the ecology mov ement described earlier,
180 Thomas Sieverts

Access for AII will become a mainstream concern, intergenerational environments throughout the
and in turn politically and economically viable city.
once it acquires general political significance. The Schindler Award Access for AII will need
Paradoxically, increasing political pressure to demonstrate staying power, vitality and per-
by the elderly generation to reform the city and sistence in its campaigning in order to convince
public space in particular will also benefit chil- and motivate architectural schools in Europe to
dren and young people. Somewhat simplified: propagate the design of a humanist environ-
what is good for old people can also be made ment of the kind this award stands for.
good for young people and with it give rise to

The Authors

Gernot Bohme, born in 1937 in Dessau, studied Regensburg, and is a member of the Architec-
mathematics, physics and philosophy, gaining ture Committee of the Cultural Circle of Ger-
his doctorate in Hamburg in 1965 and post-doc- man Business and Industry within the Federa-
torate (Habilitation) in Munich in 1972. From tion of German Industry. Wolfgang Christ is co-
1970-1977 he worked as a researcher at the Max editor of the ZIO, Journal of Real Estate Economics ,
Planck Institute in Starnberg investigating the and the "Shopping-Center-Stadt" series of pub-
living conditions of the scientific and technical lications. He has published extensively and lec-
world . In 1977 Bohme became professor of philo- tures widely on new developments in urbanism.
sophy at the TU Darmstadt, a position he held During his academic career he has received nu-
until 2002. He has been a guest professor in Aus- merous awards including the EDRNPlaces
tralia, England, Japan, Austria, the Netherlands, Award (USA, 2001) and the German Urban De-
Sweden and the USA. From 1997 to 2001, he was sign Prize Special Award (Deutsche Stadtebau-
spokesman for the postgraduate programme preis , Sonderpreis, 2006) . In 2008 he founded the
"Technology and Society" in Darmstadt. In 2003 Urban INDEX Institute which focuses on the
he was awarded the Prize of Philosophy of the analysis and certification of the qualities of ur-
Denkbar Foundation in Frankfurt. Since 2005, ban environments.
he has been director of the Inst itute for Philo-
sophical Practice (IPPh) in Darmstadt. Iutta Croll, born in 1956, works as a scientist
and researcher on a variety of projects concern-
Wolfgang Christ (Prof. Dipl.-Ing.) was born in ing the use of media and promotion of media
1951 in Engers on the Rhine. After studying ar- competencies. From 1985 to 1990, she studied
chitecture at the TH Darmstadt,he worked from German literature, politics and media science at
1983 to 1988 as an academic assistant as part of the University of Cottingen, Germany, and has
the "City Task Group" with Professor Thomas worked as a freelance consultant to the German
Sieverts . From 1989 to 1993 he was a lecturer at UNESCO Commission and the Brockhaus Ency-
the TH Darmstadt, among other things for Ur- clopedia. In April 2003 she became managing
ban Design and New Media. In 1994, Wolfgang director of the Stiftung Digitale Chancen (Di-
Christ was appointed Professor for Urban Plan- gital Opportunities Foundation), a non-profit
ning and Urban Design at the Faculty of Archi- organisation that promotes equal access to the
tecture at the Bauhaus-Universitat Weimar. As internet and media competencies.
one of the co-founders of the "European Urban
Studies" postgraduate study programme, Wolf- Susanne Edinger (Prof. Dr.-Ing.) was born in
gang Christ was also Director of the Institute for 1956 in Bad Kreuznach and studied town and
European Urban Studies (IfEU) from 2006 to regional planning at the University of Kaisers-
2008. He also runs his own office for architec- lautern, working with and completing her doc-
ture and urbanism , "Mediastadt - Urban Strate- torate under Professor Albert Speer. She has
gies," founded in 1989. He lectures at the Inter- seven years experience as an architect, working
national Real Estate Business School (IREBS) in in all phases, and is also trained as a systemic

coach. Since 1994, she has been Professor for 2003, he took over the architectural manage-
Urban Design, Development Planning and ment of the Schindler Award. He is also a board
Project Development at the Faculty of Architec- member of the Swiss Center for Accessible
ture and Engineering at the SRH University of Building for the Disabled.
Applied Sciences in Heidelberg.
Anna Rose (Dipl.-Ing.) was born in 1974 in
Jonas Hughes, born in 1967 in Johannesburg, Darmstadt and studied architecture at the
South Africa, is a journalist, broadcaster and RWTH Aachen and the Bartlett School, Univer-
communications specialist. He has worked for sity College London. She has professional expe-
various newspapers, broadcasters and online rience in various architectural practices in Ger-
publishers in South Africa, Canada, Britain and many, the UK, and the US. In 2007, Anna became
Switzerland. For five years he was magazine a director of consultancy with the urban plan-
editor and news journalist at the BBC World ning consultancy Space Syntax Limited. She has
Service in London before moving to Bern, Swit- developed a specialism in urban design, and
zerland, where he spent seven years with swis- public realm design. She is the author of numer-
sinfo, the overseas arm of the Swiss Broadcast- ous publications and lectures to architectural
ing Corporation, most recently as head of the audiences both in the UK and internationally,
English-language service. Since January 2007 he and has ta ught specialised seminars at various
has been Group Chief Editor at the Schindler universities. She is involved in worldwide project
Group in Ebikon, Switzerland. collaborations of all scales.

Willi Loose, born in 1952 in Frankfurt a.M., be- Thomas Sieverts (Prof. emeritus) was born in
came managing director of the German Nation- 1934 in Hamburg and studied architecture and
al Car Sharing Association (Bundesverbandes urban design in Stuttgart, Liverpool, and Berlin,
CarSharing e.V), the umbrella organisation for graduating in 1962. Together with Egbert Kossak
all German car sharing operators, in 2006. He and Herbert Zimmermann he founded the "Freie
trained as a secondary school teacher, specialis- Planungsgruppe Berlin" in 1967. From 1967 to
ing in political studies and biology. For many 1999, he has worked as a professor of urban de-
years he was a member of the research staff at sign at universities in Berlin, Nottingham, and
the Transport and Infrastructure Division of the Darmstadt, also working concurrently as an ar-
Institute for Applied Ecology in Freiburg. chitect from his office in Bonn from 1967 to 2005.
He is the author of numerous publications.
Tobias Reinhard (Dipl.-Arch. ETH/SIA/SWB),
born in 1952 in Bern, Switzerland, trained as an Ieannot Simmen, born in 1946 in Switzerland, is
architect at the ETH Swiss Federal Institute of an author, exhibition curator and book editor.
Technology in Zurich. From 1982 to 2002 he was He studied art history, philosophy and theology
a partner in the architectural office Reinhard + in Zurich and Berlin before training at the State
Partner AG Bern, since 2002, partner and project Museums Prussian Cultural Heritage Founda-
developer with Nuesch Development AG. In tion in Berlin. He undertook his postdoctoral
Appendix 183

thesis on Vertigo - Das Entstehen moderner Kunst world and is a regular contributor to television
aus dem irritierten Gleichgewicht at the University and radio programmes on architecture and de-
of Wuppertal. He has been guest and stand-in sign.
professor for art history and design theory in
Berlin, Kassel, Wuppertal and Essen, and is John Thompson is an architect and town plan-
founder and chairman of the "Club Bel Etage ner and founder of John Thompson & Partners,
Berlin." He has curated numerous exhibitions, London, as well as president of the British Acad-
projects and publications focussing on culture, emy of Urbanism. He has extensive experience
new media and the visual arts. of urban regeneration and residential develop-
ment. Since the 1980s, he has pioneered the de-
Cord Soehlke (Dipl.-Ing), born in 1969 in velopment of community planning as a tool for
Bielefeld, studied architecture in Kassel and has professional town planning with a view to
worked as a press and television journalist. In achieving better and more lasting planning ob-
1997 he joined the Sudstadt development agen- jectives in the private and public sectors. He has
cy in Tubingen, becoming project manager for undertaken masterplanning and collaborative
urban redevelopment measures in 2001 and urban design projects in the UK, Ireland, Iceland,
head of the Tubingen Urban Development De- Russia, Germany, France, Sweden, the United
partment. In 2003, he was also appointed man- Arab Emirates and China.
aging director of the Tubingen Economic Devel-
opment Agency (WIT, Wirtschaftsfordergesells- Andreas von Zadow, born in 1958 in Bad Hers-
chaft Tubingen), focussing on the urban feld, Germany, studied communication sciences
redevelopment of brownfield sites. He has pub- at the TU Berlin, graduating in 1984. He is a
lished numerous articles, sits in competition moderator and consultant for participative
juries, lectures and provides consultancy for lo- planning processes. He worked for five years at
cal authorities. the City of Berlin's Department for Urban Devel-
opment, and was vice president of the European
Tim Stonor, born in 1968 in Newcastle upon Academy of the Urban Environment (EA.UE) for
Tyne, studied architecture and town planning at two years. In 1996 his "Perspektivenwerkstatt"
the Bartlett School, University College London, method for community planning was intro-
and at Oxford Brookes University. In 1996 he set duced throughout the German-speaking na-
up the consulting firm Space Syntax Limited. As tions. In 2000 he became managing director of
managing director Tim oversees the practice's VON ZADOW GmbH - Interactive Urban Devel-
consulting activities and is responsible for the opment and has since undertaken some of the
strategic direction of the business in the UKand largest community planning projects in Germa-
overseas. Tim is a member of the Design Review ny, including projects in Munich, Essen,
Panel of the UK Commission for Architecture Leverkusen, Arnsberg, Ludwigsfelde, Berlin and
and the Built Environment (CABE) and a director Lubeck. He organises and chairs workshops,
of the UKAcademy of Urbanism. He speaks fre- large-scale community planning projects, EU
quently at industry conferences throughout the projects and world congresses.

Illustration credits

Adam Beard, Marie Henrike Haase 178, 179 Nicholls & Clarke 116
Bundesverband CarSharing eV (bcs) 136 Otis Elevator Company 20 right
cambio Mobilitatsservice GmbH & CO.KG 135 OTIS GmbH & Co. OHG 20 left
Car Sharing Italia S.r.1. 141 Philadelphia Museum of Art, Walter and Louise
Chichester District Council 51 right Arensberg Collection 27
Wolfgang Christ 98 left, 99-101,103,108,110 Rehavista GmbH, www.rehavista.de161
CP/compartner, Ralph Lueger 109 left Hartmut Reiche, Aktion Mensch 160, 166
Daimler AG 140 right Tobias Reinhard 128, 132, 133 left
Uwe Drepper 25 Schindler Aufzuge AG 31-35,38-43
Dublin City Council 45,46 right Schweizerischer Gewerkschaftsbund SGB,
Susanne Edinger 114,115 right, 118, 119 right 133 right
Susanne Edinger, Helmut Lerch 115 left Siemens-Archiv 21
Galerie nationale du Ieu de Paume 19 Archiv Simmen/Drepper 18, 22, 23, 24
Wolfram Gothe 31-42 Cord Soehlke 64,71-73
Manfred Grohe 76 Space Syntax Limited 81-93
Valentin Hadelich 137 SPIEGEL-Verlag Rudolf Augstein GmbH & Co.
Werner]. Hannapel 107 KG 109 middle
HEINZ-Magazin Verlags GmbH 109 right Sussman/Prejza & Co. 95,96
Invers GmbH 140 left Tandrige District Council 56 top
lTV plc 26 Universitatsstadt Tubingen 63,65-67,69,70,
Wolfram Ianzer 119 left 74, 75
John Thompson & Partners aTP) 47,50, 51 left, Urbis Manchester 102
51 middle, 52, 53, 56 bottom, 57, 58 left, 60 VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2009 17
John Thompson & Partners UTP), Metropolitan VON ZADOW GmbH 49,54-55
Workshop 46 left Erik Weber 98 right
Iakub Krcmar, Martina Sotkovska 174,175 Messer Woland 29
Nils Krieger, Thorsten Stelter 172, 173
Willi Loose 113,142
Stadt Lubeck 58 rechts, 59 right Every effort has been made to trace the copy-
Stadt Lubeck, Petersen Porksen Partner 59 left rightholders, architects, and designers and we
Gudrun de Maddalena 68 apologise in advance for any unintentional
Mobility Center GmbH, teilAuto Erfurt 139 omission and would be pleased to insert
Marco di Nallo, Marta Neic, Manfred Sponseiler the appropriate acknowledgement in any
176, 177 subsequent edition.
Marie-Lan Nguyen 151,154