Die Entstehung und Entwicklung von Konflikten in nutzungsgemischten Quartieren : eine Untersuchung am Beispiel der ExWoSt-Modellprojekte Tübingen-Südstadt, Essen-Weststadt und Berlin-Komponistenviertel

  • Origin and development of conflicts in mixed-use developments : an analysis based on the ExWoSt pilot projects Tübingen-Südstadt, Essen-Weststadt and Berlin-Komponistenviertel

Wackerl, Wolfgang; Selle, Klaus (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Publikationsserver der RWTH Aachen University (2012)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2011


Starting point and motivation of the present paper was to gain an open-minded objective insight into mixed-use developments and their conflicts. The current planning practice is overly directed by either emotionally deprecative or idealising views. Is the presumption that mixed-use developments are impossible really appropriate? Is there really no way to get the conflicts, that are inherent to that system, under control? Or is the actual truth that these conflicts dissolve almost on their own and in doing so result in creative processes? Neither is correct. Mixed-use developments are still not free of conflicts. When the daily routines of living and working happen in such a close coexistence, overlaps of the varied live domains inevitably occur. It became apparent in the process that conflicts are complex. Most of the time false estimations or prejudices against mixed-use developments and their conflicts arise because one does not take a closer look and falls short on the manifold and individual nature of the conflicts. Lack of precision in the analysis leads to blanket judgement and standardised actions that most rarely take effect. Observing the conflicts in mixed-use developments systematically, notionally and empirically within the framework of the present paper, their subjective construction as well as their variety and individuality became apparent. Taking a closer look to find out exactly what kind of a conflict you are dealing with, is worth the effort. Only with detailed knowledge about the current conflict, individual custom-fit solution models can be developed. In light of this, a sophisticated typology as to the systematic registration of the variable kinds of conflicts has been developed within the framework of this dissertation. The currently valid planning acts, in particular the special urban planning legislation, provide us with manifold possibilities and instruments to prepare a goal-oriented handling of conflicts. However, only through acting on a case-by-case basis beyond the planning, while making use of informal methods and strategies, can generate permanently stable solutions. Hence, the problem is not so much the conflict itself as far more the lacking or false handling of it. The present paper was able to show that specially the institutionalisation and regularisation of conflicts can help to use their energy in a positive way and to develop productive solutions through integrative action. Mixed-used structures cannot be planned in a terminal manner or even be "cast in concrete". Successful use-varieties will always newly form if one succeeds in motivating all involved parties to help constructing them. During the planning, one could accordingly lay out structures which on one hand allow for and integrate conflicts, due to their flexibility and arrangement, and on the other hand present needful boundaries and rules. However, planning cannot organise everyday life in a terminal manner. Therefore it is essential that structures are built that stimulate communication and exchange between the varied user groups beyond the planning framework and at the same time convey interests over and over again. Above all it is important that use-varieties must be lived. One thing is certain, successful conflict management always means actively dealing with the respective situation and therefore requires the special engagement of all involved parties. City cannot just be "made" by legislation, it only develops through the active participation and the responsible and conscious engagement of every one on the location. On the long run, however, mixed-used developments will pay off. The present paper shows that handling conflicts in an integrative way might be worthwhile: As long as there are flexible structures that can adapt to changing problematic situations and an adequate number of committed participants help building the city, creative processes are possible. In the end we have no choice. There is no conflict-free paradise on earth. And if we really want city, we have to get involved with it. Therefore, the question is not whether we can afford use-varieties but how we can deal with them the best way. Considering this, on one hand this is all about reminding ourselves what sums up "city". On the other hand it is also about organising the handling of mixed-used developments better and more effectively. At the same time we should ask ourselves what we believe a mixed-used city to be worth, beyond models, expert talk and market forces, and what every one of us is personally prepared to invest in it.


  • Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development [212110]