The book and action research project Funding the Cooperative City. Community Finance and the Economy of Civic Spaces describes numerous case studies from across Europe, which tell of how local community finance can be set up. A wide variety of groups that have developed new models for developing and operating non-commercial spaces for their neighborhoods are presented and discussed. None of this is easy, as many interviews and discussion notes reveal. But it is possible: through the formation of solidarity networks, neighborly commitment, a willingness to experiment, and administrative and often financial support from the respective communities.
Financing the Cooperative City
Participation in City Design
More than 400 people assembled at a self organized meeting in FC St. Pauli’s ballroom in Hamburg in February 2014. The reason for the unusual gathering were dramatic changes in St. Pauli. The neighborhood called for a »bottom up-organized, democratic planning process.« With the experience and the mobilization power of the broad Right-to-the-city-movement backing them, the interdisciplinary planning office Planbude is founded to develop a new land use plan for the city. Wish production starts in late summer. Planbude’s claim: »Knack’ den St. Pauli Code!« (Crack the St. Pauli code!) becomes the leitmotif for a process that builds on multilingualism in expression and making. The results of the process are captured in a contract and become the foundation for a planning competition. Local knowledge builds the basis for the reinvention of the city.
The Cooperative Housing Project Above a Tram Depot
The large, up to seven-story residential and commercial building in Zurich’s Wiedikon district is anything but ordinary. The building is like a small town: complete with daycare center, doctor’s office, bank, art-house cinema, bars, restaurant, flower shop, and tram depot. Furthermore, Kalkbreite is a certified »2000 Watt site in operation«: Through active sustainability measures, those living and working there reduce their ecological footprint. People cook and eat together, workrooms are shared, an object library makes it possible to borrow equipment, and no one has their own car. The resulting savings are currently around 50% compared to average household usage in Zurich. The visionary approach of the Kalkbreite will, in the long term, be applied to the entire city in order to contribute markedly to climate justice.