About the Event
City of Kids: The Transformation of Prenzlauer Berg into a Children’s Paradise
During the last fifty years, Prenzlauer Berg underwent a dramatic transformation turning from an inexpensive, primarily working-class area to a fashionable middle-class neighbourhood. Gentrification brought not only hip cafes and shops but also active citizens, willing transform their living environment and adapt it to their young families needs. After the fall of the Wall, such initiatives were met with enthusiasm by the local government, that had a vision of Prenzlauer Berg as a family-friendly district. The emerged children’s places, however, not only rebranded the area but also created tension with certain groups of residents that felt displaced from the neighborhood and its public spaces. During the tour we will explore what measures taken for conflict resolution and to what extent the overhauled places correspond to the needs of different social groups and generations. Apart from immersing in the historical development we will examine Helmholtzplatz, which once was transformed with the slogan “asquare for all”, and will exchange our observations about its inclusiveness.
During the city walk, we will visit a diverse range of children’s places: a square, a learning center, a community space, a commercial spot, a standardized and ultra-safe playground and its thrill-provoking adventurous alternative. We will also discuss the value and the hidden opportunities of these places for the local community and different strategies to financially sustain them.
POLIGONAL organizes exploratory scholar-led tours for city aficionados and architecture lovers through the city of Berlin.