Pratt Center and Ron Shiffman

The Point – dedicated to youth development, cultural and economic development of Hunts Point, The Bronx. More Pictures below.

I meet Ron Shiffman at The Pratt Institute, School of Architecture which is situated in a part of Brooklyn where global forces are rapidly changing the fabric of local communities. In short one can say that one kind of segregation mostly based on race now is changing to a segregation based on income (which is not unrelated to race). I was staying in the Bed-Stuy neighbourhood that could be called the ground zero of struggle against gentrification. Continue reading “Pratt Center and Ron Shiffman”

Strong Healthy Communities Initiatives – SHCI


On the sunny day in November the city of Newark, New Jersey, was almost too clean and people who were looking after the central part of town was driving around on Segways. It was quite clear that an effort had gone into making the place look good but it was unclear for whom this tidiness was intended.

I met with the leader of Strong Healthy Communities Initiative, Monique Baptiste-Good, in their clean and beautiful offices on a square with remarkable many organisations addressing homelessness, alcoholism etc. One of them with a sign welcoming president Obama who was there the day before. Continue reading “Strong Healthy Communities Initiatives – SHCI”

Cities By Citizens – Study trip to New York City

Urban Garden anno 2015: Night-time movie screenings, concerts, yoga, art classes and a mysterious teepee, Williamsburg riverfront next to luxury housing and office tower development

Two main impressions from my study trip to New York City: The amazing openness from the people I wanted to meet – and those I met on the way – and the feeling that the problems we are facing when it comes to the development of our cites are more similar than I expected in spite of very different situations.

I was visiting the city to study how a more civil society driven urban development would make a difference from a European tradition where it is more run by states and municipalities. Would it mean that the approaches were more innovative and able to get much closer to what was going on on the ground – yes. But did it add up to address the massive problems that New York still faces (even) after years of (uneven) economic progress – no. Continue reading “Cities By Citizens – Study trip to New York City”