"Leer aber sexy?" The Detroit-Berlin Connection
October 10, 2011 6:05 AM Subscribe
WDET- Detroit Public Radio: "Detroit and Berlin are iconic cities; symbols of cultural and economic domination, as well as of collapse, and (potential) rebirth. Detroit and Berlin have ideological similarities that go far beyond industrial power. As beacons of culture, Detroit and Berlin have both been on the cutting edge of arts activities. Berlin is a crossroads of European film, art, music and food; Detroit is a center of African-American culture, with global credibility in jazz, techno, and emerging cultural expressions." Audio Preview.
Martina Guzmán's series for WDET public radio, The Detroit - Berlin Connection looks at the futures of these two great cities and looks at the measures being used to reinvent industrial cities for the 21st century.
"Because of their unique pasts, Detroit and Berlin are faced with scores of abandoned properties, which most cities can't even contemplate. As these two iconic cities move forward, they make decisions about what to do with abandoned buildings, churches, airports, parks, plots of land and houses. They can be torn down, they can fall into disarray, they can be preserved or they can be repurposed. Sometimes the government decides what to do with these buildings and sometimes its’ the people. Either way, as decisions are made about what to do with each of these properties, new landscapes and new identities for these cities are shaped."
What can the Detroit Berlin connection teach us?
Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute and Wayne State University Urban Planning Professor Robin Boyle join Martina Guzman and Craig Fahle to discuss The Detroit Berlin Connection.
Schöneweide is a struggling neighborhood in Berlin that lost more than 20 thousand industrial jobs once East and West Germany reunified in 1989. Though only several hundred jobs remain today, residents interviewed in this video call Schöneweide home and refuse to abandon it despite the challenges of living there.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe applied the principles of the courtyard, and the importance of outdoor space and landscape to the Lemke house in Berlin and to Lafayette Park in Detroit. The courtyard principle is considered a turning point in Mies van der Rohe's career.
Land Use - The Detroit Berlin Connection
In this segment of our series, The Detroit - Berlin Connection, WDET's Martina Guzmán examines how Detroit, the city with the highest unemployment of any major metropolis in America, and Berlin, one of the poorest capitol cities in Europe, turn to creativity when it comes to abandoned buildings and vacant land.
The Creative Class - The Detroit Berlin Connection
Both Detroit and Berlin were cradles of industry, hubs of creative culture and suffered from a loss of an educated population... brain drain. In part two of our series, The Detroit - Berlin Connection, we look at how artists can revitalize neighborhoods, improve the economy and jumpstart the city’s image.
DJ RolandoThe massive contributions of Detroit DJs helped establish Berlin as a global hub of techno music. Beginning in 1991, two months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Detroit and Berlin built a transatlantic bond that continues to this day.
"Leer aber sexy"
In the piece, Guzman talks about how Berlin's mayor coined the phrase "Poor but Sexy" to describe their hip, capitol city. Berliners embraced the expression and used it on everything from t-shirts, to tourism campaigns.
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