KOOP.STADT - A COOPERATIVE CITY! Federal Award for the District “Mitte”
The district Berlin-Mitte (central Berlin) was one of thirteen municipalities to be awarded the federal award Cooperative City: for instruments of cooperation and financing, which are applied as part of the model project “Haus der Statistik” (“House of Statistics”) at the Alexanderplatz.
The Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community awards this prize to reward communities “that use various activities and examples in order to actively support the work of citizens, associations, neighbourhood groups and sociocultural actors, and in doing so contribute to a diverse participation in jointly shaping urban space”.
The district Mitte entered two instruments of cooperative town development in the competition for the prizes, which are each endowed with an award of EURO 15,000. Both are employed as part of the project “Haus der Statistik”(“House of Statistics”) at the Alexanderplatz.
- A cooperation agreement which is updated regularly is the basis for the entire project development of the House of Statistics. It ties in four cooperation partners: the Senate Administration for Urban Development and Housing, the WBM Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Berlin-Mitte mbH (a housing association), the BIM Berliner Immobilienmanagement GmbH (a property management company), and ZUsammenKUNFT Berlin eG (a registered cooperative).
- During the planning phase, so-called pioneering projects were introduced from the fields of art, culture, education, social matters, and neighbourhood. These were intended to try out the intended joint interactivity of the future quarters. The stated aim of the cooperation partners is to create a diverse offer of facilities and services for the city and the neighbourhood, throughout each phase of development of the quarters.
Ephraim Gothe, the district councillor for urban development, social affairs, and health in Berlin-Mitte, said that the prize was “an incentive to implement even more projects with a cooperative approach in future”. Regula Lüscher, the senate’s director of urban development and state secretary in the senate for urban development and housing, also highlighted the importance of the meaning of the model project House of Statistics: „The Land Berlin did not select the highest bidder for the property, but rather selected the best concept. This paradigm shift has been rewarded by incredibly engaged people who manage to interweave work, life, culture, and social matters into a colourful tapestry, and by doing so create beautiful, ecologically sound and innovative architecture” she added.
True to the principle that: “Maintenance is better than demolition”, the House of Statistics is being maintained alongside a hotspot of high value property development, and by doing so, new life is breathed into the spirit of GDR modern design. “This is an exemplary demonstration of how one can jointly develop the city. Various very different partners got together, jointly discussing matters, rather than just talking about each other, and decided to form a Koop5. That is the very basis of pioneer work!”
The federal award cooperative city was offered as part of the national strategy on urban development - a joint initiative of the federal government, the state governments, and the municipalities. Applications were open to municipalities of 10,000 inhabitants or more, which cooperated with civil society actors at different levels and in different fields. The submissions were cooperation projects of urban development that had already been implemented.
In addition to the financial reward, the award also includes a presentation of the different municipalities in a publication. This will be published in mid-September 2021. This publication will then be available free of charge from the German Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development.
Other KOOP-STADT! award winning municipalities are: Kiel, Mannheim, Aachen, Halle/Saale, Nuremberg, Dinslaken, Tubingen, Schwerte, Landau (Pfalz), Dessau-Roßlau, Wittenberge and Eltville am Rhein.