Threats and hopes for abandoned buildings in Berlin: an urban exploration approach

Pablo Arboleda

Resumen


Abandoned buildings have become a distinguishing mark for the recent history and alternative spirit of Berlin. The growth in popularity of urban exploration, which focuses in illegally trespassing these neglected places, has made Berlin a hotspot for such a subculture, whose practitioners express an extreme sensibility about the current and future state of the buildings they explore. Through this perspective, the present article identifies three main threats towards the buildings: a touristification phenomenon created by urban exploration; commodification as a result of this touristification; and the increasing gentrification in the city that ignores the tangible and intangible qualities of the buildings. By critically reviewing these aspects, the article concludes proposing ‘informal re-appropriation’ as an integrated solution that prioritizes public participation and slow urban development over neoliberal immediate revenues, where minimal interventions contribute to preserve Berlin’s unique aesthetics embedded in its abandoned buildings.

Palabras clave


Abandoned buildings; Berlin; urban exploration; touristification; commodification; gentrification; informal re-appropriation.

Texto completo: PDF (English)



URBS. Revista de Estudios Urbanos y Ciencias Sociales ISSN: 2014-2714. Universidad de Almería, Almería