More than 130 people managed to enter in the bar Crack Bellmer, at the RAW. This event was part of the Experiment Days. We very nicely recycled an unused urban space: a trendy bar before the party hours! Lots of people could not enter as the bar was so packed.
Fairbindung, the organiser, got well known in the degrowth community for publishing an amazing collection of participative dynamics on the issue of post-growth and degrowth. The event has been an amazing success.
The event in Berlin highlighted the idea of « degrowth urbanism » which we were repeating several times during the talk. It could become a hype in Berlin. Numerous urbanist movements systematically failed in promoting some sort of reduction as they, explicitly or implicitly, remained in the context of economic growth. Explicitely for growth are the movement of slow growth, new urbanism, smart growth that completely failed. Earlier than them, but still actual, reductionism has been a way to make urbanism more efficient in its growth. Smart cities even promotes a complete urbanisation of the world, and a digitalisation without limit. Smart cities is certainly the worst. Slow cities is a nice idea, but still often associated with some sort of gentrification. Tiny houses became a new trend of secondary houses. The most recent lean urbanism is certainly interesting in its idea of « making small possible », by for examples reducing car speed by making car accesses more narrow. But it still just feels like a way to contain the problem rather than preventing it. Degrowth urbanism is clearer : it is in primary term, less urbanisation, and is not an idea that favours a privileged minority. It builds up on good ideas of previous movements, compact but decentralised, slowness, lean, less or better no cars, tiny or shared living, quality of life, recuperation of nature, but adding a key adjustment : it is about degrowth ! It also does not wish to bring norms of construction, or ways of living : you can share, you can live simply individually, you may use public transport, foot or bikes or all…
It was a great opportunity to meet Michael Lafond, a local urbanist, who was discussant and presenter at the talk.