international architecture biennale, venice
taste it + paste it. urban change management

contribution to the exhibition, convertible city, in the german pavillion, 2006

























Within the last few years bb22 has developed an action and project based form of planning relating to the strategy and theory of „Urban Intervention“. Such an action or intervention changes the urban space for a little while, identifies new urban players, offers the opportunity for encounters and opens up unexpected and uncommon possibilities.  The primary purpose: Something should happen, develop, change, move. At the same time, the urban action differentiates itself from “event”: The goal is not that the city be professionally played, where animation and Disneyland are created to replace or camouflage a reality. But rather, it should offer the stimulus for change in the city. Its goal is to provoke long-term development. It exposes where the potential for change exists. The urban intervention is different from traditional city planning in that it does not formulate a super ordinate goal or anticipate results, but rather, through a concrete project seeks to reveal the possibilities for change.

In using selective changes as a strategic instrument, we develop the methodology of Urban Change Management. This is a term borrowed from the corporate world describing how companies develop a planned approach to change in an organization. This necessity of operational adaptation to a changing environment is similar in the developmental processes of cities. The action based management approach does not accept change as a one-time occurrence. On the contrary, it makes change the very foundation for the form of organization of interested parties. Urban Change Management is project based, thereby, dynamically and situationally evening out the content typically governed by strategic goals  of the super ordinate layers of influence. This place based, concrete approach reduces the complexity of larger undertakings to the layer of a project and prepares, without the weight of ideology, the way to deal, negotiate and act. Urban Change Management gives chance a chance.

As in the exhibition put together for the Aedes Gallery in Berlin in 2005,  the Ideenlabor (Idea Lab) was highlighted as an example of UCM.  Specifically, the project Dachfussbal (Roof Soccer) was shown.  It is a project which would utilize the top of an underused parking garage as a place for informal sport - to transform it into something different - something perhaps more relevant than the current use. In order to transport the idea of Urban Change Management, bb22 urban projects developed the lollipop for change.  The wrapper of the lollipop becomes the tool for change:  The wrapper is a sticker with a "C" for change on it that can be placed where one deems the necessity for change.  Each visitor to the exhibit is given the means to take action.

On the wrapper are the words, "The way to a city's heart is through its stomach" or "Stadt geht durch den Magen".  This sentence describes the approach to urban planning that was applied in the Idea Lab.  Meaning that, the success of urban redevelopment does not exclusively rely on the traditional urban planning methods, but requires much more.....


➔ Text "Stadt geht durch den Magen" von Martin Wilhelm

➔ Convertible City Website