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Reinventing density: how Baugruppen are pioneering the self-made city


The Conversation


Baugruppe adds to urban vitality by considering social issues of inclusion and community and by incorporating mixed-use elements that fuel urban interaction. Green, open and community spaces have proven vital parts of good neighbourhoods and are important here.
Common spaces such as rooftop terraces, function rooms, playrooms, guest rooms and even saunas also help to bring people together.

Every Baugruppe project in Berlin has a shared garden, which is often also open to the public.

Long-term affordability helps to create stable neighbourhoods. Alternative models for financing and ownership have offered a new level of long-term affordability within a non-profit ideology.

In collective projects, the future users decide what to invest in and where money can be best saved. This redefines the quality-to-price relationship.

One example of this is the co-op association Spreefeld. This project diverges from the traditional owner-occupier Baugruppe model: here, a land grant or a leasehold contract guarantees the long-term use of land in return for rent. It also ensures that what is built and established there meets certain criteria and ideals.

article by Andréanne Doyon – co-published with Future West (Australian Urbanism).

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