Reclaiming the Tourist City at world-famous Checkpoint Charlie? Two episodes of the new Urban Political Podcast (on Urban Theory, Research and Action) are dealing with this very question. Amongst an architect, politicians and a building historian, Christoph Sommer from our Urban Research Group contributed his point of view.
Part 1 is about Heritage Preservation and Urban Development at Checkpoint Charlie. Much-visited by tourists and generally avoided by Berliners, the site has faced growing conflict over plans to develop a hotel, Hard Rock Cafe and museum. This first part details the historical importance of the empty plots at the former Cold War border crossing and reflects on wider debates about heritage, tourism and urban development.Find out why urban emptiness can have heritage value.
Part 2 is about Regaining Democratic Control in the course of the redevelopment of this must see. This episode examines the extent to which democratic control has been exerted in the Checkpoint Charlie case and how development plans have been modified under increased pressure from societal groups. Listen to hear about the possibilities of contesting tourist-centred developments in inner cities and why activists should never automatically trust a leftwing government.