Thoughts on the importance of a meso perspective
We are pleased to announce the publication of a book chapter by Katrin in the book Urban Open Space +, edited by Carolin Mees and published by Jovis in October 2021. Subtitled Strategies in between architecture and open space planning, the bi-lingual publication (English/German) explores ‘commonly used and designed open spaces [as] anchor points in the city and a possible response to the consequences of urbanization and climate change, as well as to the presence of social and cultural differences’. The book describes ‘the role of add-ons in urban open spaces: specific components for the cultivation of food, water, energy, and material production, as well as for economic and social resources. The book asks how these added elements create more resilient and sustainable urban spaces, by responding to the needs and preferences of residents and by forming connections to the surrounding urban environment’.
Katrin’s chapter is fully titled Thoughts on the importance of a meso perspective: The “Plattform Produktives Stadtgrün”. Invited to contribute to a book section on Berlin, Katrin, in her opinion piece, thinks about the importance of a middle ground between the big pressing macro questions of climate change and the micro spaces of individual food system activities. She writes: ‘Judging by the realities of environmental degradation, traditional urban planning has failed. Concerns of experts have not been sufficiently acknowledged. It requires a middle ground—a meso perspective—to better enable conversation between the various urban stakeholders and bring about widely supported and lasting change. How can this be initiated? In a time of social media, the author proposes to look at a recently developed tool for information, communication, networking, and—ultimately—urban planning’.
Katrin uses the Plattform Produktives Stadtgrün [Plattform Productive Urban Green], a Berlin-based interactive online tool developed in a collaboration between the local council, local community gardeners and external experts, including Katrin, to illustrate such a meso perspective.
Katrin’s chapter in the new book Urban Open Space + is here.
The Plattform Productive Urban Green is here.
Image: Katrin’s chapter uses a Berlin food network project to illustrate thoughts on a meso perspective in urban design and planning. (source: Bohn&Viljoen 2021)