(c) Elisa Georgi, 2022

Real laboratory for increasing urban climate resilience through creative-artistic interventions

2023 - 2025

The Center for Art and Urbanistics (ZK/U) in the former Moabit freight station is surrounded by a public park. Stadtgarten Moabit and ZK/U are a cross-generational cultural and action space, directly affected by the consequences of climate change. Long droughts, extreme heat and heavy rain events have a negative impact on the flora and fauna of the public spaces and lead to restrictions on art activities on and in the building. The upcoming expansion of ZK/U will be accompanied by the creation of new workshop spaces, as well as the creation of an urban stage on the roof terrace that will be visible from afar. As part of this further development, ZK/U would like to address its own climate impact through concrete, artistic interventions and prototypes, actively involve the users of the park and the building in the development and implementation, and sensitise them to the current and future challenges through a course of artistic prototypes for adaptation to climate change, test mobilising proposals for action, document them in a low-threshold manner and make them accessible to a broad public. 

In cooperation with  Berlin Senate for Culture, a neighbourhood partner, StadtManufaktur Berlin (Reallaborzentrum of the TU Berlin), the civic science project Hiveeyes and various local and national partners, artistic prototypes are being created for the concrete adaptation of ZK/U to extreme heat, drought and heavy rain: a tree becomes a symbol for innovative building cooling, self-constructed sensor sets created by media artists allow trees and bees to communicate about their condition and demand care by citizens. Sculptural water reservoirs raise awareness of drought, useful plants cool the building and nourish the building users, a continuous communication programme with performances, workshops, conferences, podcasts, an artistic ideas competition and a course of action promote a mutual exchange of knowledge between citizens and science.

The overall project aims to demonstrate model, cooperative and sustainable climate adaptation measures and to test their transferability to other existing institutions. The artistic works stimulate a critical debate and create awareness for upcoming challenges. The project communicates that the development of a citizen-centered climate adaptation competence leads to greater acceptance and active participation in the implementation of measures, in addition to socially positive effects. In cooperation with StadtManufaktur Berlin, the real-lab center of TU Berlin, parts of the concept are to be made regionally and internationally visible and available as transferable transformation knowledge. At the same time, the project sees itself as a laboratory and stage for artists working in the fields of 'climate justice', 'relational aesthetics' and 'public art'.

More information on BMUV and lead partner

Funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) based on a resolution of the German Bundestag.