BERLIN DEVELOPS NEW NEIGHBOURHOODS
SENATE ADMINISTRATION FOR URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND LIVING, BERLIN
FIELD OF WORK
MY TERRIFIC CITY
MY TERRIFIC CITY
A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
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Over four years, more than 60 measures to integrate and strengthen a social space with around 20,000 residents and around 1,200 refugees will be carried out in three accommodations.
BENN - Berlin Develops New Neighborhoods - is a program of the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing for the socio-spatial integration of refugees, carried out in cooperation with the city's districts. The objectives of the program are:
• Strengthen neighbourly cohesion for everyone.
• Activate and support the existing commitment of the residents
• Network the structures and the knowledge and develop cooperation; create missing structures
• The "existing" and the "new" neighbors, i.e. the residents of the Refugee shelters get to know each other through joint activities
• Support the refugees in shaping their life.
In every district in Berlin, there is at least one BENN location with an on-site team that cooperates with one or more communal accommodations. The BENN Westend location is in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district.
The contact person in the district is the integration office of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district office in Berlin.
The BENN team has access to material and fee funds, currently amounting to € 30,000 annually, to support measures. These measures intended to benefit the area can be organized and carried out by BENN as well as by surrounding actors.
In 2019, for example, various celebrations of encounters were supported, such as the summer festival of GU Eschenallee and Ulme 35, as well as the Christmas celebrations in GU Heerstraße, Eschenallee, and Ulme 35. The Long Table of Cultures was organized jointly by the core actors and took place for the second time in 2019. Around 150 neighbors were able to get to know each other over food and drink on Branitzer Platz. There were various services for neighbors in the form of financial support for the bicycle workshop, painting workshop, sewing studio, cricket team, teakwondo and the weekly schedule in the Ulme 35. Another measure was the German training of the LOA Lernfreunde as a weekly course for refugees and volunteers to learn German together. A summer vacation program for the children in the neighborhood took place at Ulme 35.
The following measures were implemented in the area of authorization: the traveling exhibition "Wir in der Heerstraße" where video portraits, quotes, and photographs of refugees, employees of the accommodation, and volunteers were shown at three different locations (GU Heerstraße, Ulme 35, district festival Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf) and recorded in a booklet. In addition, a participatory process to design a meeting place in the GU Heerstraße, where the residents, actors and neighbors connected in weekly meetings while developing a spatial concept for the common rooms as a planning team. The design of the meeting place was realized together and ultimately, BENN Westend established a weekly participation format in the refugee accommodation. In the BENN ideas club, all residents of the accommodation are invited to contribute their wishes, needs, ideas and talents and the BENN team is present for several hours every week. Here, there are varying, low-threshold services. As a rule, five to ten people take part in the BENN ideas club and around 20 to 30 people take part in special campaigns.
Another participation format is the BENN Forum for Neighbors. It has already taken place several times and has been very well received. Neighbors and actors were invited to share their views on current issues, such as the development plan for the Akazien-, Ulmen-, Eschen- und Kirschenallee. In addition to neighbors and actors, refugees were also present among the 30 or so participants.
At the request of numerous actors in the area, the neighborhood actors' meeting has been taking place regularly since November 2019. As a result of this, the booklet “We in Westend” was created in an extensive co-creation process.
THE WHOLE STORY