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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | bologna.lab | Projects | Berlin Perspectives | Courses | Summer Semester 2015 | The EAST/WEST Competition – Urban Planning, Cultural Policy and Economics in Divided Berlin

The EAST/WEST Competition – Urban Planning, Cultural Policy and Economics in Divided Berlin

Taught by Michael Grass

Monday, 12:00 - 14:00, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, Room 0323-26

Course taught in English

Language requirements: English B2


Course Description

Berlin is the city of East / West competition. Since the division of the city into East and West, demonstrating the power of the capitalism and socialism respectively was central to urban planning. In the beginning, the solution of obstacles to urban development proved vital. This seminar examines the dualism in urban planning between East and West Berlin chronologically. Seminar presentations and two excursions trace the diverse targets and demands of capitalist and socialist urban planning. For the analysis, we do not only consider architectural and formal aspects. The Seminar provides a closer look to strategies and models of financing and commercialisation of urban planning. Cultural contexts, living and dwelling models and political strategies will be looked at as well.
This seminar targets students interested in urban sociology and planning, metropolitan studies, German cultural history, economics, art history, and architectural history. Interested students of the humanities and social sciences are invited.


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  • Buck-Morss, Susan: Dreamworld and Catastrophe. The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West. Boston, 2000.
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  • Fesel, Anke / Keller, Chris (Hg.): Berlin Wonderland. Wild Years Revisited, 1990–1996. Berlin 2014.
  • Flierl, Bruno: Urban Design in Berlin, GDR. A Study of the Capital of the German Democratic Republic. London 1986. Habitat Intl., Vol. 8, No. 33/34, pp. 91-126.
  • Flierl, Thomas (Hg.): List und Schicksal der Ost-Moderne. Berlin, 2008.
  • Kleihues, Josef Paul (Hg.): Internationale Bauausstellung, 1984-1987, Berlin, West – Die Neubaugebiete. Berlin 1987.