Essay by Andrea Benze and Anuschka Kutz now published in the book Appropriations of the Urban Realm (Aneignung Urbaner Freiräume).

Our essay “Almost invisible appropriation. Everyday urban realms of Senior Citizens (translated by the authors from the German title: “Nahezu unsichtbare Aneignung. Alltägliche Stadträume von Senioren”), has now been published in the edited book  Appropriations of the Urban Realm. A Discourse on Urban Space (translated by the authors from the German title: Aneignung Urbaner Freiräume. Ein Diskurs über städtischen Raum). The book collates essays on various forms of everyday appropriations of the urban realm. Our essay introduces everyday tactics and forms of appropriations of a demographic group that has largely been left out of this discourse, Senior Citizens. The essay interprets findings made through the pilot project Urban Portraits. Seniors, their World and the City (offsea, Andrea Benze and Anuschka Kutz, 2014), a visual atlas and portrait of the lived space of senior citizens in Stuttgart, undertaken during a Research Fellowship at Academy Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. The essay begins with a brief theoretical discussion on the juridical, pedagogical, societal and psychological dimension of the term appropriation before presenting and interpreting extracts from Urban Portraits, Stuttgart, a forensic analysis and surprising journey through the everyday realm of a selection of Senior Citizens. The article traces their everyday tactics and dissects how they inhabit the urban realm, root themselves in it and how they choreograph their partaking in urban life, from those who feel bereft and are forever on the move chasing their place within our cities, to those who construct parallel realms, to those who consciously inhabit surprising spaces and discover potentials of a neighborhood they have hitherto felt holds little potential, to those who use imagination as a tangible tactic.  The essay presents these often more invisible forms of appropriation, undulating between ingenious tactics and make-do strategies, and calls on traditional planning strategies to acknowledge but also enable diverse forms of appropriations. The book has so far only been published in German, so can currently only be enjoyed by those who speak it.

 

Reference:

Benze, Andrea  and Anuschka Kutz. “Almost invisible appropriation. Everyday urban realms of Senior Citizens” (translated by the authors from the German title: Nahezu unsichtbare Aneignung. Alltägliche Stadträume von Senioren”), in: Thomas Hauck/ Stefanie Hennecke / Stefan Körner (eds.), Appropriations of the Urban Realm. A Discourse on Urban Space (translated by the authors from the German title: Aneignung Urbaner Freiräume. Ein Diskurs über städtischen Raum), Bielefeld: transcript Verlag 2017, pp. 75­-104.

 

Anuschka Kutz is Visiting Professor at KU Leuven and co-founder of offsea (office for socially engaged architecture and urbanism).



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