Baltic Raw, 2020, Lauenburg, Mapping Billboard – Photos: Baltic Raw
CITY WITHOUT A CITY – CENTRE
WITHOUT A CITY
A participation process for the town of Lauenburg
In 2019, in co-operation with the Office for Urban Development and the Künstlerhaus Lauenburg, the artist collective Baltic Raw Org developed the artistic-architectural concept „Stadt ohne Mitte – Mitte ohne Stadt“ (City without a centre – centre without a city) for the interim use of an undeveloped patch of land on Berliner Straße. The design was inspired by suggestions made during the well-attended discussion series „Lauenburg bin ich“.
Baltic Raw Org is a Hamburg-based artist collective consisting of Móka Farkas and Berndt Jasper. As part of their artistic work, they create walk-through sculptures which form new architectural features in public space. In Lauenburg, as with their work elsewhere, the focus is on public participation.
The chosen site serves as an outdoor laboratory or training ground, where ideas for reshaping the town can be tried out experimentally, with a high level of involvement from local residents. Even when some ideas may not bear fruit, the result is to identify site-specific solutions for Lauenburg.
Answers were sought to the following questions:
What ideas and visions do local residents have in mind?
Who is doing what, and how can people become involved?
How can people network with each other?
The original overall concept of the project „Stadt ohne Mitte – Mitte ohne Stadt“ had to be changed due to restrictions caused by the corona pandemic and the resulting cancellation of the Städtebautag (Urban Planning Conference). As a result, Baltic Raw.Org and the Künstlerhaus Lauenburg decided to continue the discussion about the use, appropriation and design of their own town at a slower pace, by organising smaller individual projects.
The Project is supported by Fonds Soziokultur and „Demokratie leben!“.
LAUENBURG’S LOCAL HARVEST
One strand of current debate on urban development addresses the question “How much nature does a city need?” To answer this, the project “Lauenburg’s Local Harvest” came into being. It documents in detail the location of edible plants in and around the town.
One goal of the project was to revive traditional knowledge of Lauenburg’s historical relationship to nature, gardens and agriculture. Where do fruit trees, other fruit, vegetables and herbs grow? When are they ripe and when can they be harvested?
Add new discoveries! mundraub.org
A map was set up on the waste land, on which, over the summer, local residents drew in plants on public land which the public may harvest themselves. This encouraged residents to engage with their own town, to identify areas left to grow naturally, and to consider planting and design. Informal exchanges took place between residents* about suitable sites, and where other sites might be found. The results of the research will be digitised in 2021 and integrated into the Künstlerhaus website. It can be interactively expanded and so will document the project over the long term.
The project Lauenburg’s local harvest is supported by Demokratie leben!
The project is funded by the Partnership for Democracy City of Lauenburg/Elbe with the municipalities of Lütau and Büchen as part of the federal programme “Live Democracy!” by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
“THE RIGHT TO THE CITY IS A RIGHT,
TO CHANGE OURSELVES,
BY CHANGING THE CITY”
“WHAT A CITY NEEDS IN THE 21ST CENTURY,
IS A STRONGLY FELT IDENTITY.
WHAT IT NEEDS IS
PERHAPS A MYTH OF ORIGIN
OF WHICH ALL CAN BE PROUD.
A SHARED NARRATIVE,
Paula Simons, Canadian Senator
Baltic Raw, 2020, Lauenburg, Mapping Billboards – Photos: Baltic Raw
THE WALNUT GROVE
This first artistic impulse from Baltic Raw Org is intended to initiate an alternative citizen participation process for the future design of Lauenburg’s central core. The trees, the public space and the town are there to be shared and valued by everyone. Trees give urban space an identity which brings people together. The ownership and use of public space is also examined. Who owns the city and what ideas can the residents of Lauenburg develop for the design and use of their urban space?
In a first artistic intervention, in order to create places to sit and linger, Baltic Raw Org installed seating on the wasteland, placed well apart to satisfy corona regulations. This was done in spring 2020 before the start of lockdown, which lasted several months
In order to enable a reappropriation of this public space as a place to linger, and to stimulate discussion about what defines the town of Lauenburg, the site has been planted with North German walnut trees. The provocative idea that Lauenburg could perhaps become a “nut town” and find its core identity through this is, as an artistic intervention, food for thought for visitors to the site. Everyone can participate, and contribute to “planting a new tradition”.
And so, on the undeveloped land between Alte Wache and Berliner Straße, a small temporary nut grove has been created. Depending on how the site develops, the trees and shrubs will either remain there or be transplanted to various other sites around the town. A decision has to be reached in the spring of 2022 at the latest, in the interest of the healthy development of the plants, which come from one of the rare nut tree nurseries in Witzeeze.
The idea of finding places to grow edible plants, accessible to everyone, came from local residents.
Baltic Raw, 2020, Lauenburg, Walnut Grove – Photos: Baltic Raw Walnut Grove