Planners in Support of the Deutsche Wohnen & Co enteignen Campaign

A city-wide campaign is underway in Berlin to release private housing back into the affordable rental market. As rents are soaring and secure contracts are increasingly scarce, this movement calls for a more equitable and affordable city through the socialization of housing. This movement has implications for spatial practice: for the possibility of creative, good design and a directly democratic, socially just, inclusive urbanism.

We are a group of planners —architects, urbanists, and other spatial practitioners— who work, live, sleep, study and rent in this city. We call on other planners to take a position.

  • — In the last 20 years and particularly since 2008, financial capital in Berlin has been increasingly fixed in the real estate market. The value of built architecture as a speculative object has increased, and with it the speculation of the city and its inhabitants. City policy has favoured real estate companies, resulting in widespread privatization of communal land and an incapacitated local government. 

  • — The lowering of interest rates by the European Central Bank in response to the Eurozone Crisis in 2010, as well as a monopolization on land and the housing market through the growth of listed real estate companies —monopolies like Deutsche Wohnen, ADO, Vonovia, Akelius, and co— continues to intensify the pre-existing housing crisis. The direct consequences of this are that people, small businesses and housing projects are being evicted and fear losing their homes.

  • — Young practitioners are told a vision of spatial practice as an active engagement in making, reimagining, determining space. Neoliberal urban development exercised through the investment power of housing monopolies, building policy, and city planning threatens this vision of practice. 

  • — These housing monopolies aren't interested in architecture, and in fact they stifle creativity, hindering the potential for experimentation and variety in the lived, designed environment. This is all the more stark a contrast in Berlin, a city that offers a lengthy history of radical, self-made, experimental and utopian architectural thinking.

  • — In fact, Deutsche Wohnen, ADO, Vonovia, Akelius, and co barely build at all. New construction is not the only answer to the current housing crisis, but planners have other skills: the analysis and revitalization of existing space, for example. What we do build needs to be done and maintained well. Spatial interests like sustainable, qualitative, enduring buildings and enjoyable spaces don't factor into the equation when building for profit is the only motive. 

  • — Planners are professionally, directly involved in economic and political decision making of the long-term development of the urban landscape. We design not only the architectural object but also the architectural fabric: the city is our concern. We need to acknowledge injustices in the spaces we design, knowingly or unknowingly. Beyond affordable housing for all, we must preserve city-wide affordable working space, actually public space, spaces that work against and free from systemic violence, green space, and self-determined space. 

It is for these reasons that we support the “Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co” campaign to socialize the large residential real estate monopolies. The socialization of housing stock, based on Article 15 of the German Basic Law, not only intends the transmission of private property to public hands, but further provides the basis for management in the public interest, via administration of the socialized stock through a democratic and transparent institution of public law. A compensation purchase cost under market value is possible, with the cost of the expropriation to be covered by rental income.

To support the socialization of housing is to support those most impacted by precarious, unaffordable, discriminatory and profit-driven housing. These aren't just questions of empathy but of a shared, universal right to live. 80% of Berliners rent their homes. But as long as housing remains a vehicle for profit, rents will only rise, meaning fewer of us can stay in the city we call home. We need a city with diverse housing stock, the possibilities for spatial experimentation, and equal access to varied forms of living. Keeping this city affordable concerns us all.

To achieve this, we need architecture and urban planning acting as a collective force rather than a field of separate actions.

It is time to join the discussion.

Sign your name below to stand publicly with us.

Support the Deutsche Wohnen und Co. enteignen Campaign dwenteignen.de

As of late June 2021, the "Deutsche Wohnen & Co enteignen" campaign successfully received 359,000 signatures of support demanding a referendum. On September 26th, Berliners will decide on whether or not to expropriate major private housing companies.

Meanwhile, over 250 architects, planners, engineers, and others signed this letter to support the expropriation campaign. Let's ensure that all those who can vote on the expropriation question do, and that they vote yes: to secure a more livable, inclusive, affordable future for our city.

#planerinnenfuerdwe #dwenteignen


Sign the open letter

Signees

  • Helena Rafalsky
  • Philipp Preiß( Universität der Künste Berlin )
  • Océane Vé-Réveillac( fem_arc )
  • Jonathan Heck( spaetispaeti )
  • Florian Hauß( Studio Genua )
  • Zoë Ritts
  • Ioannis Siopidis ( architect )
  • Sarra Mittal
  • Steffen Klotz( coopdisco )
  • Hans Christian Ziebertz( Architekt )
  • Simon Lehmann
  • Richard Pantzier( Hochschule Neubrandenburg )
  • Sina Hilgers ( TU Dortmund )
  • Tim Maassen ( TMA )
  • Luisa Matz
  • Karen Bietmann( TU Dortmund )
  • Roberta Burghardt( coopdisco )
  • Péter Máthé( UdK Berlin )
  • Dan Dorocic ( ON/OFF )
  • Pablo Santacana López( Bauhaus-Universität Weimar )
  • Asli Varol( coopdisco )
  • Franziska Ebeler( coopdisco )
  • Lucia Gauchat Schulte( fem_arc )
  • Ana Maria Rodríguez Bisbicus ( fem_arc )
  • Jeanne Astrup-Chauvaux( spaetispaeti )
  • Sarah Mutschler
  • Daniel Heuermann
  • Pedro Coelho( coopdisco )
  • Niloufar Tajeri
  • Sarah Strandt( ZusammenStelle )
  • Steffen Klotz( coopdisco )
  • Sebastian Díaz de León( ufoufo )
  • Tobias List( udk )
  • julia Ribeiro schlegel
  • Melanie Migle Kundrot
  • Anna Heilgemeir( coopdisco / TU Berlin )
  • Alexander von Lenthe
  • Fernande Njonkou Njanjo
  • Leona Lynen( ZUsammenKUNFT Berlin eG )
  • Isabelle Wolpert( PartnerundPartner )
  • Nina Peters( ZKB )
  • Dominique Esterl
  • Felix Marlow( ZUsammenKUNFT Berlin eG )
  • Lucas Vogel
  • Joschka Lutze
  • Lena Ruwe
  • Jeroen Meissner
  • Clemens Weise( ZUsammenKUNFT Berlin eG )
  • Dominique Mayer( Architekt )
  • Julia Klink
  • Marcel Haberland( Technische Universität Dortmund )
  • Alessandro Toti( UCL London )
  • Richard Dmitri Hees( UdK Berlin )
  • Florine Schüschke( ufoufo )
  • Leonard Palm( AFLPMW )
  • Moritz Wieczorek( AFLPMW )
  • Romy Mosesku
  • Gunnar Grandel( Kollektiv Raumstation )
  • dagmar pelger( coopdisco / udk berlin )
  • Hannes Langguth( TU Berlin / studio etcetera )
  • Jonas l Illigmann
  • Konrad Braun( ZUsammenKUNFT Berlin eG / openBerlin.org )
  • Johanna Bornkamm
  • Heiko Müller
  • Merle Sudbrock ( Studio Genua )
  • Marina Sylla( Studio Genua )
  • Mascha Fehse
  • Veljko Markovic( TU Berlin )
  • Luisa Pohlmann( Universität der Künste Berlin )
  • Silvia Gioberti( Guerilla Architects )
  • Lena Maaß( TU Berlin / AG.URBAN )
  • Serena Abbondanza( UDK / Floating Berlin e.V. )
  • Anna Kokalanova
  • judith frankenberg( architektin )
  • Clara Berger
  • Kristin Leonard( leonardhautum Architekten )
  • Aline Löw
  • polly bruchlos( Udk Berlin )
  • Paula Pons
  • Bilyana Asenova( unas studio )
  • Bent Fromke( UdK Berlin )
  • Stefanos Siopidis( Fotograf )
  • Anja Malone
  • Milena Coakley
  • Johanna Claus
  • Iva Baljkas Pick
  • Hanan Mousa
  • Livia Machler( TU Berlin )
  • Anja Schumacher
  • Tau Pibernat( Urban Fibers )
  • ingrid halfmeier
  • Rebecca Wall( ZusammenStelle Rathausblock )
  • Manuel Heck
  • Sophia Brandner
  • Ana Filipovic
  • Hermann Klar
  • Luisa Gehnen( bunterbeton )
  • Matthew Crabbe( Natural Building Lab / TU Berlin )
  • Petar Rajevic
  • Antonia Lembcke( SPÄTISPÄTI )
  • Nike Kraft( Guerilla Architects )
  • rahel stange ( udk berlin )
  • Raquel Gomez Delgado( Universität der Künste Berlin | ZUsammenKUNFT Berlin eG )
  • Elias Eichhorn( UdK Berlin )
  • Costanza Rossi
  • Gerd-Otto Forstreuter
  • Aimée Muriel Michelfelder( UdK Berlin )
  • Julian Bächle( AA )
  • Laurenz Blaser( Kollektiv Raumstation )
  • Dilan Erkisi( Kollektiv Raumstation )
  • Julius Grambow
  • Fernando Del Barrio
  • Leon Arasin( Universität der Künste Berlin )
  • Julia Heiser( TU Darmstadt | nonconform | Kollektiv Raumstation )
  • Saskia Hirtz( Kollektiv Raumstation )
  • rosario talevi
  • Alina Schütze( Kollektiv Raumstation )
  • Pia Frey( UdK Berlin )
  • Lena Brandt
  • Nina Wester( Team Dis+Ko )
  • Diana Saric
  • John Marquart( TU Wien, bunterbeton )
  • Frédéric dePourtalès( UdK Berlin )
  • Jakob Köchert
  • Licia Soldavini( Constructlab )
  • Muriel Stevens( UdK Berlin )
  • Florian Kilian Jaritz ( ETHZ )
  • Panagiotis Tzannetakis
  • Dimitris Pettas( Technical University of Berlin )
  • Lorenzo Tripodi( Tesserae Urban Social Research )
  • Ben Sassen( Tesserae.eu )
  • Franziska Bittner( Kollektiv Raumstation / ZusammenStelle )
  • Corinna Studier( spaetispaeti )
  • Aline Fraikin( AG.URBAN )
  • Nathan Stone( Co-re )
  • Gözde Sarlak-Krämer( HCU Hamburg )
  • Dima Dayoub( TU Berlin )
  • Katie Eynon
  • Philipp Winter
  • Edouard Barthen( TU Berlin )
  • Phil Lueder( Urban Designer )
  • Paola Alfaro - d'Alençon( u lab I Studio für Stadt und Raumprozesse )
  • Zita Seichter( Kollektiv Raumstation )
  • Konrad Wolf( INTO STORIES )
  • Antonia Grohmann( UdK Berlin )
  • Paula Granda Ojeda ( Udk Berlin )
  • Burcu Daglayan( TU Braunschweig )
  • Franziska Füller( Tesserae Urban Social Research )
  • Sarah Bovelett
  • Carina Kitzenmaier
  • Anna Nötzel
  • Philip Horst( ZK/U Berlin )
  • Inger Junge
  • Jan Engelke( ana.institute )
  • Anke Hagemann
  • Mateo Argerich( DIA Dessau )
  • Ksenia Chernobrovtseva ( DIA University )
  • Charlotte Malterre-Barthes( Harvard Graduate School of Design )
  • Christof van Wyk
  • Julia Köpper( Octagon Architekturkollektiv / TU Berlin )
  • Thomas Flores( EAVT )
  • Anna Kostreva( Recast by Design ┃TU-Braunschweig )
  • Rosalie Laurin
  • Alexandra Chernobrovtseva
  • Lisa Graf
  • Dimitra Tsitsi( MVRDV )
  • Nils-Thore Grundke( Universität der Künste Berlin )
  • Levon Partzsch( TU Berlin )
  • Jesko Fezer
  • Kim Schroeder
  • Kamila Juruc( Architektin )
  • Steffen Gehrhardt( Architekt )
  • Noel Jaskolla( FH Augsburg )
  • Jean Philippe Vassal ( UDK )
  • Jule Strübin( Deluse architects )
  • Katrin Korzer( HS Augsburg )
  • Frieder Knöller( GIORNO )
  • Diana Felber( Transit Architekturkollektiv, BTU Cottbus )
  • angelika hinterbrandner( @ahinterbrandner )
  • Marius Mühleisen( UdK Berlin )
  • Samer Richter
  • Bradley Defino ( UAL )
  • Joachim Schultz-Granberg
  • Markus Emde( studio emde )
  • Romain Gautillot
  • Fabian Koch( geoscope )
  • Jun Chen( TU Berlin )
  • Felix Lackua( Asum GmbH/ Technische Universität Berlin )
  • Irina Schustow
  • Philine Schneider
  • Paul Lipan-Weber
  • Jannis Willim
  • Giorgos Beleveslis( Architect / Artist )
  • Iman Atwa( erklär mir mal… )
  • Vera Thöndel( TU Berlin )
  • Kristin Feireiss( Aedes Architekturforum, Berlin )
  • Hans-Jürgen Commerell( Aedes Architekturforum, Berlin )
  • Matthias Pabst( UdK )
  • Paul Knopf( Bauhaus-Universität Weimar )
  • Nicolas König( ETHZ )
  • Jess Greenspan( Hunter College )
  • Tobias Hönig( c/o now )
  • Max Kellermann
  • Sophie Kalwa( Leibniz Universität Hannover )
  • Ferdinand Knecht( Bauhaus-Universität Weimar )
  • Avital Greenshpon ( Bauhaus Universität )
  • Andrijana Ivanda( c/o now )
  • Markus Rampl( c/o now )
  • Carina Sacher
  • Ulla Hirschböck
  • Jonas Illigmann( Universität der Künste Berlin )
  • Matthias Panz( WOF-Planungsgemeinschaft )
  • Max Kaske( Architekt )
  • Lukas Pappert
  • Malte Von viebahn
  • Tatjana Schneider
  • Lisa Marie Zander( Mikropol e.V. )
  • Laura Hoepfner( club loko )
  • stefania andrioli
  • Stella Sommer( club loko )
  • Stephanie Newcomb
  • Gianni Laneri( ONOFF )
  • Philipp von Hase
  • Alan Smart
  • Oliver Gudzowski( Universität der Künste, Berlin )
  • Emily Kelling( Technische Universität Berlin )
  • Markus Bühler
  • Anke Hafner
  • Lara Stöhlmacher( fem_arc )
  • Maximilian Hartinger( Maximilian Hartinger Architekt, TU Berlin )
  • jean-marc abcarius( abcarius+burns architecture design )
  • Silke Ramsaier( RL_Architektur )
  • Hendrik Stängle( Architekt in München )
  • Hannes Merl( BTU Cottbus )
  • Christian Trepel
  • Marina Treichl
  • Niklas Draeger( Architekt )
  • Matthias Hoffmann( Demo Working Group )
  • Johannes Sack
  • Monique Kirmse( BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg )
  • Alexandr Minkin
  • hans matt
  • Ekkehard Stückemann( atelier ekkehard stückemann )
  • Toni Kunau( Noibau )
  • Lothar Albus( NOENENALBUS ARCHITEKTUR )
  • markus bay
  • Timo Büscher( MAROCCO )
  • Henk Wendtland
  • Andreas Oevermann( architectureRelated+ )
  • bernd Wölfel( res:a )
  • Jens Seiffert
  • Sascha Kellermann
  • Ines Lüder
  • Susanne Reiher( Architektin )
  • Jörg Reiners( Kulturjournalist )
  • Antje Bruno( Architektin )
  • Vincent Mayer( Bauhaus-Universität Weimar )
  • Mathias Wolf( TU Berlin )
  • Richard Koschorreck( ROTOR Bauatelier )
  • Jonathan Schmidt( TU Berlin )
  • Wojtek Harsdorff( Architekt )
  • Thomas Schriever( architect )
  • Johannes Rose( DGJ Architektur )
  • Johannes Brambring
  • Stefan Dacic( Hochschule RheinMain )
  • Christina Gräwe
  • Katrin Spitzner
  • Airich Airich( Franz und Geyer Architekten )
  • Anna Plückbaum( Studio Genua )
  • Jutta Ziegler( BAUFACHFRAU Berlin e.V. )
  • Marion Kohler( Kunstuniversität Linz )
  • Julia Kanz
  • Jae-Young Lee( PuP/GyawGyaw )
  • Natalie Heger
  • Jeremias Walter
  • Ruben Sommer( Franz und Geyer Architekten )
  • Marcel Brede( Sebastian Büescher Innen-Architektur und Design )
  • Kay Fischer( BrunoFiorettiMarquez )
  • . Piero Bruno( Uni-Stuttgart )
  • Mark Wachendorfer( Architekt )
  • Simone Jeska
  • Corinna Voigt( Architektin )
  • Alessa Ojala
  • Christian Bauer( UdK Berlin )
  • Francesco Grillo( TU Berlin )
  • Gordon Leu( Architekt )
  • Juliane Lohde
  • Rodrigo Tapia O.( Architekt )
  • Julia Schula( TU Berlin )
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