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A smart city is not only a city full of screens and self-driving cars. It is a city that employs data to better allocate resources, cover needs, and make places more accessible for everyone. Public toilets are the best example of how using data helps to design people-centered smart cities.
The European Commission defines a smart city as a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with digital solutions for the benefit of its inhabitants and business. In the same notion, TSPA has developed two city-wide concepts for Berlin and Düsseldorf that provide a demand-oriented supply of public toilets. To do so, we identified priority locations based on geodata and a distance ratio allocating the city resources in the best possible way.
The approach is integrative for the objectives of the idea, not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. We accompanied city policies with the involvement of interest groups and parts of the city’s administration. To provide a detailed strategy we used a wide range of data provided by public and private authorities, analysed basic human behaviour patterns, and compared with other cities to develop a sustainable concept. We considered data such as existing facilities within a certain range, people densities, tourism patterns, and many others. Only the combination of these tools and variables can help to elaborate a holistic strategy. As a result, the number of publicly accessible toilets will be increased to 200 locations in Düsseldorf and 257 in Berlin.
Public Toilets might be overlooked as part of the backbone of a city’s infrastructure, but that doesn’t mean that it is of great importance for its inhabitants and visitors. Big data analysis and cross-sector comparison are tools that improve the provision of such a basic service.
The provision of public toilets is a realistic way of thinking about how cities can be smart because it contributes significantly to the quality and accessibility of a city’s public space. It influences how we move around in the city and whether restrictions arise for some groups of people. Making the cities more interactive and responsive, safer public spaces, and meeting the needs of an aging population.
We are aware that there are a lot of things to improve when it comes to public toilets. How to achieve gender equality in its provision? How to keep it functional and accessible for everyone? How can these be safe without displacing vulnerable populations of public space?
We might not have all the answers, for one it is clear that intelligently chosen locations can at least help to tackle the issue of unequal spatial distribution or unmet capacity. The data-driven planning here steps as the main pillar.
We are honoured and very thankful to receive the Global Human Settlements Award on Planning and Design as part of the Sustainable Cities And Human Settlements Awards. We feel happy to have recognized this important effort to tackle contemporary cities’ issues, such as rapid urbanisation and sustainable development planning.
This July the Berlin’s Strategic Smart City Framework was handed over to the Senate for its operationalisation and implementation phases, the framework is part of the «Smart Cities Model Projects,» supported by the Federal Ministry of Interior as part of Berlin City’s effort towards a Smart City Strategy.
Thomas Stellmach will hold a workshop about Smart City Governance for Future
Can bureaucracy be creative and innovative?? Often outdated structures leave no space to adopt change. The Creative Bureaucracy Festival creates a space to discuss current struggles and point out new directions.
«The Creative Bureaucracy Festival celebrates outstanding innovation in the public sector and its contribution to a better, more sustainable, and more just world. It brings together bureaucrats and their allies – those who, at all levels of government, fight for the common good and make a difference.»
TSPA’s founder, Thomas Stellmach, who is actively involved in the Smart City Strategy for Berlin development as an Advisory Board member, will hold today at 16:00 a workshop about Smart City Governance for Future.
We are excited to share that Thomas Stellmach is one of the panelists discussing “How infrastructure and design shape the future of our spaces” in the IAA MOBILITY Conference, find him tomorrow Wednesday 8th of August at 15:00 in the Vision stage.
The discussion, set around exploring how design reacts to changing environments, will be hosted by Chris Bangle and count with the participation of Wayne Burgess, Vice-president of Design in Ola Electric, Holger Hampf the President of Designworks, A BMW Group Company, and Thomas Stellmach founder and director of TSPA, Making Cities.
They will discuss who decides how we will move in our cities in the future — industry, algorithms, governments — and how we can turn mobility systems into better cities.
More than 20 years after the reunification, what shapes Berlin today?
The news broadcaster Al Jazeera interviewed three Berliners, and one is our founder Thomas Stellmach, who experienced city changes in the post-wall ’90s and now understands current ongoing processes such as gentrification and recognises the importance of a vision for Berlin and Brandenburg’s future development.
We were delighted to be considered as a valuable source to understand and reflect on the city.
TSPA one of five teams selected to compete and design the architectural and urban development concept for the new Ecopolis in Sakhalin, Russia
Earlier this year, TSPA team started a new project — CityScan. An initiative for data-driven urbanism. We presented its first analysis at the Greentech Festival where we shared how the principles of sustainable urban planning combined with data can support the future of mobility planning.
How does City Scan approaches data driven urbanism?
“In my opinion, it is not expedient to try to stop urbanization in Africa. On the contrary, the focus should be on intervening in a steering manner to make it as sustainable as possible.”
– Thomas Stellmach at the German Bundestag in late December, where he gave recommendations in the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development regarding sustainable urbanisation.
Exhibition ‘Unfinished Metropolis. 100 years of urban development for (Greater) Berlin’ opening night
A 100 years ago today Berlin became Greater Berlin and a giant city emerged increasing its territory from 66 to 878 square kilometres, and increasing its population form 1.9 to approximately 3.9 million inhabitants.
TSPA and our partners Fabulism had the pleasure attend the opening event of the anniversary exhibition “Unfinished Metropolis: 100 Years of Urban Development for Greater Berlin” as one of the 5 awarded proposals which reflected on the city’s possibilities for 2070.
The exhibition, focused on the way living, working, traffic, leisure and recreation have unfolded through history, presents new ideas on the exemplary locations for future development.
You can now visit and see our proposal at Kronprinzenpalais, Unter den Linden 3, 10117 Berlin from October1st and until 3rd of January.
To learn more about the exhibition, visit the website below:
Last Saturday June 27th TSPA opened its doors for the Tag der Architektur (Day of Architecture) organised by the Architecture Chamber.
After a convivial with drinks, our team presented some of our work and held a Q&A session.
Here are some snapshots of the event.
Thanks for everyone who joined us, we look forward to see you next year.
This is the fourth publication of the series “From work desks to work platforms” in which we share the strategies and tools that have helped us doing remote-work even before the Coronavirus Pandemic. Here we present two out of nine tools,Remote communication and basic office arrangement.
5. Keeping the Communication Going
Video and Audio Conferencing, Screen Sharing, Chat and direct Exchange: Riot & Jitsi
This is the third publication of the series “From work desks to work platforms” in which we share the strategies and tools that have helped us doing remote-work even before the Coronavirus Pandemic. Here we present two out of nine tools, remote presentations, data collection and data analysis.
3. Showing Off: Presentations
Presentations on Site and Remotely: Slides / Powerpoint / Keynote
What we needed
As opposed to the previous chapter, that dealt with internal presentation, here we talk about external presentations — be it to a client or a lecture at a conference. We searched for a tool that lets develop presentations quickly, intuitively and work simultaneously with external collaborators. Another essential demands are easily grant access editing rights and offline working mode.
What we picked, and why
This is the first publication of a series in which we will share the strategies and tools that have worked for us in our experience with remote working. The next publications will which tools we use and how we use them.
How to work remotely without dropping the pencil.
Graphics: Amr Elsayed
This document describes the remote work tool kit we use at TSPA. It is specifically the tools that work best for us (you’ll find some links to broader collections of solutions at the end of the text).
The Coronavirus pandemic is omnipresent in our society, where ‘social distancing’ neglects our everyday’s life and our common behaviour patterns. Schools and shops are closing, we all work from home and visit neither family nor friends. This is a challenge, as social interaction and discussion is key for the urban planning domain since local knowledge and participation have a huge impact on the process and the outcomes of a project.
Together with Zebralog, we were facing this issue and asked ourselves the following questions:
- How could we enable stakeholders to give us feedback and input in our current projects without a ‘face to face’ interaction?
- Which are the outcomes of a remote format?
- Can these formats act as a role model with the goal to implement them in future projects?
For the last 8 years, Moscow Urban Forum was gathering experts from various fields and countries to discuss the most prominent issues our cities are facing. Questions, such as what is a smart city, how cities can become even more inclusive and resilient, or how do we cope with digitalization in planning and everyday life?
In the summer of 2018, TSPA was invited to support MUF in the topic about «MEGAPOLIS OF THE FUTURE. NEW SPACE FOR LIVING». We were honored to be the main partners of the event, among internationally recognized organizations like OECD and PWC.
Additionally to the partner role, TSPA participated in the round table discussion about successful urban and real estate development practices.
To learn more about the event, see the link below:
or visit the link to watch the panel session:
MakeCity.Berlin — is an international festival for architecture and urbanism. It is a platform to initiate changes for a better urban development in Berlin. This year, along the list of many other interesting practices and institutions from Berlin, TSPA became a funding partner of MakeCity.Berlin. It was a great opportunity to become more involved in the urban planning scene in the German capital and connect with experts, who are equally passionate about new discourses and opportunities of the city.
Additionally to the sponsoring role, out team had a unique chance to develop and propose a new project Impuls.berlin. Together with a great team of external experts, TSPA helped to develop an idea for a new knowledge and expertise sharing platform. Impulse.berlin aims to create an ecosystem where urban actors have the time and space to think and create a good city». To find out more information about the project, click here.
You can read more about our contribution here
TSPA and Kollectiv Data started platform to make spatial data more accessible.
As cities are more and more pressured with the rapid changes, data analysis and data visualization can help to speed up knowledge transfer and cope with the upcoming being more informed and involved. CityScan is a platform founded with the aim of preparing geodata and making it usable. With appealing visualisations, different groups of access to spatial data in an uncomplicated and efficient way. A cooperation project, CityScan consist of the interdisciplinary team with the experts from geography, urban development, mapping and communication fields. It started as a part of the MakeCity.berlin festival. The main vision of this platform is to to bring different actors together, transfer information more transparently and start a new initiative to make our cities more livable. Making Berlin’s geospatial data more accessible and usable the aim is to stimulate initial discussions.
Find out more information about CityScan here.
Thomas was invited to give a lecture in BTU Cottbus, where he shared his insights about establishing a successful urban planning office. The discussion with students focused on key questions in the beginning of one’s professional life, while Thomas also showed key projects and discussed the processes behind their development.
To read more about the lecture, visit the link below:
On April 14th, Berlin-based landscape office bgmr celebrated (more than) three decades of their existence. They invited Anna Bernegg of Urban Catalyst, Fritz Reusswig of PIK, Antje Stokman of HCU and Thomas Stellmach of TSPA to discuss the future of landscape urbanism. It was an interesting discussion — Happy birthday Bea, Undine, Dirk, Carlo!
To discuss the current gentrification process in Berlin’s neighborhoods, Kilian Immobiliengruppe together with Stiftung Zukunf Berlin organized the panel discussion ‘Remmidemmi in Rummelsburg — HURRA, DIE GENTRIFIZIERER SIND DA!‘
The debates about the gentrification process in Rummelsburg — about one of the most attractive and overlooked neighborhoods in Berlin, took a place in the new artist/studio quarter Gaswerksiedlung. Thomas participated as an urban planning expert and to share his insight about the impact of gentrification and different sides of this process.
Learn more about the event in the link below:
Quartiergespräch Remmidemmi in Rummelsburg
«Das Ziel ist eine Stadt, die für alle da ist…» — The article «Room to Live» in Berliner Wirtschaftsgespräche
Das Ziel ist eine Stadt, die für alle da ist…
(The aim is to build the city for everyone…)
What does it mean to us, that nowadays we live in the apartments, that have so little to do with the way how we live in the city? How to tame the increasing lack of affordable housing? What lessons can be learned from our other European countries? The article «Room to Live» about modern dwelling typologies and cooperative housing model tried to tackle these ubiquitous questions. Written by Thomas and his partner from urban coop berlin, Robert Ostmann this piece was published by Berliner Wirtschaftsgespräche.
See the entire publication here.
Maputo is one of the cities with the highest concentrations of sixties modernist architecture, if not the highest. Some impressions here, while Thomas is on mission for the UN-Habitat ASUD programme in Mozambique.