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Accepted Paper:

Commoning urban mobility infrastructures in Berlin  
Alik Mazukatow (Humboldt-University Berlin)

Paper short abstract:

The paper analyzes two modes of commoning by looking at mobility activism. First, how activists make infrastructures legible thereby forming a collective that is able to criticize them. Second, how space is commoned when temporary interventions in city space prefigure a more just city.

Paper long abstract:

The paper explores activism in Berlin advocating a turnaround in mobility policies (Verkehrswende) and calling for urban mobility infrastructure establishing more social, areal, and environmental justice. By pursuing their moral ideals and advocating new ways of mobility in the city activists develop drafts of a better, more just city and new ways of inhabiting the city itself including its' infrastructures. Against this backdrop the paper will present modes of commoning used by Berlin activists.

Mode 1: Making mobility infrastructure legible

Demonstrations organized as joint cycle tours through the city (including inputs about stages of infrastructural development) aim at making participants knowledgeable about city planning processes, rendering administrative and juridical obstacles in the built environment visible thereby making infrastructures legible and forming a collective that is able to read and subsequently criticize obsolete and inadequate infrastructures. The common perception of an abruptly ending bike lane may shift in the course of such a demonstration from a mere nuisance to administrative incapacity to plan across governmental zones.

Mode 2: Prefiguring of a better City

Temporary interventions in urban environments concentrate at repurposing public streets mostly used by cars, converting them in street fairs, public play grounds or an open city parliament, thereby commoning space. Following commons theorist Stavros Stavrides, the paper will analyze how temporarily-commoned space is not only a concrete product of activism but one of the crucial means to "explore the emancipating potentialities of sharing" (Stavrides 2016: 7).

Panel P005b
Infrastructuring Solidarity and the Commons: Prefigurative socio-technical articulations of a post-capitalist world II
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -