Amongst other things, the situation in Lebanon, Beirut and Damascus, the appointment of Blair as envoy to the middle east, Lorraine told me about the proposed redevelopment of the canal.
The section of the Landwehr canal, which lies between Kreuzberg and Treptow has been scheduled for aggressive redevelopment and work had, she said, already begun. The proposal was to turn this idyllic and overgrown stretch, much beloved of the local community into a landscape that belongs at the Lerhter bahnhoff.
The lines of the city are being redrawn yet again. East/West is becoming history North/South seems its new axis but what might work in the vast sites adjacent to the Government buildings in Mitte (the classic tourist itinery of postcard views and stately bureaucratic modernism) seems here, in Kreuzberg, crass intervention in a delicate ecology.
It might sometimes seem that this neighbourhood is resistant to change, that nostalgia – the presence of the ghost wall, of dissolute summer afternoons half remembered, threatens to compromise its sense of the present. This is not true. The communal memories of picnics and barbecues in Gorlitzer Park, and the appropriation of liminal interstitial sites like the Brak and the overgrown banks of the canal are signs not only of community but of enterprise. Of alternate models of bohemian capitalism; a more mobile model in terms of the employment situation, more labile and dynamic than the crass “Concrete Capitalism” the proposed development seemed determined to impose. We scared ourselves with scenarios that had creeping real estate values destroying the Kietz
I thought I would pursue the story today and took my camera with me to the canal however to my relief it seems that only a few trees have been felled, and whilst the fencing remains the project has, for the time being at least, been put on hold. Speaking to Caro later it seems that it has indeed been stopped. The worse fears of the residents have been eased as the Bezirk authorities backpeddle and seem to have opted for a more modest shoring up of the canals fragile infrastructure.
Despite feelings of relief it is clear that the situation is only temporary as the anger of this Myspace blog demonstrates.
trees of the world at myspace