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Project: Urban Spatial Pioneers

Project Team at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning: Head of Project: PD Dr. Gabriela B. Christmann (Sociology), Kerstin Falk (Human Geography), Dr. Petra Jähnke (Urban and Regional Planning, Human Geography), Gerhard Mahnken (History), Anika Noack (Sociology), Dr. Anna Richter (Sociology), Tobias Schmidt (Sociology)

Project Period: 01/2012 – 12/2014

The project deals with complex forms of steering and coordination. Spatial pioneers are the key concern. They are actors who either attempt to instigate novel, socially innovative projects themselves or take up, modify and implement novel projects developed in other places. With their socially innovative and reflexive forms of action, these actors can serve as drivers for neighbourhood development. As ideas and forms of knowledge about spaces may, however, differ significantly between different groups of actors, it is not possible to simply implement them in a direct way. Instead, it is necessary to negotiate them with other actors (e.g. experts in urban politics and public administration) who may hold differing and sometimes conflicting opinions. For these reasons the project takes into account confrontational governance processes and, in so doing, addresses aspects of exclusion and inclusion. The project studies negotiation processes that occur between spatial pioneers from civil society on the one hand and decision makers from the public administration, local politics and business on the other hand.

For more information, please contact Anika Noak (