Inclusions and intrusions. Street Rights Map.

Text by Roberta Coletto

The group event Street Rights Map Berlin is a workshop surveying and mapping the interests with members of the street community, understanding how they relate to each other. It is an investigation of inclusion and intrusion between actors of many backgrounds using the public space.
Traditionally The city is considered the framework to provide a secure environment within which the human community builds. It is indeed conceived, to be flawed and faulty in nature, as it is a separation from the wild. According to this, urban design is intentionally human-oriented to fulfill our needs: the less we know about nature’s rules, the more our urban space is mirrored and monitored, enclosed and controlled for us to feel safe. What we are experiencing today are landscapes designed for foreseen planned social interactions: malls, which are treated as
pseudo-public spaces, are a great example of this. Representing a a disconnection from a ferocious and fluctuating natural world.
The workshop gathered together a non-specific audience which explore main issues relating to the urban environment such as security around us, the natural aspect of the city, education and learning processes in the public space and the city as an economical subject. The topics explored were focused on recognizing existing possibilities of interchange between nature and urban environment with their inhabitants; as well as theorizing a more efficient, solid and palpable mutuality between the two.
What is exposed in the public space is either considered useful, for example public lighting, or suggests structured behaviors which could take into consideration public signage as a whole.
Posing the question “Do we ever get access to some forms of education in a non-institutional space?”. Where and how do we learn something in the street? Often seen are attempts to contribute to the right of an accessible surrounding educating experience. Provided by cultural activities and the so-called street schools in open spaces; street art, sidewalk art and traditional public art are other examples. Important to mention is that unsanctioned art has always been around.
Parks and gardens could have more impact on the educational front: they are wide spaces planned within the city where community development potential could take a step forward. Currently, they are acknowledged primarily for their embellishment potential representing a symbolic stronghold of part-time recreational sites. The idea that green areas are garnishments is also related to beauty being stagnant and futile as plants are static creatures. The actors of this Urban Play are not only mobile presences such as humans and animals who experience the freedom to move in the space, choosing their migrating paths and relocating for necessity or desire to; but also plants and trees
who are more vulnerable as they are non-mobile presences. All claiming their necessities
and right to the street.
Observations and conclusions of each team have been discussed, mingled together and charted out to a scale model of the area. After that, a Declaration of Urban Nature Rights has been formulated and written down by the participants. As a tangible result of the work some posters had been affixed in the streets.
The workshop Street Rights Map Berlin run by Myriel Milicevic, Ruttikorn Vuttikorn, Mira Thomsen, Henrik Lebuhn took place in the community garden Prinzessinnengarten as part of Long Day of Urban Nature and was facilitated by Public Art Lab Berlin.

For further info: http://neighbourhoodsatellites.com/street-rights-map/