Help! The post-tourism tourists are here...



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Fear of Change?

Does underdevelopment of a city or country for an extended period of time entitle it's long-term residents to a longer grace period before the long-anticipated gentrification created from the overspill of residents of overcrowded cities and 'passe' areas already seen as 'spoilt'?

Starting thinking globally instead of your own back yard!

Which generation of resident and tourist is more entitled to the fruits of urban space and culture made possible through space and underpopulation? This Berlin attitude of 'Not In My back yard!' is old-fashioned, naive, shortsighted and conservative. Embrace the future, it's all you have!

Arti more than 11 years ago

Admiral behaviour

I live in London. Or should I say, I used to live in London. A victim, one could say of urban gentrification that hit Shoreditch, then Dalston, and now cheap and cheerful Hackney.
Where the artists fear to tread, real-estate will follow, and they have done, in droves. I lived in an area called London Fields; once a haven for crack dealers and post-code gangs. Now the post-code wars are between the estate agents, and even the Guardian named E8 the coolest post-code to live in in London. Now, I say lived; I lived there for a total of 2 weeks, after my landlady upped the rent by 30%: 2 days AFTER I moved in. The excuse? The North East London Line, and the stealth of the Olympics. All the city types want to live there so they can get to work in Canary Wharf in under half an hour (like to see a banker open a local gallery) But the area is now safe and, unfortunately, with safe comes desireable. No one should be afraid to walk home at night just to keep a place 'genuine'. But is this the fault of the artists, (not sure about the bankers, but that's because I hate mine..) or the Government for not bringing safety measures for the locals? The real problem is tenants have no rights.
The point I'm coming to is, I've been to Berlin 3 times now in 7 months, and it now feels like home. During the mess and stress of finding a home in my home town, I've slept in 7 different places, and on 7 different beds. Coming here, I found a way to exist that allowed me to flourish in what I do, by giving me what I didn't have in London: time. And yes, it's because I can afford the rent. And yes, the influx of fellow English speakers is a worry, self-included, but only when they mine the city for their own selfish needs, and not to adore and get to know this place and it's history. Some compare it to New York in the 80's. But that place was like the film 'Escape FROM New York' for a reason: no one wanted to live there. Now it's safer that London.
The Anarchists are always followed by the artists, then the media, then the developers. It happens. What should be put in place is facilities for those on low-income, and measures that deny the crazed property boom that ignited back home in the 90's. Now I'm 200 meters away from Admiralbrucke, and despite the eye-sore, all the local businesses have flourished. The local store has expanded, and the restaurants have customers. And, well, it's alive. Walking past the hangers on on the bridge, I see a mixture: in amongst the tourists, are under-aged drinkers, drunks that want to feel able to participate in something boardering on social, bad-buskers, people selling their belongings and those that simply like the view. If we wanted them to not sit there, then take away the bollards and reintroduce the cars. The tenants are annoyed, and there doorways used as toilets, so put a toilet there. And know, that in time, as with all trends, it will move on – not by force, but by the indignation that they are no-longer sitting 'where it's at'.

Alisonnenallee more than 11 years ago

NeuBerliners can be a part of Berlin's growth

I come from a city that went through such a change and that benefited from the arrival of expats.
Neighbourhoods did change, real estate investors did come in, but so did opportunities for co-op housing, for revitalizing the art scene, and improving the general level of the quality of life. Today Montreal is thriving and according to Lonely Planet, one of the ten most happiest places in the world. This is quite a feat considering that the temperature is below 20 degrees celsius about half of the year.

I must say the arrival of Posttourists helped create one of the best indie music scenes in North America - Music before the influx of expats (that's how we call posttoutrist in Montreal) sucked (remember Corey Hart?)

From my experience, I believe the influx of non-Berliners can be good... the situation right now can be a great opportunity for everyone, as long as the right policies are in place to prevent scarcity of housing, scarcity of services , a deterioration of a quality of life, lost of identity. It is also important not to forget what the real priorities are - environment - people's well-being - culture.


Johnny Be Good more than 11 years ago

The hype is over ?

Yes, the damage ist done. I'm just wondering how long this crazy Berlin-Hype will last, I mean Berlin is basically uglier than other german for ex. Hamburg, and its only charme was indeed the whole alternative stuff and the cheap rents. Many people I know are already considering to leave.

Arnold more than 11 years ago


Exberliners Contribution to this: "Need a flat in Berlin? -Exberliner flatrentals" .... lol

hobbie more than 11 years ago

mea culpa, I suppose

But I've got a good excuse - London (where I live) is so expensive and difficult for my disabled husband to get around with any enjoyment at all.

We booked a place for a couple of weeks in Moabit a couple of years ago, didn't do a lot of the stereotpical tourist trail stuff - it was luxury for us to just be able to get out and about with a lot less planning and a lot more comfort than in London - even shopping in Rewe was a treat!

I understand the concern about gentrification, it's a problem where I live, but all we wanted was a disabled accessible flat near stepfree public transport with enough of an accessible network, and we can't get that in the UK.

more than 11 years ago

The dammage is done

Interesting analysis. I fear the city is drowning in its own succes.. The way it's appealing to international investors by turning rental houses in to real estate is changing the face of the city in a negative way. I understand that this strategy might be a way to attract rich tax payers to the city, but the unique qualities of the city is the price that is payed. Much international attention has been given to Berlin because of the flourishing art scene - particularly the street art. A lot of this street art is now gone due to the heavy gentrification and is making Berlin loose one of its most defining qualities. Many areas are loosing their special character, and could be a neighbourhood in any other european city. Bergmann Strasse and most of Prenzlberg and F'hain are very sad examples. Of course they still have attractive qualities, but the unreversible dammage is already done. Just my opinion. Thanks for an interesting article.

Streetart more than 11 years ago

well written analysis

@kreuzkoeln: So you are also a kiezkiller? How small is your world? Are you one of the usual Berlin-types full of preconceptions and set up with a solid know-it-all mindedness?

docy more than 11 years ago

kiez killers?!

aren't all readers of your magazine gentrifiers/kiez killers??

kreuzkoeln more than 11 years ago

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