Urban Dream Management (Master’s Thesis)

Hella Hernberg’s master’s thesis (Aalto University, 2008) was the starting point for the Urban Dream Management practice. The work discusses the role of temporary uses and events in revitalizing abandoned urban spaces, and the role of active public participation and self-initiated projects in urban development. The thesis focuses on case studies and new scenarios on a case site in Berlin but introduces ideas that are also applicable to other cities, including Helsinki.

The thesis consists of research and future scenarios for revitalising the case site through temporary uses and events, using the existing qualities and history of the site as the starting point. Different scenarios illustrate possible future developments.

The case-study site of the thesis project, the “Postblock”, is situated in the central area of Berlin, at the border of Mitte and Kreuzberg districts. The Postblock is an example of the open leftover areas that have long characterized the image of Berlin, following the fall of the Berlin wall. The surrounding area is filled with similar wastelands and other fragmentary traces of history. The past events on Postblock witness an eventful history of residential and mixed uses, administrative and cultural programs, merchandise, media, allotments and independent temporary appropriation of space. On the other hand, later political events led to the construction of the Wall, turning the area into a backyard, a fenced and frozen area which it still seems to be despite its central location.