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Friday, 10 September

Unsustainable: Green Gentrification and the ‘Story’ of the New York Waterfront
Thomas Heise (Pennsylvania State University)

The importance of sustainable building for achieving municipal climate protection goals
Thomas Rühle (Öko-Zentrum NRW, Hamm)

A Re-Constructed Block in Michigan – From Waste to Wealth
Armita Chitsaz & Roozbeh Kholdani (Politecnico di Torino)

'Essen '51' – Transforming the Post-Industrial City into a Trendy Lifestyle Project
Katharina Wood (TU Dortmund University)

Co-creating a Green Museum of the Future 2D - 10D at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Leslie Tom (Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History)

Panel 2  Green Building Standards, Sustainable Cities?

3 p.m. (CET) | 9 a.m. (EDT) | 6 a.m. (PDT)

The public debate on sustainability and the existential threats of the climate crisis have also caused a rethinking concerning how postindustrial cities should be built. Especially the past two decades have seen a surge in new models and guidelines for greener and more sustainable development and building standards. However, this political and public discourse frequently clashes with former industrial cities’ long-time neglect of environmental issues lobbied by the heavy industries. A sustainable take on urban construction and planning must not only consider the economic dimensions of green-housing projects and development as well as reclamation efforts, but also the social make-up of the communities that they affect. The former is critically important because climate change also results in a social crisis that exacerbates racial, ethnic, and class divisions and inequities. This panel addresses urban visions of sustainability, their challenges and possibilities for future cities with a focus on sustainable-building projects. What is the relevance of green developments in the fight against climate change? How is sustainability represented in literary media and other discourses and what does this tell us about current sustainability efforts?

Panel 2

Panel 3  Rust Belt Harbor Cities and the Scripture of Expansion

5 p.m. (CET) | 11 a.m. (EDT) | 8 a.m. (PDT)

The historiography of German and American Rust Belt cities preponderantly focuses on the processes of (de-)industrialization as the causalities of their (de-)urbanization. Infrastructural networks and the cities’ connections to waterways and supply routes deserve more attention. Guided by a scripture of expansion – an indisputable, authoritative narrative –, commerce and trade incubated these cities’ consolidations of geo-political and economic power in the 18th and 19th centuries. As inland harbor cities they became nuclei for commercial and nation-state empires, for formal and informal control. Why should the historiography of industrial cities essentially also tell a story of unrelenting expansionism at the costs of nature and native peoples? How do geo-political, trading, industrial, and urban expansionisms interlink throughout the past three centuries and set a historic base logic of urban development that has entailed and steadied a host of inequalities in favor of economic and industrial power? What otherwise suppressed instances of resistance, loss, and failure need pointing out to formulate a richer historiography of cities that usually find their historic characterization through a truncated narrative of industrial rise, decline, and postindustrial reinvention?

(Re-)Developing the Waterfront: Old (Hi-)Stories and New Façades

Michael Wala (Ruhr-University Bochum)

Blazing Paddles and Share the River

Jim Ridge (Share The River, Cleveland)

Zone the Flow. How the Grids of Empire Take Their Way

Johannes Maria Krickl (Ruhr-University Bochum)

Experimental Practices of Siphoning and Sabotage: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and

U.S. Electricity Theft

Sage Gerson (UC Santa Barbara)

Intermodality, Rust, and the Port Narrative

Jon Hegglund (Washington State University)

Panel 3


​​Shades of Green: Urban Farmers, Tall Grass, and Bucolic Blight in Detroit

Sharon Cornelissen (Harvard University)

Does Gardening Build Communities?

Elisabeth Haefs (University of Duisburg-Essen/University of Oregon)

How We Build Community in Sewallcrest Community Garden

Allen Field (Volunteer Garden Manager/Friends of Portland Community Gardens (Board Member))

Cultural Path Dependencies and Problems in the Transatlantic 'Transplant' of

Community Gardens

Jens Gurr (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Adamah Farm: Growing Food and Youth

Evan Neubacher (Central Detroit Christian)

Panel 4  Community Gardens: Sowing Urban Futures

7 p.m. (CET) | 1 p.m. (EDT) | 10 a.m. (PDT)

Urban gardening as practiced today oscillates between forms of Romantic escapism, civic engagement, and self-sufficient, healthy neighborhoods. Yet, it can also facilitate excluding mechanisms, raise questions of ownership, and shed a light on the contamination of urban soil. This panel invites a diverse range of perspectives on the garden in the post-industrial city – from metaphorical negotiations of garden utopias to hands-in-the-soil sustenance.

Panel 4
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