trip to Berlin
In first days of April, a part of the team MovEast came in Berlin for personal knowledge with mentors and learning trip in the similar urban cases.
project diary
Berlin is a multicultural city that never sleeps. Neat tidy architecture and a clear life schedule (work-home-vacation are timetabled) allows limitation-free people set their chaotic protest area, such as urban garden campuses, gardens in former airports that are fundamentally different from clear rhythm of the city that had been running for decades. Urbanists and architects with experience try to face the needs of the community. For instance, there is a seemingly childish desire to walk kilometers just to sit on golden nuts, not comfortable benches. The community wants harmless fun on a neatly designed patch of ground. Previously, these protests expressed only through personnel changes: hair color, tattoos; now indicators of sustainable mini protests face the outside: graffiti and bulky objects.

Berlin is very convenient and aimed at healthy nation because of the city transport planning. The city is permeated with bike paths and bike parking and bike rental spots. Berlin is a very green city. Concise parks and squares, simple (in terms of construction and maintenance) separate lanes on roads, well maintained patios filled their unique attributes. In this context, there is significant concern about the environment and their personal tomorrow: sorting household waste, construction of homes for insects, cultivation of local crops (not introduced exotic species, it is difficult to make them take root and they require special care). Berlin is a city that is open to people: in the streets, you can often hear English language, visually noticeably blurring the barriers of national identity. Urban practices that we learned are aimed at increasing the role of man in society, to become acquainted with personal rights. They are also aimed at integration in the steel structure with the possibilities of its further development.

By Kateryna Paliura, team member, Landscape Designer, NGO Garden City
Our trip to Berlin was extremely enriching and helpful on many levels. Thanks to our hosts we were able to discover totally different projects from small urban-gardening initiatives ran by group of enthusiasts to multidiscipline projects combining architectural interventions and contemporary art installations. Geography of our trip was very diverse even though we never leaved Berlin city. We've visited the revitalized airport, Architectural University, building side on the place of one of the biggest night-club and even cemetery.

Considering a huge cultural, economical and historical difference between Germany and Ukraine, none of discovered projects can't be implemented as it is. But it is totally fine, because our trip was not about copying someone, but about searching for inspiration, ideas, practices and experience. And no doubt we had a lot of everything above.

My personal thoughts on how to implement experience from the trip can be divided on two groups.

First group – practical cases and activities that can be used in Ukraine: it's, among others, installations of Plastic Fantastic – contemporary artist who uses huge plastic balloons for creating the atmosphere of unity in local communities, or regular mini-vegetable-market organized by neighborhood activists.

Second group of reflections is about finding balance between ART and USE. It's about combining art installations that will intrigue, impress and inspire, with practical projects that will develop local communities on regular bases, something that will unite people not only for special events but everyday. Finding this balance s crucial for any project and this is one of the most valuable conclusions I made during this week.

By Denys Chernyavskyi, team member, Brand Manager, NGO Garden City