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Title:A Piece of Neighborhood Soul in Kreuzberg, Berlin
Author(s):Kursman, Jessica
Subject(s):Urban and Regional Planning
Abstract:This picture was taken within a plaza at the helm of Kreuzberg, Berlin, which is one of the most multicultural neighborhoods in Europe. This statue stands at the epicenter of a major community meeting place where many cultures, thoughts, ideas, and goods are exchanged. I conducted my masters research within Kreuzberg on community identity -- specifically on how current and past residents within Kreuzberg have reacted to seismic social, cultural, and economic changes and how they have related to their neighbors in the process. My research highlights the crucial importance for neighborhoods- especially those struggling with acculturation issues between different cultures- to have opportunities for residents to interact and exchange with one another in shared, safe, and pluralistic public spaces. A space that encourages individuals to relax, play, and begin to see their neighbor as a member of a shared community is an essential element of strong neighborhoods. I believe this statue celebrates the very essence of playfulness, peace, and the mutual connection of the human spirit. It is only fitting that it is situated within a plaza that functions to physically, socially, and spiritually unite a neighborhood whose character and diversity is as deep as a global village.
Issue Date:2014-05
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Jessica Kursman
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-14

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