The city is an organism. Here, the networks people create are natural constructions, and what we see from generation to generation testifies to the city’s continual reinvention of itself. The practices included in the manual present a construction of the world from below, in contrast to practices that put profit above the common good.
Throughout our research, we were reminded that non-transparency and obstacles to change create big challenges for Berliners. One example is the frequent overflow of the sewage system, which kills fish – a problem the government does not want to discuss as it is too expensive to fix. But when residents are not made aware of a problem, they cannot become engaged in its solution. This is a direct obstacle to personal participation – which means taking ethical and political responsibility.
The big picture of water and soil tells us that if they are not managed properly, water and soil can become non-renewable resources. The good news is that the water in Berlin is of good quality and studies show that, in general, water is not a big problem here. The bad news is that soil is a big problem. The value of land in the real estate market should be regarded as the value of the soil. It is important to recognize that the protection and preservation of the soil is an investment in the food security of a resilient city. Prinzessinnengärten brings this message to the public.