Those of us who, as a matter of legal form, live in a socially minded welfare state—where the fundamental idea is to provide assistance to all people when needed—can consider ourselves fortunate. If we do not find our way in this system or are excluded from it, there are social service structures intended to help us. You are seen as needy—in social terms, a very passive position.
Urban Practice creates places of identification for active engagement: a physical place that must be designed collectively and where a form of communication must also be found collectively. This builds social connections and transforms people into decision makers. Despite their “need for help,” they become responsible shapers of their city. Social work as Urban Practice inherently means being able to serve as an advocate between, for example, administrative agencies and individuals, but above all to be an advocate for a society that consults and shapes itself from within.
Vera Fritsche is project manager of PILOT STADTWERK mrzn, as well as program coordinator and pedagogical director of S27–Kunst und Bildung. She has been working within the context of participatory project processes in public space for the past 10 years.