Poligonal Berlin: Audiowalk: The Politics of Public Space

In times of a pandemic crisis, individual freedom of movement and social life is curtailed for the sake of public health. In our cities, restrictive rules and directives from local governments particularly impact on how we (are allowed to) use public space. With every new directive, we need to re-adjust, re-align and re-configure our way in which we navigate – if at all – the city. These times raise new questions concerning the right to the city or more specifically the right to public space.

While drifting through the city, in this associative acoustic city walk our participants are exposed to a range of different voices and approaches that critically reflect on the politics of public space in general and on public space in times of a pandemic crisis in particular. Local urbanists, sociologists, architects, planners and urban actors read out classic texts or talk about their own approach on topics such as diversity, digitalization, gender, the state of exception, homelessness, and surveillance in relation to public space.

This is the radio version of two audiowalks created by POLIGONAL Office for Urban Communication. It was originally created as an audio walk with several stops in Berlin. To people who are currently in Berlin, we warmly recommend following the route of the walk using the Echoes App. 

Audio walk 1: tinyurl.com/y5lyqev6

Audio walk 2: tinyurl.com/y6tubbgy


The audio walk topics and contributors are:


Navigating a Pandemic/ Krystin Arneson (Writer – POLIGONAL) reads Gia Kourlas

The Laws of Peripheral Vision/ Prof. Abdoumaliq Simone (Urbanist – University of Shefield) on workarounds and the right of way on the street

Listening to Pandemic: Markus Bader

Zones of Exceptions/ Dr. Christian Haid (Sociologist – POLIGONAL) on street level bureaucracy

The Death of the Street/ Dr. Afia Afenah (Urban Anthropologist – University College London UCL) reads James Holston

Eyes on the Street/ Dr. Nihad El-Kayed (Social Scientist – HU Berlin) reads Jane Jacobs

Listening to Pandemic: Anna Steigemann

Throwntogetherness: An Ideal?/ Lukas Staudinger (Architect – POLIGONAL) reads Doreen Massey

Listening to Pandemic:Kurt Calleja

Political Spaces, Spaces of Agency/ Dr. Charlotte Malterre-Barthes (ETH Zürich) reflects on architecture influencing political processes

All the Single Ladies/ Dr. Annika Levels (Urban Planner – Urbanizers Berlin) reads Rebecca Traister

Street Fight/ Dr. Annika Levels (Urban Planner – Urbanizers Berlin) reads Jason Henderson

Engineering Socialist Public Space/ Natalia Kvitkova (Urban Researcher – POLIGONAL) on GDR urban environments as instigators for societal change

Listening to Pandemic: Tom Brennecke


With additional soundscapes by:

Grazer Soundscapes (various city sounds)
Klankbeeld (various city sounds)
JorgenJak (Demonstration in Central Copenhagen in favour for bicycle paths, about 1981)
Paisagemsonoraunila (Protest at women’s day, Foz do Iguaçu, Brasil, 2015)



22 October


5:00 pm - 6:20 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: 22 October
  • Time: 9:00 am - 10:20 am