The business unit Living Situations, Diversity & Urban Development offers diverse projects that seem quite disparate at first glance: from practical and individual social work to the networking with established systems and to forward-looking and sustainable urban development. Our offers of support are always meant to include the entirety of the problem, since most issues have multiple layers of causes and effects. This perspective leads to new constellations of projects and technical approaches, which reflects itself in the different types of projects.
Children and youth must cope with the challenges of growing up. Sometimes this adjustment comes with difficulties and requires help. Merely treating the symptoms does not help people to cope sustainably in the long-term. Solutions start from the everyday conditions and subjective experiences and patterns of action and interpretation of those addressed. Their resources get integrated into the processes and are a precondition for strengthening their personal responsibility and participation.
The business unit Living Situations, Diversity & Urban Development offers support services for youth through diverse practical projects. The projects begin where the general social potential for crisis is seen, for example with experiences of criminality and violence, youth unemployment, educational deficits or in the work with immigrants and refugees as well as in coping with individual problems of socialisation and development. Innovative and experimental pedagogical concepts are used to seek solutions that stabilise youths in their social environment and open up new possibilities for action to successfully manage their lives. In addition there are forms and projects for the qualification of networking and structural work, and the (inter-) institutional collaboration is promoted at various points of interface here. The projects support the collaboration between various actors and institutions in order to enable a coordinated approach – for example through the involvement of children and youths or the prevention of criminality.
This rests on the acknowledgement of a common issue that makes collaboration conducive to its resolution. Networking demands the concerted action of relevant actors and participants in order to reach a common goal. This saves resources and leads to a greater impact above and beyond the possibilities of the individual actors.
Living together in a pluralistic society of immigration offers various possibilities and opportunities when it comes the encounter with ideologies of inequality and unequal value. The projects in the Business Unit Living Situations, Diversity & Urban Development offers consulting, networking and training services to government and non-governmental organisations, institutions, projects and initiatives, above all for multipliers.
They support, accompany and moderate participatory processes for concrete approaches and projects. Participation often does not just presuppose that the participants are personally affected and ready to engage, it is often achieved and reinforced, above all among young people, by a knowledge of democratic foundations and procedures. Hence democratic and political education are in this way a foundation for democratic participation:
The guiding question “Who does the city belong to?” makes clear the tension involved in the participation in a city of diversity with the most various user interests and displacement processes. Here as well the inter-departmental cross-sectional approach to participation is particularly significant. Children and youth see and use the city differently than adults, recent immigrants differently than long-time residents.
The business area Living Situations, Diversity & Urban Development takes part in the ongoing discourse on the developmental tendencies of the city, offers impulses to the politics in the district and among other things organises district conferences on promoting the knowledge and participation of the citizens concerning developments in the district and the residential environment. As a service provider this business unit also assumes responsibilities for guiding construction measures and structuring social co-existence. Together with an ARGE partner it supports the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing in implementing its program “Zukunftsinitiative Stadtteil” (Future Initiative District – ZIS).
Konstanze Fritsch (Management)