Transformation of the local state, valorization of public real estate and urban (re-)development in Germany under conditions of urban austerity

Authors: Felix Silomon-Pflug*, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
Topics: Urban Geography, Political Geography, Economic Geography
Keywords: New Public Management, Urban Development, Real Estate, Valorization
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: St. Charles, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 41st Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In my paper, I discuss the nexus of urban austerity and local state transformation regarding bio-political strategies of urban (re-)development using public real estate. Referring to my German case studies Frankfurt am Main and Berlin I show how the de- and reregulation of the politico-administrative apparatus of the local state since the 1990s laid the foundation for – among other things – valorizing publicly owned real estate. New interfaces between state and economy, techno-logical innovation, and calculative knowledge production transformed public goods into an asset accessible for private investors. I argue that the sellout of public real estate is not a mere privatiza-tion process resulting from urban austerity, which led to a high dependency of local politics on pri-vate real estate markets. Furthermore, I show how the valorization of public real estate corre-sponds with bio-political strategies of entrepreneurial urban (re-)development since the 1990s. For both of my case studies, I want to show how – in different ways – new forms of local state regula-tion have to be seen as crucial elements for the integration of cities in international capital markets and pursuing appreciation-oriented urban development strategies in a reciprocally constituting process.

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