Cities, change and opportunity

An evaluative approach to urban evolution episodes in Chicago and Berlin

Bachelor Final Thesis – TFG

ETSAB, 02/2019
Tutor: Prof. Félix Arranz

The world changes in an ever-increasing pace, given that technological advances have made evolution simply instantaneous. These fast social and economic changes are giving shape to our cities, where more often than not the only response from citizens and policymakers is simply the opposition to change.

However, change ultimately happens, and it seems that trying to rein in and manage change is more effective than opposing to it, so as to make the most of changes in cities and adapt shifts so that they have the best impact possible.

In order to make such point, the research will analyze previous change processes, so as to respond to the following question: How is change an opportunity for cities?

To do so, the research will make use of theoretical background in change management to classify processes, and will base its research in two testbeds, Berlin and Chicago, given that both cities have been shaped by unplanned shifts and have comparable characteristics. Using episodes of shifts in both cities, the research will clarify different types of change and its impacts, with regard to the spur of change, the components of the built environment that vary, the active and passive subjects in the process and the shifts in the distribution of power.

The final goal is to try to clarify where these changing episodes have been more efficient or effective in improving the city, and which have had a better impact on citizens, in order to better choose attitudes towards change in upcoming processes. Also, there will be an effort to devise which are the changes coming up next in our cities.