The project “Low Budget Urbanity. On the Transformation of the Urban In Times of Austerity” is an initiative to study current and historical situations of austerity from the point of view of everyday money-saving practices. LBU wants to draw attention to how everyday practices of saving enact new forms of urbanity through the interplay with or under the impression of austerity policies that we can observe all over Europe, and perhaps especially the US.
The idea to this initiative was born almost two years ago during a number of meetings between colleagues at HCU who shared the awareness of urban transformation with respect to austerity in urban governance, and who had an interest in studying these transformations from the perspective of everyday practices.
To put urbanity and urban space at the center of our initiative was somehow natural. The HafenCity University draws together a number of colleagues from architecture, engineering, planning, geography, history and cultural anthropology who’s research interests focus on these topics.
For a critical understanding of the qualities and characteristics of cities in situations of financial and economic crisis we think that it is necessary to analyze how everyday practices are transformed – and how they transform or realize urbanity: We ask the simple question: which are the ways we live together, or relate to each other in the city under the premises of austerity and within already established low-budget practices?