The Children’s City

Friday, 22 November 2019, 14:00 @ Meeting Point Campus Gußhaus, Gußhausstraße 25 – 29, 1040 Vienna

From 3rd to 12th July 2019 we invited up to 300 children (aged 7-15 years) every day to populate a city of their own, in a former rail yard in Vienna’s second district (Nordbahn-Halle). The ‘children’s city’ is an urban educational project rooted in an interest in children’s agency, children’s public and their experiences, interpretations and appropriation of urban life and urban fabric. It offers the young urbanites a space for experimentation and growth, an innovative and indeterminate experience. At no charge and without any registration required, the children’s city seeks to be equally accessible to all children of the surrounding neighbourhoods.

We are deeply concerned about the nowadays tendencies of institutionalization of children´s free time and space. Today’s urbanism as a multigenerational discourse is lacking evidence of serious children´s participation. Children’s cities are unique critical spaces that seek to represent the variety and complexity of urban life and offer a myriad of empowering opportunities for children.

During the workshop we would like to…

  • present the process of our last project “Spielstadt Nordbahn-Halle”. Based on the own city archive we provide insight into the multimedia output of the city’s everyday life (newspaper, advertisement, art, radio shows, interviews…).
  • discuss the concept of the Children’s City regarding political, educational and subversive dimensions and how children temporarily free themselves in a selfdetermined and playful way of institutional power (care?) during the project. How is a city taking care of children, their agency and their public?
  • ask for the role of children in cities like Vienna regarding their responsibility in shaping urban futures. In which way are spaces designed for children-inclusive city-making processes?
  • explore the site-specific qualities for children’s cities in Vienna.

Moritz Matschke was born 1985 in Zwiesel (D). From 2009 to 2015 he studied Media Design, Art Education and Experimental Design at the Art University Linz with study trips in Jerusalem (Israel) and Bogota (Colombia). Based in Vienna, he is now working as a free pedagogue and artist.

Leonie Jung-Irrgang was born 1993 in Munich (D). After finishing the Bachelor in Sociology, Politics and Economics in Friedrichshafen (D) with a focus on human rights and spatial sociology, she is now researching spaces enabling education within the Master Program of Cognitive Science at the University of Vienna.