PlanBude. Urban Planning Project. Founded 2014

PlanBude – crack the St.-Pauli-Code

Towards an urbanism of, by and for the many:

Since October 2014 PlanBude (planning shack) collects ideas, analysis, desires and opinions for a central new building complex in St. Pauli, the ESSO-Häuser-Area (named after a popular petrol station with 24/7 shop) at Spielbudenplatz. In two containers, placed right at the construction site, PlanBude offers a wide range of planning-tools, to allow all neighbours to get involved with the planning process.

PlanBude is a team of artists (Margit Czenki, Christoph Schäfer), planners (Renée Tribble, Volker Katthagen, Lisa Marie Zander), social workers (Christina Röthig), cultural scientists and musicians (Patricia Wedler).

The PlanBude is commissioned by the local administration, the district Hamburg-Central. But it is also a product of the rich landscape of protest and self-organized grass-roots movements of St. Pauli.

The tennants were struggling for years, to save their „ESSO-Houses“ from demolition. After a forced eviction in December 2013, the protest’s focus switched towards securing the return of tennants to a new building. The emphasis of the struggle was on real participation in the planning process.


PlanBude’s aim is the organisation of a credible process. Thus, the team developed a new concept and innovative planning methods: plasticine models in scale 1:500, a LEGO-model scaled 1:150, fotoresearch, soundwalks, doorstep interviews, in-depth-workshops, seminars with the local school, inspirational readings, events and questionaires for all households in the community. Nearly all team-members live in St. Pauli, with expertise in the fields of art, planning, social work, pop-music and cultural theory.

More than 2400 contributions were collected in PlanBude’s “Archive of desires”. An intense process of evaluation, description and interpretation of the products from the neighbourhood followed. The results from the process were presented to the community in spring 2015, then negotiated between the local administration and the the real estate owner, the Bayerische Hausbau, and PlanBude – resulting in a 250 page briefing for an urban design contest. Which was won by a conceptually sharp, clever program designed by NL-Architects (Amsterdam) and BeL Sozietät für Architektur (Cologne).

For more information please turn to the project webpage: