Common Waste - Common Resource
Prof. Jörg Stollmann
TUSCA7 is a project-based open partnership with interests in ecology, infrastructure, spatial empathy, and visual and acoustic expressions. Formed at TU Berlin, TUSCA7 fosters multi-disciplinary collaboration between students in academia, practitioners and activists. In our latest project, as part of the studio »SC14: Entangled Communities Ostbahnhof«, CUD (Prof. Jörg Stollmann), we forged a viable pathway from academic speculation to local implementation within the municipal framework.
Berlin has a waste problem. In 2019, Germany included short-lived climate pollutants in its Climate Change Act commitments to reducing greenhouse gasses by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. Nevertheless, since Berlin's Energy Transition Act of 2021, energy from waste incineration and anaerobic digestion is officially considered climate neutral, despite well-documented harmful emissions. Likewise, the construction waste system undergoes massive speculation and leads primarily to landfill deposition.
In a world where overconsumption, extractivism and inconsistency in policy and design still aggravate climate change, we aim to reconfigure current waste pathways. We adopt three approaches:
- Returning organic matter to its natural trajectory.
- Mining the cityscape for construction materials.
- Optimizing and commoning spaces and surfaces for all species.
The project initiates an ongoing process of urban metabolism maintenance through participation and the building of community-friendly ownership models in four adjacent courtyards in a post-socialist residential neighborhood North of Berlin Ostbahnhof. Here we can probe the potential for city-wide application of the project, as this housing typology is prevalent throughout Berlin.
From confined courtyards with linear waste systems, we aim for empathic communities and ecosystems: A Composting System, Community Gardens and a Green Corridor abound with Natural Playscapes interlacing habitats – human and non-human – between courtyards. A public square, a community center, and weekly affordable food markets all further enhance local socio-economic ecology.
We advocate for coordinated, simultaneous changes in culture, design approaches and policy making. We address this project to designers, architects, academia, politicians, and decision-makers. By recognizing the value of what we before so thoughtlessly have discarded, together, we can come much closer to the blueprint ideal of complete local circularity.