CITYMAKERS-Fellow Dr. Annette Erpenstein interviewed four citymakers with ties to Germany’s Ruhr region to explore how corona changed our cities and what we can learn from this experience.
A child of a binational marriage, Noémie Koenig is fascinated by language and philosophy. If “the limits of [her] language mean the limits of [her] world”, she wants to learn them all, preferably yesterday. While her family becomes more and more diverse, she has embarked on the journey of learning (Mandarin-) Chinese. A tedious task she sometimes grapples with. But when grace touches her and she manages to decipher the Chinese menu without translation, it’s suddenly all worth it.
Noémie developed her interest in city making throughout her bachelor’s in social science, during which she worked in several city planning projects.
A fervent believer in a happy Sisyphus, she knows that work might not always be immediately gratifying, but unrelentless trying is her path to a happiness. And oh how enchanted she is, seeing all these people all over the world uniting force to improve the cities we live in!
What does city making mean to you?
Noémie Koenig: “Cities are the ground where the physical world encounters everchanging social conditions, not always on equal footing. With the rise of new technologies and new global challenges, the field opens up to a more bottom-up approach. In this new era, a decentralised global network like CITYMAKERS enables intercultural learning and building processes. This includes understanding the differences and similarities between China and Europe!”
What do you value in being part of the CITYMAKERS network?
“Being part of the city makers network, I particularly appreciate the exchange across disciplines, as much as the dialogue about the different and sometimes very similar challenges CITYMAKERS face all over the world.”