Driven by a deep fascination for urban spaces and motivation to create sustainable and liveable places to live, Gerrit Manke actively joined the CITYMAKERS network in 2020 with an internship the CONSTELLATIONS Berlin office, supporting the team with preparing the CITYMAKERS 5th anniversary celebrations.
Gerrit is currently in his third Bachelor year studying urban and regional planning at the Technical University of Berlin and is specifically captivated by urban and rural developments in China. The active and inspiring exchange through the CITYMAKERS platform allows him to receive detailed insights into current urban debates in China, Europe and beyond.
Originally from Berlin, Gerrit has lived in Shanghai for two years, working for a Chinese airline as a flight attendant and studied in Taipei and Oxford. Next to his interest in urban and regional development, he continually improves his mandarin, since he believes that a deep understanding of culture, society and language is fundamental in addressing the questions of urban design and planning.
What do you value in being part of the CITYMAKERS China- Europe network?
I value CITYMAKERS as an inspiring and unique platform facilitating and strengthening the Sino- European exchange between all kinds of city makers. I am convinced that this transdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue holds enormous power to initiate social innovations and bottom-up changes, as well as influencing top-down decision making in policy making or urban planning.
How do you define city making? What does city making mean to you?
To my mind city making is the process of personally getting involved in shaping our communities in a positive way through innovative ideas. As an future-urbanist I personally see my role in city making in moderating, mediating and facilitating positive change.