What do Harvard's common rooms look like

Exchange on questions of housing and care

Harvard University and the German Marshall Fund Foundation visited projects

It was a high and unusual visit. A research group from the German Marshall Fund and the Institute for Housing and Urban Development at Harvard University visited locations in Berlin and Hanover in order to get a first-hand impression of the concepts and approaches of community and age-appropriate living.

The first station led the delegation - Dr. Chris Herbert and Dr Jennifer Molinsky (Harvard) as well as Dr Anne Marie Brady (Marshall Fund) - to the Berlin institute STATTBAU. Using the example of the metropolis of Berlin, the experts discussed how innovative living and urban development in a growing urban region can be combined and recognized as an opportunity for needs-based living and living environments. A visit to the wooden housing project "Walden 48" gave an insight into the practice.

This also applies to the second day of the visit, which took place in the model residential building at Sredzkistraße 44 in Berlin, which is subsidized by the federal government. Members of the tenant cooperative SelbstBau as sponsors and builders, but also the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Construction and the KfW development bank explained the goals pursued with the project and other initiatives of creating accessible and affordable housing that is integrated into the residential environment. An inspection of the model apartment showed the possibilities of low-threshold and user-friendly furnishings for a self-determined life in old age. The fact that the cooperative approach creates essential prerequisites for participation and identification of people with "their" living environment was also shown by a visit to another cooperative project, the Werkpalast community residence in Berlin Lichtenberg.

A visit to the Federal Association of the Forum for Communal Living in Hanover suggested the link to projects currently being funded. There, the delegation obtained information from the director of the program "Living together, living independently" about current challenges and practical implementations, including the connection between the topics of care and supply with modern forms of living. A visit to the "Concerted Care Action" work area of ​​the Federal Ministry of Health and the research center for long-term care insurance of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds deepened the subject - and enabled the delegation to provide further answers from the respective perspective.

In a professional exchange with the head of the Department of Demographic Change, Elderly People, Welfare Care in the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Professor Dr. von Schwanenflügel, the guests took stock. It is about providing practical answers to demographic developments that incorporate the potential and commitment of people and do not exclude anyone. Both sides would like to stay in contact with each other about how this can be further designed and how it can look specifically.