Hans-Hermann Albers

Hans Hermann Albers (2010), "Corporate Urban Responsibility", Corporate Social Responsibility as Element of Urban Developmen, Institute of Urbanism; 1st reviewer: Jean Marie Corneille Meuwissen, 2nd reviewer: Philipp Oswalt; 430 pages, German.

The doctoral thesis "Corporate Urban Responsibility" examines current projects of architecture and urban planning related to the concept of "Corporate Social Responsibility". "Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has a long-standing tradition in the United States, where companies incorporate social projects in their policies while shaping processes in urban planning and design. As a cause of progressive social and economic restructuring, privatization, and the limited financial possibilities of the State, (cooperative) models are increasingly implemented in Central Europe, embedding companies as socially committed actors for urban development projects. The applied CSR instruments (public-private partnerships, corporate volunteering, sponsorship, foundations, donations and Cause Related Marketing) and their impact are defined in this thesis Particular focus falls on the growing role of interrelated corporate communication. CSR activities are analyzed and described as urban design elements in the following three case studies: 1. The Wolfsburg AG" , a Public-Private Partnership (Volkswagen AG / Wolfsburg) 2. The foundation "Lebendige Stadt" (ECE GmbH & Co. KG, Hamburg) 3. The foundation "Elbe Philharmonic Hall, Hamburg The case studys aim is on one hand, to demonstrate possibilities and function of urban models with CSR instruments. On the other hand the influence on design and the use of urban spaces is critically examined, as well as political processes. The primary focus lies on aspects of project-rhetoric and the respective communication strategies. What kind of communication is connected to funded projects and how does this affect architecture and urbanism? The historical development of companies utilising corporate social responsibility will be demonstrated in urban development. Taking the example of public space, influences and forms of production that incorporate CSR activities are pointed out. New forms of company influence and involvement in the urban context are examined using the terminology of ("staged") participation. The thesis closes with a perspective point of view and an approach for the planners position.

To top