The Berlin founders of the Eden cooperative housing estate reacted to the ecological and social challenges of industrialization with a counter model: living close to nature near the city, enabled through cooperative land ownership. The housing estate became a role model for the German garden city movement and a paradigm for an early alternative culture, until National Socialism, the GDR and the trust-led post-reunification period increasingly restricted its freedom.
The basic principles of the cooperative—life reform, land reform, economic reform—are as relevant as ever. In the publication Re:Eden, leading experts, contemporary artists, partici-pating residents, and young architects dedicate themselves to the 125-year-old housing co-operative and pose new questions: what role can the Eden model still play today as a coop-eratively held property? How could local knowledge feed into dialog about new movements such as urban gardening, eco villages, new cooperatives, residential models, or solidary eco-nomic initiatives? How can participative art affect communities and give spatial expression to their wishes and interests?