Chapter three of the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan, highlights how the pandemic presents a chance to reconfigure our cities at night for the better.
“It is time for the world to pick up the examples in this chapter and to adapt them; to create their own solutions that can be shared amongst the growing number of cities worldwide that realise that the night is not to be feared. Nightlife is in fact a shared competitive edge, a point of difference as well as a point of coherence, something woven into the very DNA of who we are.”-Alistair Turnham (MAKE Associates),
GNRP Chapter 3 Lead
With second-wave curfews and lockdowns proliferating across the globe, cities must urgently explore innovative ways to reopen safely in the context of COVID-19.
As the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan (GNRP) explains, a key part of the solution can be found after dark.
Those in the emerging field of night-centric planning, design and policy are uniquely positioned to offer alternatives to unsustainable curfews and lockdowns, or present a route out of them when appropriate.
When space for social distance is in such high demand, urban strategies which address the temporal opportunities of the night hours can decongest valuable space and offer economic and social opportunity.
GNRP Chapter 3: Innovating for Safe and Welcoming 24-Hour Cities explores case studies, challenges and possible solutions for welcoming citizens back to their cities at night, presented in three key sections:
i) The activation of our streets and urban spaces in the nocturnal hours
ii) Foregrounding the undervalued but critical role of illumination
iii) Developing more inclusive approaches to movement around our cities after dark
Ideas addressed within these sections include means of increasing access and mobility for night workers, communication campaigns and diverse offerings to entice citizens back to city centres, flexing regulations to unlock the night hours and enable business pivots, using light to create identity or encourage physical distancing – and plenty more.
What happens next?
Whether your city is in lockdown or edging towards recovery, now is the time for urban innovation and improvement.
The GNRP is a launch point: industry stakeholders, urban planners, academics and nightlife participants alike are encouraged to engage in this solutions-oriented global discussion, then take action within their own communities.
We invite you to…
1. Circulate the GNRP within your professional network.
3. Determine opportunities and challenges in your city through 1:1 consultancy sessions
4. Develop a 24-hour action plan unique to your city
Who is behind the GNRP Chapter Three?
The GNRP project is a global collaboration of nightlife experts and advocates, led by nightlife advocacy agency VibeLab and hosted on VibeLab’s nightlife news and features platform, Nighttime.org. It aims to provide all members of the night-time ecosystem the tools and inspiration to aid their industry and city in planning and executing a responsible re-opening.
GNRP editing and coordinating team: Michael Fichman (PennPraxis/University of Pennsylvania) , Richard Foster (Worm, Rotterdam) Lutz Leichsenring (VibeLab), Mirik Milan (VibeLab), Diana Raiselis (Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation), Andreina Seijas (Harvard University) and Jia Yuan (PennPraxis/University of Pennsylvania).
“Recognise and strengthen club culture as part of Berlin”
The Berlin Senate of the German capital, has stated that Berlin clubs should be better protected against oppression. In doing so the Senate has declared that clubs should be recognised as cultural sites. This is evident by a government application from the SPD, Left and Greens.
Club culture is a cultural asset which played a major role in shaping social, cultural and economic life in Berlin. Berlin clubs generate billions of dollars in annual revenue for the city, building connections to places and drawing global tourism. Club culture also enriches the cultural landscape of Berlin far beyond the pure “entertainment culture”. They create identity, are open spaces or even shelters for marginalised groups and intervene in urban politics. They make Berlin a city worth living in, with many people from different social and cultural backgrounds with values that stand for diversity and tolerance.
On June 12th, the government factions submitted an application to honour them, but also to protect them. Clubs worthy of protection are those which “have regular game play and a recognised artistic profile, which is characterised by a curated program, music aesthetic standards and a spatial concept,” it says.
According to the application, new building projects in the country should take clubs into account and builders themselves should provide noise protection in case of doubt.
“In addition to the current corona restrictions, these clubs are increasingly threatened in their existence due to competition in use,” states the application paper.
In particular, the rising commercial rents and crowding out by approaching residential buildings are a problem. The parliamentary groups also spoke out in favour of strengthening the country’s noise protection fund and also highlight the international appeal of the program.
The club scene association and the “parliamentary forum for club culture and nightlife”, an association of members of the five parliamentary groups Bündnis 90 / DIE GRÜNEN, SPD, DIE LINKE, FDP and CDU, have been promoting clubs in terms of building law for cultural purposes for a long time to be classified as places of amusement.
Clubcommission Berlin welcomes the decision:
“We are very happy about the confirmation of club culture that made the city of Berlin so significant and colourful. We curate our programs as well as opera houses or theatres and are therefore also cultural companies. Densification, advancing housing developments and real estate speculation are a sword of Damocles that we club operators can usually not avert on their own. With its clearly defined mandate to consider clubs as cultural facilities in urban planning in the future and to apply the agent-of-change principle, the Senate is sending a clear signal in the fight against the displacement of our venues. We are particularly pleased about the planned Federal Council initiative, in which Berlin will campaign for a reform of the Building Usage Ordinance and for the recognition of clubs at the federal level. “
Nyshka Chandran writes for Resident Advisor on how it’s time to get yourself acquainted with resident DJ’s.
The pandemic has devastated nightlife across the globe but as the sector recovers in parts of East Asia, a healthier ecosystem is poised to emerge.Across East Asia’s dance music communities, it’s no secret that overseas artists draw a bigger crowd than regular club nights. Organizers strive to balance the ratio of international and local artists at events, but the average clubber is more likely to buy a ticket if a popular European or American name is playing. COVID-19 could change this dynamic.
Chal Ravens writes for The Guardian about the virtues of Bandcamp.
After speaking to Founder Ethan Diamond, the ” CEO of Bandcamp about what it means to put artists before listeners, and how Bandcamp became the rarest of Silicon Valley stories; a slow burn success.
“They waive their fees, raise cash for Juneteenth and champion everything from vapourware to eco-grime.
‘Artists have to come first’ … Ethan Diamond, founder of Bandcamp.
“A lot of independent labels waived their fees as well. Some gave to food banks and other organisations. Those labels aren’t big corporations … that was amazing to see”
In some countries, clubs are cautiously reopening. In others, people are hitting up illegal raves. Gabriel Szatan explores what the dance music landscape will look like in the immediate aftermath of coronavirus.
“Everywhere you look, clubland is thawing and green shoots of recovery are sprouting.”
“The signals we get from the experts are that the club culture is not possible until there is a vaccine,” said Lutz Leichsenring.
While some parts of the country’s economy are starting to emerge from the lockdown, Berlin’s vibrant club scene is facing perhaps the biggest challenge in its history, with no clear answers on when it might resume.
“The signals we get from the experts are that the club culture is not possible until there is a vaccine,” Lutz Leichsenring, spokesman for a commission representing 300 clubs in Berlin, said.
He said the situation is “devastating” for the industry, which was already struggling with gentrification and rising real estate prices.
Many of the 9,000 people employed in the city’s clubs have been left without work. And for the owners, costs are still accumulating even as the revenue has completely dried up.
The state government has scrapped a long-standing freeze on new liquor licences for pubs, clubs and bottle shops in Sydney’s CBD and Kings Cross, in a push to reinvigorate the city’s night-time economy once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
The changes, which take effect on December 1, mean venues will be able to apply to open without having to purchase a liquor licence from an existing venue, which had created a competitive and expensive market for licences.
In Kings Cross and some parts of the CBD, the freeze had been in place for 11 years. As part of the 2014 lockout laws it was extended across the whole CBD.