Unortkataster Köln

Unortkataster Köln was an online community mapping project to initiate, structure and distribute a public discourse on improvements of public space in Cologne. The projects was developed in collaboration with focus group with members of the initiative »Leitbild Köln 2020«. The volunteer group requested an online map for collecting citizens´ complaints and improvement suggestions to improve the quality of public space. Following this request, an online community mapping platform was designed and implemented. The designed web-tool allowed to mark and specify »Unorte« on a map and to discuss and illustrate the entries. Features included polls, evaluation tools, content tracking- and community building tools.

To promote the platform, a public city-office was opened offering workdesks to contribute to the map´s content – on and offline. In addition, several public interventions were organized to promote the platform: e.g. a »mobile marker«, to present marked spaces in public space, bicycle-messengers created life video reports from the marked spots; a city guide offered a tour about »Unorte«; a sound artist created and published recordings from acousticly poluted sights on the map. A complaints-choir peformed at the places.

For initial content creation, different professionals were involved in an early stage, providing text, video, and audio content, and thereby also widening the scope of how the term could become interpreted.

The activities resulted in about 300 marked spots after three month of public beta-testing and intensive media feedback (30 press reports, TV and radio reports). Various stakeholder groups (city administration, volunteer groups, citizens, experts) were involved in this testing phase.

Unortkataster was financed by EU-Project »Citizen Media – Social Change« (EU-FP6).

Concept, Design and Team-Coordination: Stefan Göllner (Artistic Researcher at Lab III, Labor für experimentelle Informatik, 2008-2009)