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The District of Berlin-Mitte In the heart of a reunited Berlin   Jeffrey Butler District Office of Berlin-Mitte
Berlin is the national capital of Germany and its largest city, with 3,387,562 inhabitants as of December 2010. With the German reunification in 1990, Berlin became one of the three city states among the 16 German federal states.  Despite the expectations of an boom following the unification, Berlin has faced rather a number of problems in regard to the unification – especially in financial respects with over 60 billion € in accumulated debt. Due to the very different socialization, educational and political experiences of the residents of the eastern and western parts of the city we can still, to an extent, make out two different urban cultures.  The city and state of Berlin
Berlin is divided into 12 districts (Bezirke), which were formed from the earlier 23 districts on January 1, 2001. Mitte is one of the two new districts that were formed from former East and West Berlin districts. The districts in Berlin have many of the same political rights and functions that the cities (communities) have in the other federal states, but some decisive competences are reserved for the Berlin Senate, though, especially in regard to the overall allocation of finances, the planning of construction projects that have a relevance for Berlin as a whole and the administration of the public school system.  City administration
The districts are governed by a body of six councilors who are nominated by the major political parties according to the number of seats that they receive in the district parliament. Each councilor has the authority for his own department – and is not responsible to the mayor, who merely represents the district in a number of political bodies.  As I work in a public health staff that is responsible to the commissioner of health, I work directly for the current mayor of Mitte, Dr. Hanke, who is also in charge of the health department.  District governance
Location of Mitte in Berlin Mitte is located in the center of the map of Berlin. The former districts Tiergarten and Wedding were in the western part of the city and Mitte in the East.
With around 327,000 inhabitants, the Berlin district of Mitte is larger than most medium-sized German cities. The district of Mitte is socially disadvantaged when compared to most other districts in Berlin  – this pertains especially to the former districts Tiergarten and Wedding. A large share of the population has an immigrant background (28% are not German citizens and a further 17% are Germans with an immigration experience in the family). Many migrants are also socially disadvantaged. There are great differences within the district  (both poor and better-off areas, East/West experiences).  The district of Mitte
.  The population structure in Mitte In comparison to Germany and Berlin as a whole, Mitte has a relatively young population – the largest age groups are between 20 and 40. Large shares of the population in the middle age groups have a migration background.
. Foreign residents in the Berlin districts Mitte is the Berlin district with the largest percentage of residents with a migration back-ground. If both foreign citizens and Germans with a migration back-ground are included, they make up ca. 45% of the district population.
In regard to the spatial distribution of foreign residents in Berlin we see a clear east/west difference. As a whole there are very foreign residents in the East. Spatial distribution of foreign residents in Berlin
The spatial distribution of foreign residents in Mitte is also very unequal. There are especially large  differences between the former districts Wedding and Mitte.  Spatial distribution of foreign residents in Mitte
With 28% of the district’s population, non-German citizens represent a sizeable group that cannot be ignored. Numbering around 26,000, Turkish citizens alone make up almost 8% of the entire population.  Foreign residents in Mitte
.  Social situation in the Berlin districts In regard to the receipt of public assistance Mitte is the second high-est district behind Neukölln with almost 30% of the district’s popula-tion. The rate is especially high among children and residents with a migrant back-ground
In regard to the receipt of public assistance   in Berlin we see a more mixed picture. In addition to a concentration in the center of former West Berlin, we also see north/south differences. Social situation in Berlin
In Mitte the receipt of social assistance is heavily concen-trated in the neighborhoods where a large percentage of the population has a migration background.  Social situation in the neighborhoods in Mitte
One of the problems with integration in areas with a high number of migrants is rooted in the German society and its electoral system. Migrant workers were recruited in the 1960s and 1970s for work in the industry and it was expected that they would go back to their homelands.  Under German law no foreign citizens are allowed to vote in state and national elections. EU citizens are only allowed to vote in local elections. This is especially difficult for Turkish citizens, who have often been in Germany for several decades and cannot become Germans without renouncing their former citizenship. In a district like Mitte this means that ca. 20% of the residents – including the 8% that are Turkish – cannot even vote in local elections. Enfranchisement
A more detailed analysis of the social problems in Mitte shows a close relationship with insufficient education, both among Germans, but above all among resident migrants. This holds true especially for the first generation of migrants (guest workers), but also in part for their children and grandchildren.  One factor leading to educational problems in the younger age groups is their German language competence. An analysis of the children with a migration background starting school in Mitte shows an improvement in German language skills between 2004 and 2009 (the share of children who could speak no German improved from 26.2% to 9.5%), but this is still too high. Insufficient education
As we have seen, the people living in Mitte – also the Germans – are socially disadvantaged compared to most other districts. This means that the district administration – especially in areas like the schools, the Kindergarten, the Health Dept. and the Youth Services Department generally target this group.  One of the most important instruments for helping socially disadvantaged areas is called neighborhood management (Quartiersmanagement = QM). This is a federal government program to actively help disadvantaged areas. At the moment it is the most important source of funding for measures in many different areas (schools, integration measures, health promotion measures, building projects). Neighborhood Management
The district parliament ( Bezirksverordnetenversammlung – BVV ) in the districts of Berlin is a part-time job for the representatives who are elected by the voters on the basis of candidate lists recommended by the political parties. A BVV consist of 55 representatives. The parties that have at least 3 representatives acquire the status of a parliamentary group, which gives them some organizational advantages. The duties of the BVV include:  1) controlling the district administration,  2) suggesting areas where the administration should act, and 3) cancelling and replacing decisions of the district council Much of the work of the BVV is done in the committees which have different areas of emphasis (e.g. Health, Social Affairs, Environment and City Planning). District parliament
Public health monitoring Public health monitoring is a comprehensive analysis of factors affecting the health of the population of an area. A particular emphasis is placed on discovering health inequalities or groups at risk. Public health monitoring serves as a basis for health promotion and health planning. It provides them with detailed data and problem analyses so that scarce resources can be allocated efficiently. The analysis of the health situation of the population must be as precise as possible. Extreme inequalities in individual districts or neighborhoods can be concealed when only the region as a whole is considered.  The results of the monitoring process are published as health and social reports.
people lacking resources (resource-poor) economically poor with language gaps lacking knowledge of the educational system lacking chances for education lacking social security lacking life skills Lack of participation judicial exceptions migration-related problems Commissioner for integration Work areas of the Commissioner for Integration helping people:
The commissioner mediates between foreign residents and the German bureaucracies and supports different migrant associations. One of the most important projects in the last years is the development of an integration program – which will be the first in a Berlin district.  This program is focused around a center for language training, works toward the intercultural opening of the district administration and combines and connects efforts at integration in many other areas. Other areas of work are the district schools. Securing the quality of “integration helpers” and chairing an advisory board. Commissioner for integration
Much of the work in the area of integration is done with the help of external organizations that are active in Mitte. The  Deutsch-Türkisches Zentrum  (German-Turkish Center) or  dtz  is an organization based in the district of Neukölln, but it has two offices in Mitte (Wedding), where social counseling is offered, a  Lotsenprojekt  (with native language integration helpers) is based, integration courses are held and homework help for Turkish pupils is offered.  The dtz also hosts seminars and events on subjects like: bringing up children, education, language, puberty, violence and drugs. Work with the Turkish community
Thank you for your attention!

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FCT 20110524-01 - City Presentation - Mitte - Jeffrey Butler

  • 1. The District of Berlin-Mitte In the heart of a reunited Berlin Jeffrey Butler District Office of Berlin-Mitte
  • 2. Berlin is the national capital of Germany and its largest city, with 3,387,562 inhabitants as of December 2010. With the German reunification in 1990, Berlin became one of the three city states among the 16 German federal states. Despite the expectations of an boom following the unification, Berlin has faced rather a number of problems in regard to the unification – especially in financial respects with over 60 billion € in accumulated debt. Due to the very different socialization, educational and political experiences of the residents of the eastern and western parts of the city we can still, to an extent, make out two different urban cultures. The city and state of Berlin
  • 3. Berlin is divided into 12 districts (Bezirke), which were formed from the earlier 23 districts on January 1, 2001. Mitte is one of the two new districts that were formed from former East and West Berlin districts. The districts in Berlin have many of the same political rights and functions that the cities (communities) have in the other federal states, but some decisive competences are reserved for the Berlin Senate, though, especially in regard to the overall allocation of finances, the planning of construction projects that have a relevance for Berlin as a whole and the administration of the public school system. City administration
  • 4. The districts are governed by a body of six councilors who are nominated by the major political parties according to the number of seats that they receive in the district parliament. Each councilor has the authority for his own department – and is not responsible to the mayor, who merely represents the district in a number of political bodies. As I work in a public health staff that is responsible to the commissioner of health, I work directly for the current mayor of Mitte, Dr. Hanke, who is also in charge of the health department. District governance
  • 5. Location of Mitte in Berlin Mitte is located in the center of the map of Berlin. The former districts Tiergarten and Wedding were in the western part of the city and Mitte in the East.
  • 6. With around 327,000 inhabitants, the Berlin district of Mitte is larger than most medium-sized German cities. The district of Mitte is socially disadvantaged when compared to most other districts in Berlin – this pertains especially to the former districts Tiergarten and Wedding. A large share of the population has an immigrant background (28% are not German citizens and a further 17% are Germans with an immigration experience in the family). Many migrants are also socially disadvantaged. There are great differences within the district (both poor and better-off areas, East/West experiences). The district of Mitte
  • 7. . The population structure in Mitte In comparison to Germany and Berlin as a whole, Mitte has a relatively young population – the largest age groups are between 20 and 40. Large shares of the population in the middle age groups have a migration background.
  • 8. . Foreign residents in the Berlin districts Mitte is the Berlin district with the largest percentage of residents with a migration back-ground. If both foreign citizens and Germans with a migration back-ground are included, they make up ca. 45% of the district population.
  • 9. In regard to the spatial distribution of foreign residents in Berlin we see a clear east/west difference. As a whole there are very foreign residents in the East. Spatial distribution of foreign residents in Berlin
  • 10. The spatial distribution of foreign residents in Mitte is also very unequal. There are especially large differences between the former districts Wedding and Mitte. Spatial distribution of foreign residents in Mitte
  • 11. With 28% of the district’s population, non-German citizens represent a sizeable group that cannot be ignored. Numbering around 26,000, Turkish citizens alone make up almost 8% of the entire population. Foreign residents in Mitte
  • 12. . Social situation in the Berlin districts In regard to the receipt of public assistance Mitte is the second high-est district behind Neukölln with almost 30% of the district’s popula-tion. The rate is especially high among children and residents with a migrant back-ground
  • 13. In regard to the receipt of public assistance in Berlin we see a more mixed picture. In addition to a concentration in the center of former West Berlin, we also see north/south differences. Social situation in Berlin
  • 14. In Mitte the receipt of social assistance is heavily concen-trated in the neighborhoods where a large percentage of the population has a migration background. Social situation in the neighborhoods in Mitte
  • 15. One of the problems with integration in areas with a high number of migrants is rooted in the German society and its electoral system. Migrant workers were recruited in the 1960s and 1970s for work in the industry and it was expected that they would go back to their homelands. Under German law no foreign citizens are allowed to vote in state and national elections. EU citizens are only allowed to vote in local elections. This is especially difficult for Turkish citizens, who have often been in Germany for several decades and cannot become Germans without renouncing their former citizenship. In a district like Mitte this means that ca. 20% of the residents – including the 8% that are Turkish – cannot even vote in local elections. Enfranchisement
  • 16. A more detailed analysis of the social problems in Mitte shows a close relationship with insufficient education, both among Germans, but above all among resident migrants. This holds true especially for the first generation of migrants (guest workers), but also in part for their children and grandchildren. One factor leading to educational problems in the younger age groups is their German language competence. An analysis of the children with a migration background starting school in Mitte shows an improvement in German language skills between 2004 and 2009 (the share of children who could speak no German improved from 26.2% to 9.5%), but this is still too high. Insufficient education
  • 17. As we have seen, the people living in Mitte – also the Germans – are socially disadvantaged compared to most other districts. This means that the district administration – especially in areas like the schools, the Kindergarten, the Health Dept. and the Youth Services Department generally target this group. One of the most important instruments for helping socially disadvantaged areas is called neighborhood management (Quartiersmanagement = QM). This is a federal government program to actively help disadvantaged areas. At the moment it is the most important source of funding for measures in many different areas (schools, integration measures, health promotion measures, building projects). Neighborhood Management
  • 18. The district parliament ( Bezirksverordnetenversammlung – BVV ) in the districts of Berlin is a part-time job for the representatives who are elected by the voters on the basis of candidate lists recommended by the political parties. A BVV consist of 55 representatives. The parties that have at least 3 representatives acquire the status of a parliamentary group, which gives them some organizational advantages. The duties of the BVV include: 1) controlling the district administration, 2) suggesting areas where the administration should act, and 3) cancelling and replacing decisions of the district council Much of the work of the BVV is done in the committees which have different areas of emphasis (e.g. Health, Social Affairs, Environment and City Planning). District parliament
  • 19. Public health monitoring Public health monitoring is a comprehensive analysis of factors affecting the health of the population of an area. A particular emphasis is placed on discovering health inequalities or groups at risk. Public health monitoring serves as a basis for health promotion and health planning. It provides them with detailed data and problem analyses so that scarce resources can be allocated efficiently. The analysis of the health situation of the population must be as precise as possible. Extreme inequalities in individual districts or neighborhoods can be concealed when only the region as a whole is considered. The results of the monitoring process are published as health and social reports.
  • 20. people lacking resources (resource-poor) economically poor with language gaps lacking knowledge of the educational system lacking chances for education lacking social security lacking life skills Lack of participation judicial exceptions migration-related problems Commissioner for integration Work areas of the Commissioner for Integration helping people:
  • 21. The commissioner mediates between foreign residents and the German bureaucracies and supports different migrant associations. One of the most important projects in the last years is the development of an integration program – which will be the first in a Berlin district. This program is focused around a center for language training, works toward the intercultural opening of the district administration and combines and connects efforts at integration in many other areas. Other areas of work are the district schools. Securing the quality of “integration helpers” and chairing an advisory board. Commissioner for integration
  • 22. Much of the work in the area of integration is done with the help of external organizations that are active in Mitte. The Deutsch-Türkisches Zentrum (German-Turkish Center) or dtz is an organization based in the district of Neukölln, but it has two offices in Mitte (Wedding), where social counseling is offered, a Lotsenprojekt (with native language integration helpers) is based, integration courses are held and homework help for Turkish pupils is offered. The dtz also hosts seminars and events on subjects like: bringing up children, education, language, puberty, violence and drugs. Work with the Turkish community
  • 23. Thank you for your attention!

Editor's Notes

  1. Target group: „people lacking ressources of every origin“. To give substance to this term, indicators for ressource-poor were developed