Continuous Influx

How the creatives are positively impacting Berlin's economy.
Werner Aisslinger is an acclaimed industrial designer working and living in Berlin, Germany. With the latest technologies and the newest materials, Werner provides new impulses in the product design world.

Berlin, the cultural extravaganza that one could imagine.

Continuous Influx

Perhaps it’s the city’s fluid identity. Perhaps it’s the dystopian history of its division by the Iron Curtain. Whatever the reason may be, Berlin is rich with a continuous influx of creatives that redefine and reshape the city. The city has always been full of creatives celebrating its grit and raw nature—a city with its own agenda. Almost 30 years after the fall of the wall, Berlin’s creative industry is saturated with a mix of established entities and new innovators that are bubbling under the surface. The combination of these two groups have propelled Berlin to the international stage  as one of the preeminent creative hubs of the world.

There are several reasons that keep creative people flocking to the city. One, in regard to the cost of living, Berlin is still the second cheapest major city in Europe, while also being the Silicon Valley of Europe. Two, the city still has plenty of unused and even unexplored spaces to offer. Lastly,  the Berlin government’s recognition of the importance of the creatives it houses, the creative industry has solidified its status as a positive contributor to Berlin’s economy.


As creativity remains a growing part of the city’s urban fabric, how will Berlin deal with the problems that come with this success? Will Berlin be able to continue to capitalize on its reputation as a creative hub without conforming to more affluent taste?

In 2019, Berlin’s government has passed a law that freezes rent for the next 5 years. The Senate Department for Urban Development Environmenecognizes Wedding’sapid development of creative industries, but emphasizes the need to maintain affordable urban living and the need to maintain cohesion between different populations. In the United States, some New Yorkers are fighting to prevent corporations from coming in, and, in consequence, increasing the cost of living. Yet, on the other side of the spectrum, San Francisco has embraced big companies, driving up the living cost, and ultimately homogenizing the city with richer, younger, and more educated than those leaving the city.

On one hand, there are initiatives at both the municipal and neighborhood level that show a level of promise to prevent homogenization of the city; but on the other hand, it’s difficult to say how long these efforts will be able to prevent gentrification.  

COVID-19 has affected the creative industry worldwide, yet Berlin creatives have come up with new ways present their craft and to interact. Berlin has always been known for its resourcefulness, and creatives have applied this ingenuity here, innovating in the digital social scene by using existing tools in new ways to create new experiences.

Below are some unique ways Berlin creatives are tackling the issues brought by the virus:

The Collective Action Nightlife Emergency Fun

Locals have come together to collect emergency funding for at-risk nightlife workers in Berlin. The shutting down of nightclubs means these people are out of jobs, and this emergency funding helps mitigate the economic damage that COVID-19 is creating.

Questions for you:

What changes once we make these social spaces digital?

Will the digital event become a more normalized way to socialize?

Are people more open to attending these digital events?

Editor: Phoebe Hsu