Infrastructure practices and social in- and exclusions of unhoused persons in Berlin.
While rates of infrastructural access are generally high in Germany, the accessibility of water, energy, communication, and mobility for unhoused persons is severely impeded. Persons without a permanent dwelling and financial means are partly excluded from infrastructure that would commonly be used in personal accommodations or has to be paid for. By drawing on offers of social organizations as well as elaborate strategies of infrastructure use and replacement, unhoused urbanites, however, manage to gain limited access to services.
In this way, the infrastructural practices of unhoused persons mirror social in- and exclusions and shape their social situation – for instance, by the (im-)possibility to maintain personal hygiene or the accumulation of transport-related debt.
Based on a practice theoretical approach, the project investigates how unhoused persons' infrastructural practices are connected to social in- and exclusions. The study is conducted in Berlin, which has sometimes been dubbed Germany’s “homeless capital”, since the highest number of persons without permanent accommodation among German cities live there