Article in the Wipkinger Zeitung

While Google, On and other large corporations enjoy advantageous deals and contribute nothing to Zurich's cultural life apart from a problematic corporate culture, those who keep the (sub)culture alive get nothing but a weary smile. Since May 2023, the Park Platz association has been paying a good chunk of rent, and the city's generous-seeming usage loan agreement is gone. How can we afford that? We don't really know either.

The Parki is a cultural space with many functions - we are a community center, a children’s playground, an event venue, a cinema, a bar, a petanque court, a public sauna, a community garden. All non-commercial. Our services are available free of charge or at cost price and are specifically designed for people who are financially disadvantaged. Regardless of your bank balance, a sauna is relaxing and a movie screening is enriching.

Park Platz does not receive any subsidies or other support from the city. Contrary to our socio-cultural offer, we are treated by the administration almost like a conventional restaurant. Although we have repeatedly made it credible that we can just about finance wages and the basic infrastructure with the little income from running the bar.

This attitude has the hallmarks of left-liberal urban policy - people like to adorn themselves with alternative culture, but base their political actions on market logic and hardly any socio-political factors. In politics and location marketing, reference is made to a “culturally diverse environment” or the “lively cultural scene” - after all, diversity sells well to the rich. The consequences: Apartments are increasingly only available for the well-off, squats are being evicted more and more rigorously and uncomfortable cultural spaces are threatened by rent demands that are difficult to meet.

Ultimately, everything revolves around money.