… to the website for the project entitled "Urban Life Amidst COVID-19". We are thrilled that you are interested in our project. Please note that the online survey for Berlin is now closed.

This page provides information on our online survey and our research project.

We hope that the subsequent pages answer any questions you may have, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries.

What kind of research project is "Urban Life Amidst COVID-19"?

The aim of our project is to help improve our understanding of the social consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the related political measures. It is being conducted jointly by staff at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin) and Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin). The Berlin University Alliance covered the related costs until the end of 2020. Prof. Dr. Talja Blokland ( Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Dr. Johanna Hoerning (Technische Universität Berlin) are leading the project. are spearheading the project. The online survey is an extension of the ongoing research project entitled "The World Down My Street", which is set to run until December 2021 and is part of the collaborative research center "Re-Figuration of Spaces" (SFB 1265), funded by the German Research Foundation(DFG).

What did we investigate?

Prior to COVID-19, we were interested in how residents of Berlin deal with everyday challenges. Who provides them with the support that they need? Do they find support within their neighborhood or outside of it? Do they find support in specific places (for example associations, pubs, bars, restaurants, or Spätis)? What types of opportunities do different people have? Does it matter which part of the city they live in?

However, the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken to contain the spread of the virus have altered the everyday lives of many people. Analyzing the online survey will enable us to gain a better understanding of how residents of Berlin are dealing with this situation.

Our initial findings can be found here.

How many people took part?

The online survey was conducted between July and October 2020. A total of 2,960 people from Berlin and the surrounding areas took part. We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who actively took part!

What was the aim of the survey?

The aim of the survey was to discover how the measures taken to fight the pandemic have affected individual respondents and how they have been dealing with these effects. Everyone will have experienced these measures differently. Parents of schoolchildren will have been confronted with different problems to those faced by the elderly. Similarly, the measures will have affected the self-employed differently to salaried employees. As such, it was important for us to reach as many people in different demographics as possible in order to obtain as broad and complete a picture as possible.

How is the survey being conducted?

Newspapers, radio shows and news broadcasts in Berlin reported on the project in order to help raise awareness of our online survey. In addition, we sent out letters inviting people to take part in the survey, thus ensuring that a representative sample was achieved. As such, people from four neighborhoods took part with whom we had already spoken in 2019 as part of our survey entitled "The World Down My Street". Their responses are helping us to compare people's situations before and after coronavirus and the changes made to their lives and the city.

In addition, we wrote to people from another neighborhood at random and asked them if they would be willing to take part (also see: "What happens to the data?").

The findings are representative for the five neighborhoods where we wrote to people by letter. Those who found out about our survey via a different route expand the findings. This enables us to talk about the situation of all Berlin residents a little more broadly.

What happens to the data?

The addresses of those whom we contacted by post were selected at random within the five neighborhoods by the State Office for Citizens' and Regulatory Affairs (Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten). A random sample was drawn for scientific investigations by the State Office in accordance with Article 85 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), section 17 of the Berlin Data Protection Act (BlnDSG), and sections 34, 46 and 49 of the German Federal Act on Registration (BMG). The addresses that were passed on to us were used solely for contact purposes and will not be further processed or forwarded to any third parties.

The survey will be analyzed in anonymous format. All information will be treated as strictly confidential, analyzed solely for scientific purposes and not passed on to any third parties. As such, data will be collected in accordance with the data protection legislation of Berlin and the guidelines of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Do you have more questions?

… then please do not hesitate to contact us!