Built in the 1960s on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg's harbour district of St. Pauli, the Esso Houses formed a popular meeting place. In 2009, the complex was demolished for a new building. Beforehand, numerous residents protested vehemently against the demolition with urban political activists. The widespread civil society protest forced politicians and investors to commission the interdisciplinary collective PlanBude with a comprehensive, independent and open-ended participation process, which took place under the title Wunschproduktion (wish production) as a collaborative, grassroots democratic planning process for the redevelopment of the area at Spielbudenplatz. By means of workshops and »tactical furniture« (models made of Lego and plasticine and other low-threshold tools), over 2,000 contributions were collected, which were evaluated and sharpened.
The process used everyday knowledge, needs and ideas of the neighbourhood to generate something that can be translated into further community planning, beyond political or economic guidelines.
Since clearance and demolition in 2014, the area has lain fallow (as of September 2021).