Berlin. Urban Greening.

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Urban Greening in Berlin

Сomponents of the city

Structuring of the spatial development of Berlin

Berlin is a city as well as a federal state. With 3.4 million inhabitants and an area of 892 km2, the German capital is the most populous city in Germany and also the largest in extent. Open spaces (parklands, forests, water and agricultural land) comprise more than 40 % of the area of the city. Berlin as a metropolis is integrated into the joint planning procedures for the capital city region Berlin-Brandenburg. As the main planning instrument on a citywide level, Land Use Planning is regulated by German planning legislation. The Land Use Plan serves as a strategic framework for more detailed planning concepts for sub-areas of special importance. Local Plans have to follow the general zoning pattern of the Land Use Plan.

Location of parks and recreation areas in Berlin

Ecological traditions

Germany has one of the strongest ecological traditions in Europe. There is a widespread appreciation of the benefits of nature in towns and cities, particularly in respect of making cities more liveable. This is important given the preference for high density housing in Germany. Consequently, Berlin is in exemplar with its pioneering green infrastructure and community forestry projects.

Inventory of Green and Open Spaces

Inventory of Green and Open Spaces shows the different use categories in their shares of the non-built-up areas of Berlin, as well as their distribution throughout the city. The largest part of the inventory of green and open spaces lies in the outskirts area. The large wooded areas of the Grunewald and the Dueppel forests in the southwest, the Spandau and Tegel forests in the northwest and the large forest areas in the borough Koepenick in the southeast of Berlin stand out particularly. Forests account for 45% of all Green and Open Spaces (without waters)

Shares of the Various Use Categories  of the Total Built-Up Area of Berlin

Agriculturally-used areas, which account for almost 11% of the inventory of open space, are found particularly in the northeastern area (Pankow and Weissensee). Other agricultural areas are located in the eastern, southern and western outskirts. Allotment Gardens, which account for an additional 11% of the open space inventory, are found almost. exclusively outside the City Rail Circle Line, in the outer boroughs. Often, they are located near canals, rivers and railroad lines. The currently unused Vacant Areas are distributed throughout the entire urban area, particularly along railroad lines and bodies of water as well as on the airfields. Tree Nurseries and Horticulture areas are found only in the outskirts area, while Sports Facilities, Cemeteries, as well as Parks and Green Spaces are located throughout the entire urban area. The area sizes of the individual open spaces increases as one moves from the inner city area toward the outskirts. In the inner city boroughs, the open space inventory consists mainly of smaller parks - with the exception of the Tiergarten, Sports Facilities, Cemeteries, Vacant Areas and City Squares and Promenades. In the outer areas, the different open-space categories appear frequently in association with one another, e.g. Green Spaces, Allotment Gardens and Sports Areas; or Tree Nurseries, Vacant Areas and Allotment Gardens; or Forests, Meadow and Pastureland and Farmland, while the various open spaces in the inner city area usually occur in isolation, and are surrounded by built-up areas.

Shares of the Various Use Categories of the Total  Inventory of Green and Open Space of Berlin

Even though is not possible a small decrease of the shares of vacant areas and allotment gardens can be observed as well as an increase of forests.

Area shares of the various uses, in the total area of Berlin.

Uses of  the total area of the boroughs of Berlin

Green courtyards and green roofs in Berlin

Berlin has a long history of planning for green spaces in densely developed areas. The Courtyard Greening Programme (1983-1996), aimed to add green space in the form of green roofs, green facades and backyard community gardens in the most densely built-up areas of the city. The aim was to improve urban climate, quality of life for residents, and the urban amenity. On average each square meter of green space was subsidized with 19.10 € of funding, which included separate amounts for construction and design. During the period of the program, 54 ha of courtyard and roofs were greened and 32.5 ha of facades were greened. This translated into subsidies worth €16.5 million. This initiative has helped the Landscape Programme to implement goals relating to increasing green space in the city . Approximately 65,750 m² of extensive green roofs have been subsidized. Residents received a reimbursement for about half (25-60 €/m²), of their expenses for the cost of green roof installation .


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