Urban Design I: Berlin

Berlin needed complete reconstruction after the Second World War.

The television tower near Alexander Platz was a sign of progress that Eastern Germany held up against Western Germany. Urbanism is frozen politics.

Berlin was expected to grow to 4 million people (in the center) after the war, but remained at 2 million. Note that the metropolitan area grew to 4.5 million before the war and dropped to 3 million after the war and regained to 3.6 million today

After the Iron Curtain fell, Berlin got iconic attraction. It became a projection platform for architects. The whole government area – known as the Spreebogen- was redesigned.

Berlin is a layered city that has artefacts from several historic periods. Berlin has also a lot of brown sites, i.e. empty lots with run-down buildings.

Tool 1 : Megascale Planning

Berlin was planned early one. However, it was built on sand, so it needed additional technology to built larger buildings. From 1700 to 1800 it grew fourfold from 100’000 to 400’000. In 1862 the first Plan for Berlin was created.

Mietskasernen typical for Kreuzberg were constructed in the 19th century in lots of 300 to 100 meters, 5 floors high, with lots of courtyards. 90% had no toilets, 95% had no water and an apartment was around 20sqm. Berlin reached 1 million through that century mainly thanks to the high density that Mietskasernen provided.

The city grew from 66 to 891 sqkm.