20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Berlin and Brandenburg have preserved a special feature: probably nowhere else in Europe does the city end so suddenly and the rural area start so unexpectedly as in the transition between the metropolis of Berlin and Brandenburg with its rural character. Both federal states conceptualised a ring of regional parks around Berlin already at an early stage in order to develop this area jointly and sustainably. The aim is to maintain the beauty and characteristics of the cultural landscape in this regional park ring around the city, to promote tourism and recreation and to develop the economy in a manner that is compatible with the landscape.
Regional park development in Berlin and Brandenburg is an innovative approach to planning in order to actively design this suburban cultural landscape that is subject to an accelerated change of utilisation in accordance with the idea of cooperative regional development. The regional parks celebrated their ten-year anniversary in 2006 with a conference under the aegis of Minister President of Brandenburg Platzeck. Whereas a key issue in the mid-1990s was to promote acceptance of this then new informal form of planning (bottom-up process), the regional parks today serve as examples in some fields for the further development of a planning culture that operates in a cooperative and moderating manner within the regional fields of action. Since their establishment, the regional parks have developed a functioning network of regional park associations and an umbrella organisation.
The planning of an almost 300 km long cycle route through all regional parks around Berlin aims to provide yet another attractive feature in the densely populated area around Berlin with the intention of expanding the options for using a bicycle in everyday life and in particular in leisure traffic. The excellent linkage to local public transport and national cycle routes give reason to expect high demand from different user groups in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Symposium ‘Regional parks in Berlin and Brandenburg – Changing cultural landscapes’
‘Regional parks in Berlin and Brandenburg – Changing cultural landscapes’ was the topic of a symposium hosted by the Joint Spatial Planning Department in November 2015. The predicted growth in the capital city region and the wide range of demands on the utilisation of limited available land open up new opportunities for implementing the regional park idea in Berlin and Brandenburg based on examples from the urban centres Hamburg and RheinMain.
The exhibition was accompanied by maps detailing the space of action of Berlin and its environs and the comparison of aerial images documented the change in utilisation in the past 20 years.
All results of the symposium can be viewed here or at the Dachverband der Regionalparks Berlin Brandenburg e.V. (umbrella organisation of regional parks).