After a fantastic city break to Berlin last weekend, I was not only left impressed by the usual shopping, nightlife and tourist attractions, but by the amount of green space the city has to offer.  

             

 

With more than 2500 green spaces, Berlin is a model city for Europe to follow suit. It has so much green space that it lacks the hustle and bustle feeling of your average city, preventing the need to ‘escape to the country’ and providing the residents with a higher quality of life. Green space has huge positive impacts on a city. It is not only pleasing to the eye but promotes biodiversity, and reduces the negative effects of climate change such as flood risk and the urban heat island effect. There appears to be no disused space within the city. Even an old air field has been turned into a recreation park, a great place for picnics and sports activities. 

 

Berlin also has an abundance of green roofs, such as the Klunker Kranit bar. Green roofs are an innovative way of utilising and adding green space to an area. The bar is hugely popular among tourists and locals, as once you are up there, you completely lose the feeing that you are on top of a multi-storey car park! All of Berlin’s streets are filled with trees, and apartment blocks are lined with window boxes and green walls. Ensuring there is consistent plant life along the streets provides green corridors throughout the city. Green corridors encourage biodiversity and provide a home for wildlife in the city. 

         

Throughout Germany, there is a widespread appreciation of the benefits of nature in towns and cities. One example of this is the Berlin ‘Biotape Area Factor’, a regulation that ensures there are a certain proportion of green spaces in all urban areas. The city is also part of the Blue/Green Dream project, an initiative to increase green infrastructure among cities, reducing the harmful effects of global warming and increasing land value. http://www.climate-kic.org/projects/blue-green-dream/. Berlin’s clear efforts to improve the environment and develop a beautiful city, has lead to policies and standards being introduced worldwide. 

       

Read more about green infrastructure below.

Claire Russell