Archive: Urban development plan Supply & Disposal 1999

Urban Development Plan Supply & Disposal 1999


Environmental protection is a prerequisite for sustainable urban development and can be combined with the claim that it improves the quality of life. This however must not only be considered as a global challenge, but it also has political, administrative, economic, local and municipal relevance. On the one hand the Senate Department for Urban Development is responsible for a sustainable guaranty of water supply and the control of air and ground pollution. But it is also on the other hand responsible for settlement and urban development. These responsibilities have as a rule a straining effect on the environment.

Because of the stress involved in these basically conflicting goals there exists the necessity to develop strategies, methods and instruments, which enable an economically and ecologically sustainable urban development. This has to be on the basis of interdisciplinary co-operation of all participants at the planning process.

When considering the regional complexity resulting from the dimension of Berlin there exists in accordance with the Berlin regional law concerning the enforcement of the building code (§ AGBauGB 4, sect.1) the possibility to establish urban development plans for specific uses of zones. So in this way there already exist zoned urban development plans for supply, disposal, living, trade and industry and urban centres.

Now for the first time also in the field of technical infrastructure there are moves to achieve strategic contributions to the optimisation of the urban development process together with the economical and precise use of investments. This will be achieved by the integration of the aims of environmental control with those of the water and power industry etc., but also together with the use of field-specific management planning.

With the urban development zoned plan for supply and disposal there should be worked out a reliable planning base for the technical infrastructure. This should help with the realisation of the goals of the land use plan, for its extrapolation as well as for other developments and field specific planning of higher priorities. On the other hand the Berlin supply and disposal companies should be allowed enough strategic orientation to achieve the goals of future urban development. This is especially important concerning the task of reconnecting the two different networks after the reunion. This will also involve the renewal and modernisation of the historical supply systems in the eastern part of the city and the completion of the installations for supply and disposal in the whole city area.

The initial situation

According to the previous results of the interdisciplinary foundation analyses there are hardly any acute problems for the supply of the city with drinking water, electricity, and gas. Networks cover almost the entire city area, providing sufficient supply capacities.

However, a call for action emerges in relation to the heat supply of buildings. This mainly concerns the replacement of the environmentally unfriendly coal heating, which is still in considerable use in parts of the old building stock (Housing and non-living-buildings) with a changeover to a more modern heating supply. Which will be on the basis of natural gas or district heating. This will be, if possible in connection with a qualified thermal insulation and use of regenerative energy. In this way an essential contribution to air pollution control in the inner city area can be achieved.

There are serious problems in the field of water management which require long-term efforts and high investments to solve. They concern the problem to relieve the strain on the surface waters from dirt and nutrient particles as well as rain water seepage, protection for the groundwater and the products from waste water processing. Which when solved will lead to the sustainable protection of the drinking water supply. The need for action in Berlin results on the one hand from the unfavourable relationship between the size of the conurbation of more than 4 Mio. inhabitants and its high density and on the other hand from the pedestrian flowing rivers namely the Spree, Dahme and Havel, and the relatively small water quantities. The drinking water supply from the groundwater (with high share of bank filtrate) is based on these rivers, which are also used simultaneously to carry off treated sewage water and dirty rainwater. In the long term the rivers function as suitable water for swimming is supposed to be restored.

However the problem sharpens with every further extension of the city into the boundary area and also with the inner development of the combined sewer system. This results in:
  • Impairment of the groundwater formation
  • High water peaks due to a high degree of run off during heavy rain events
  • Hydraulic and high particle density overloading the waters.
The spatial urban development plan can contribute considerably to the solution of these complex problems by accepting the limited natural resources (water, nature, landscapes and free areas) as existential boundary conditions for the entire urban development process. This must be seen as an adjusted action strategy to assimilate and integrate the basic aspects and demands for water management together with population, building activities, economy, density of ground, ground sealing and ecosystems.
  • So for example the wastewater drainage in settlement areas without canalisation has to be developed with priority given to the areas under water protection. These settlement areas have a high density and are located particularly on the outskirts of East Berlin.
  • To relieve the strain on the surface waters it is recommended as a future standard to use a separate system, instead of the usual direct disposal of the run off into the receiving waters. This standard solution will enrich through local seepage with detergent ground passage the groundwater. This is called the "decentralised rainwater processing"
  • So, in order to keep the waters in the inner city area as clean as possible in cases of heavy rainfall the overflow from the combined sewer system must be reduced to a minimum. For this purpose there must be installed into the subsystems new detention basins, which in cases of heavy rainfall will act as buffers. However, first of all sufficiently large drainage areas have to be uncoupled from the combined sewer system.
  • So it will enable a nature-near water development resulting from the release of the small flow waters (rivers) from high amounts of wastewater. This will then offer starting points to reshape of areas suited for recreation right into the heart of the city.
Succeeding in the urban development planning can support all these areas concerning water management, requirements demands and measures. This will particularly entail the compliance to the basic principles of planning and also to the urban-structural supporting measures.

Other factors for consideration:
  • The use of other possibilities to reduce or restrict the surface water run-off, in particular in the city area by: disconnecting roof run-off in to the canalisation system, roof greenery/gardens etc.
  • Consideration of the water compatibility at structure level, free face and landscape planning. Avoidance of new sealing as far as possible.
  • The orientation on designs to minimise run-off - no additional discharge of rainwater into existing channels.
  • In case of new projects the reservation of areas, necessary from the view of water management for the handling of rainwater.
The strategic planning proposals, directives and recommendations are developed together with the utility companies and the departments in our house. This results in a plan for the measures to be taken and the resulting co-ordinated actions to be used. See (Part I of the UDP supply- and disposal).

Conception for the urban development plan supply and disposal:

There exists a largely new planning task for the UDP supply- and disposal, because of the complex technical systems and due to the co-ordination aspects which arise. This is both relevant in a high economical and environmental sense. Therefore there has been developed on behalf of the Senate Department for Urban Development in 1995 by means of fundamental expertise the goals and necessary results, the required basics and methods and a conception for the planing procedure. "Urban development planning for supply and disposal" can accordingly be only the result of a common working process of the involved parties. Who must have a synchronised planning base and continually exchange information about intentions over the planning process. This all has to have proper timing of the projects, which need to be co-ordinated as well as protecting all interests. Which can only be achieved with the realisation of an effective monitoring system.

An urban development plan for supply and disposal does not replace any departmental and enterprise planning, but it overlaps their aims and contents with spatial urban development planning and through this it creates "transparency". Basic knowledge about the existing supply systems and the problem areas form the basis for a common development of proposals that can offer solutions. The UDP supply and disposal serves for the involved parties as a guideline for the co-ordination of planning and action. Its statements have a recommendation nature and it gets through senate resolutions the necessary and desired binding force for the observation of synchronised strategies, means, basic principles, concepts and measures. Because of the complex topics of the UDP supply and disposal is divided into more specific plans for energy, heat and water supply as well as waste water disposal and rainwater processing. As for the other urban development plans, the UDP supply and disposal is drawn up comprehensively for Berlin, with a medium up to long-term planning horizon. There are in future further co-ordinations to be considered, that will produce the appropriate plans to interlace Berlin with the county of Brandenburg, which surrounds Berlin.

After intense discussions the Berlin utility companies and the involved senate departments agreed to participate in the proposed interdisciplinary urban development planning process and to synchronise their plans and measures.

Setting up of the urban development plan supply and disposal:

The urban development supply and disposal plan is drawn up by the senate department for urban development in co-operation with the Berlin utility companies and the departments responsible for landscape planning, water management and energy, as well as if need be in conjunction with district administrations and other senate departments. It is submitted in two parts.

The present part I of the UDP contains basic maps and reports.

They include
  • The current starting conditions
  • The inventory of the most important installations, sites, networks, service areas etc.
  • Demands and problems of the supply and disposal - field specific planning goals
  • Planning and current projects of the utility companies for six related subject areas: Electricity, gas and heat supply, water supply, wastewater disposal, rainwater drainage and processing
These basic maps and reports are completely orientated in content and representation for the purposes of urban development planning. They include the set up priorities for a great number of development tasks and convey basic information. This all helps the reader to recognise complex relationships between the different parts and it can be used as a tool to help develop entire urban plans. As a first step information relevant for city development was defined on the basic maps.

This was achieved in close co-operation with the utility companies and the field specific administrations( senate departments). The end result was that the maps show a multitude of information including installations relevant for urban planning, locations, protected areas, areas with potential, areas of deficiency etc. Secondly the contents and objects of the maps have been structured to highlight problem areas of the mains, and the supply and disposal networks. They are represented mainly on the land use plan in the scale 1: 50.000 and on the Digital Base Map of Berlin in the scale 1: 10.000 (state 1997).

The reports of the six supply and disposal topics include essential historical development dates and information on the utility companies. They give in each case an overview of the most important technical system components including networks, capacities, the processing and power generating installations, as well as for the development of the consumption etc. Apart from questions about the technical and economical development and demands and effects in the environmental field, there are represented on the maps, facts and estimations relevant for the urban development relating to resources, supply capacities, problematic developments, limitations etc. They also include the after effects from the time of the divided city and separated systems. On the basis of the 3 criteria listed below the consequences of city development and conditions for whole quarters are going to become clearer (for example individual projects): 1. Specific planning aims and legal guidelines. 2. Technical-economical planning. 3. Development concepts of the utility companies.

The first time representation of the Berlin supply and disposal systems with regard to the urban development and its planning should be of interest for a wide audience of experts, investors, planning offices, industry, science and research. For this reason the Berlin chamber of industry and commerce as associate editor supports this publication about the technical infrastructure of the city.