Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.16 Potentials for the Removal of Impervious Soil Coverage (Soil De-sealing) (Edition 2017)

map view Text in Deutsch verfuegbar content    back forward


The procedure was structured as a multistage concept, including a combination of research and compilation of information of local and other experts, and an evaluation based on available geo-data of the State of Berlin.

In the context of the pilot phase of the project "Potentials for Impervious Coverage Reduction in Berlin", the question arose as to the extent to which a purely automated area search based on the extensive geo-data of the State of Berlin could yield usable results by being merged with those data, and by the use of filters. In spite of extensive attempts, no usable results could be obtained, so that the decision was made to continue with the research process using local experts, and to refine it.

Land Area Research

The research was conducted during the years 2010 and 2016, in the borough offices of the 12 Berlin boroughs. Whenever possible, representatives of the borough agencies responsible for urban planning, landscape planning and environment and conservation were brought into the process. First, those boroughs with a high proportion of sites characteristic of the outskirts of the city were investigated. The assumption that these boroughs would contain the greatest potential for the removal of impervious coverage was confirmed by the research.

Moreover, the survey was carried out at the four Berlin forestry agencies (Grunewald, Köpenick, Pankow, and Tegel. During the research in the areas of the Grunewald, Pankow and Tegel Forestry Agencies, a total of 41 areas were included which are outside the Berlin border.

Also, public and private land owners of large properties which, from their portfolios, seemed to be likely to have such properties in their inventories, were contacted.

The goal of the research was to identify areas which could be considered to be permanently no longer required for construction use, and are also not planned for urban development with impervious coverage. The requisite local, planning and other information could primarily be obtained from the interview partners in the urban and/or landscape planning authorities in the boroughs. On the other hand, a conclusive planning policy preparation of measures for the removal of imperviousness was not the purpose of the investigation. The remaining requirements for clarification or coordination were incorporated into the data compiled on the areas.

Ascertainment of Factual Data

For particular potential imperviousness removal areas, a variety of information was compiled which is to aid in the evaluation of the suitability of potential “de-sealing” areas, and for the further planning (cf. Table 1). This involves primarily information on:

  • the location of areas (borough, neighborhood, address/location description, coordinates),
  • the property situation, and contact data if appropriate,
  • existing (or former) use,
  • planned use or changes in use, and
  • type of imperviousness, and extent of its possible removal.

Moreover, there is a space for comments, where unspecified information can be entered.

In order to permit a more precise assessment of the extent and cost of possible impervious coverage removal measures, a total of 131 of the areas contained in the database have additionally been photographically documented to date. A selection of these photos is contained in the factual data on the respective areas, as a link.

Soil pollution of the ascertained areas is basically possible. With regard to further handling, a case-by-case decision by the responsible soil protection authority is to be carried out. For this purpose, the ascertained date is subjected to a special comparison with the soil pollution record. If necessary, impervious coverage removal on parts of an area is possible.

Merger with Land Referenced Data

By merger with the extensive available digital land referenced data existing in the State of Berlin, information on current or concluded construction plan and landscape plan procedures, as well as information from the maps, and the map Planning Guidelines on Soil Protection were linked to the potential “de-sealing” areas, so that this information is available at a glance (cf. Table 2).

map view Text in Deutsch verfuegbar content    back forward