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Berlin Environmental Atlas

Foreword

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The digital edition of the Berlin Environmental Atlas serves the demand for digital information on the environment and ecology as a basis for sustainable urban and landscape development. This information system enhances the opportunities and improves the working possibilities for all those interested in the diverse facets of environment and ecology - whether professionals or engaged citizens - who wish to contribute to the further development of spatial planning and the shaping of urban and natural landscapes in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Important amounts of the environmental information were generated, processed and administered by the data processing instruments of the Berlin Urban and Environmental Information System (ISU = Informationssystem Stadt und Umwelt). They provided a favourable basis for the use of digital media.

This digital edition proceeds from the representational forms employed in the analog Environmental Atlas printed up to the year 2000: texts, tables, graphics, and maps. These elements are accessible by easy-to-use screens. The information files can even be taken over and directly processed by other standard computer systems, access to original data for some subjects, such as individual measurement values is possible.

The entire urban area is presented in individual maps. These maps depict the conditions of nature upon which our life is based. The maps portray the current environmental quality of the metropolitan area in a differentiated manner. The Environmental Atlas locates and evaluates pollution levels, their causes and effects, potentials and qualities, sensitivities and threats, uses and intensity of uses. Methods of evaluation are explained.

Pollution stress portrayals are current status reports, made with the aid of measured pollutant parameters or indicators. Highly dynamic environmental elements, such as air and water, require continuous observation by automatic monitoring networks. Data on the development of individual uses and soil conditions are monitored at middle-term intervals. Environmental monitoring and quality controls for the effectiveness of environmental policies and planning actions are continuous tasks.

The formulation and implementation of urban development and environmental policies have a continually growing need for information bearing on total spatial planning, landscape planning, and special sector environmental protection planning. Information is needed to produce a workable balance of interests between sustainable resource protection and regional economic development. This balance requires reliable information, available at any time, about the value, the need for protection, the sensitivity and the load-bearing capacity of smaller, larger, and entire urban areas.

The quick availability of basic ecological planning data accelerates planning and decision-making, makes it more substantiated, transparent, and comprehensible. Collaboration with private sector engineering and planning offices is greatly facilitated, for example, in conducting environmental impact studies. Quick accessibility thus serves Berlin's economic development hand-in-hand with the improved protection of the environment and resources required for sustainable development.

All texts are available in English. We thus enable a comfortable, user-friendly access to information about our city internationally. We have made it easier for all those interested in our policies, our planning, and our city of Berlin.

Berlin Senate Department of Urban Development and Housing

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