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Berlin Environmental Atlas

06.07 Urban Structure / 06.08 Urban Structure - differentiated (Edition 2011)

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Distribution of structure types in Berlin

The 11 structure types of primarily residential use occupy approx. half of the built-up areas of Berlin. The category "Low buildings with yards" occupies 46%, by far the largest portion of residential areas, followed by "Row development since the '50s", with 10%. "Village-like development" and "Residential development of the '90s" have the lowest shares of the area, with 2% each (cf. Fig. 5).

Figure 5
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Fig. 5: Shares of structure types with primarily residential use of the total area of Berlin with primarily residential use, or mixed use with residential character,
Area sizes based on block segment map ISU5

[Statistical base of the Figure is also available as Excel-File (MS-Excel is required).]

The distribution of the urban structure types within the Berlin boroughs shows the different urban development character of these boroughs (cf. Fig. 6).

Figure 6
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Fig. 6: Shares of structure types with primarily residential use of the total area of the Berlin boroughs, and of the entire city, in per cent

[Statistical base of the Figure is also available as Excel-File (MS-Excel is required).]

In Mitte and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, a relatively high proportion of imperial-era block development has been preserved, amounting to between two thirds and three quarters of the residential area; in some cases however it has been considerably changed. In the other boroughs, that share is considerably less; citywide, the average of buildings from that era is only 15%. In Marzahn-Hellersdorf, both the share of imperial-era block development and that of row development is vanishingly small. The largest share of row development occurs in Tempelhof-Schöneberg, followed by Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Neukölln. The high share of development of the post-war era accounts for an above-average share in the boroughs of Lichtenberg (40 %) and Marzahn-Hellersdorf (26%). Low buildings with garden structures are absent in the inner-city borough of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, but account for approx. two thirds to three quarters of the residential area in the boroughs on the edge of the city, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Treptow-Köpenick, Marzahn-Hellersdorf and Reinickendorf.

Closed Imperial-era block development with wings and rear houses which have hardly changed since they were built can be found in parts of Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf, between Lietzensee (Lake), Kurfürstendamm, Richard-Wagner-Straße and Spandauer Damm. In Moabit, Wedding and in Friedrichshain between the Circle Line and Petersburger Straße, along Warschauer Straße, and also in Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Schöneberg between the axes Neukölln Shipping Canal/Skalitzer Straße/Gitschiner Straße, Karl-Marx-Straße/Gneisenaustraße/Yorckstraße, and Potsdamer Straße/Hauptstraße, the dense development with typical rear courtyard structures have largely been preserved.

The Imperial-era block-edge development with few wings/rear buildings, which includes the section types "Decorative and garden courtyards" and "Shed courtyards", can be found in the former suburbs of Berlin outside the Circle Line. These building structures, too, have hardly been changed since they were built. Large such areas exist in Friedenau, in Steglitz, in Tempelhof and Friedrichshagen, in Oberschöneweide, Karlshorst, Pankow, Niederschönhausen, and Spandau, and in Reinickendorf west of Provinzstraße.

Large areas of Imperial-era closed block-edge development with major changes, which emerged as the result of war-time destruction and reconstruction, or of reconstruction with massive demolition of imperial-era block development, are found within the Circle Line, particularly in Charlottenburg between Otto-Suhr-Allee and Bismarckstraße and along Spandauer Damm, in Tiergarten around the Spree Bend and Invalidenstraße, and south of the Landwehr Canal around Potsdamer Straße, in Wedding between the City Rail Line between Nordbahnhof, Gesundbrunnen and Bernauer Straße, and in Friedrichshain west of the Warschauer/ Petersburger Straße corridor and, east of these streets, in the area of Frankfurter Allee. Also in Schöneberg and Wilmersdorf, there are many areas in which the typical imperial-era courtyard structure was changed significantly by reconstruction and renovation.

In Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, Charlottenburg and Neukölln, very much imperial-era development of the section types with "closed courtyards" and "courtyards" is still preserved in its original form. The share of very dense development of the type "closed courtyard" is relatively high in Neukölln, Wedding and Kreuzberg. Preservation-oriented reconstruction, under which the original imperial-era block structures were largely preserved, occurred most prominently in Kreuzberg. In Tiergarten, Friedrichshain and Wilmersdorf, war-damage to imperial-era block development was largely eliminated and replaced, particularly by new buildings of the post-war block-edge type. Major changes in imperial-era buildings through reconstruction by de-coring were most common in Wedding.

The '20s and '30s block-edge and row development type is found mainly outside the Circle Line. Frequently, the rows and quadrangles were built in neighbourhoods where the "Imperial-era development with few wings and rear buildings" type dominated, at the edge of the former suburbs of Berlin. They are as a rule served by the City Rail and subway/ underground network.

The '50s and later row developments were built mostly in the Berlin outskirts, outside the Circle Line. They were laid out on former open spaces (agriculture areas, etc.) without regard for existing transport corridors or development structures. Within the Circle Line, formerly built-up areas were replaced by row development. This includes large areas in Kreuzberg, Mitte and Friedrichshain, but sporadic areas with row development in the former imperial-era block structure also exist in other inner-city areas.

The post-war high-rise development can be found as heterogeneous inner-city mixed development in the western boroughs. Large areas of this type exist in Wilmersdorf around Bundesallee, in Schöneberg in the area of Nollendorfplatz and Kleiststraße, and in Kreuzberg between Wilhelmstraße and Stresemannstraße. The major share of postwar high-rise buildings are assigned to the section type "Post-war high-rise development" with single tower high-rises. Within the Circle Line, these are found only in Kreuzberg, Mitte and Friedrichshain, where smaller developments of this section type emerged. As a rule, the high-rise developments were built outside the City Rail Circle Line. Major such complexes in West Berlin include Gropiusstadt in Neukölln, developments in Lichtenrade, Marienfelde, Lichterfelde and Spandau, and the Märkisches Viertel in Reinickendorf. In East Berlin, the largest developments are found in Hohenschönhausen, Marzahn, Hellersdorf and Lichtenberg. Estates with block-edge and row development with concrete plate construction and single tower high-rises are mostly found in Hellersdorf, Marzahn and Spandau. Smaller such estates were also built e.g. in Köpenick and Hohenschönhausen.

Large areas of the structure type "Residential development since the '90s" were mostly built in the context of urban development projects, mostly on the outskirts of the city, and in the eastern part, as in Karow-Nord and Buchholz. Some of the larger residential projects, such as Rummelsburger Bucht, are also in the inner-city. The largest project in the western part of the city is Wasserstadt Spandau.

The low buildings with usually single-family homes or duplexes and yards can be found throughout the outskirts of the city.

The villa development with park-like gardens emerged mainly during the imperial era in scenically attractive areas; this has hardly changed since then. Major such areas are located near the Grunewald Forest in Nikolassee, Zehlendorf, Dahlem and Grunewald, in Lichterfelde, near the Tegel Forest in Hermsdorf and Frohnau, along the Dahme at Grünau, and in the area the Müggelspree river at Rahnsdorf.

Development with yards and semi-private greening, in which villa development and/or low single family houses are interspersed with larger rental-flat and studio-apartment buildings, occurs mainly in the southern urban area, particularly in the transitional areas between villas and single family housing in West Lichterfelde and Zehlendorf.

Village-like development is still preserved on the outskirts of town only in the old village cores; in the eastern boroughs, more and larger village structures can generally be found.

Development with predominantly commercial and service use is largely found in the old core areas of the various parts of the city. This applies particularly to both the city centre areas of West and East Berlin concentrated around Kurfürstendamm/ Tauentzienstraße and Alexanderplatz/ Friedrichstraße, respectively.

Structure types with predominantly commercial and industrial use are concentrated along waterways and railroad lines. Densely built-up commercial areas occur less frequently than commercial areas with sparse development.

Development with predominantly public facilities and special use is to be found relatively evenly distributed throughout the urban area. Obviously, green and open spaces are more common in the outskirts area than in the inner city. As traffic areas, Tegel Airport and the railway grounds of the City Rail lines stand out, as do the car-parking areas at the Olympic Stadium and in the area of the ICC/ZOB, as well as the traffic areas around former Tempelhof Airport.

Detailed information about structure types which do not serve predominantly residential use are found in the Environmental Atlas Maps 06.01 "Actual Use of Built-up Areas" and 06.02 "Inventory of Green and Open Spaces".

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