Urban Green Space

In the following section, the over 130-year development of Berlin’s urban green spaces will be described in a brief summary. This will involve merely the identification of particular landmarks by way of example, with no exploration of the political background. Nor will it involve any description of the planning process for the establishment of Berlin as a ducal residence during the feudal era, which preceded the development process of the City of Berlin, and which also involved open-space and garden planning.

The history of the Berlin urban green spaces is described by way of five periods: before 1870, 1870 to 1920, 1920 to 1948, 1948 to 1990, and after 1990. Due to the division of the city into eastern and the western sectors during the 1948 to 1990 period, the section on that period is presented in separate parts for each sector.

The development of urban green space in the Berlin boroughs after 1920, which also harks back to older developments, must however be left to later compilations by the boroughs themselves.

The State-Directed Development of Urban Green Space in Berlin until 1870

Until the foundation of the German Empire in 1870-'71, the urban planning matters of Berlin were essentially determined by the Prussian state, either through royal decrees or through fiscal and police measures. More information

The Municipal Development of Urban Green Space, 1870 to 1920

In June 1870, the Berlin City Council approved the establishment of a special "Park Deputation", and the appointment of a city public gardens director. This marks the real beginning of the history of the Berlin public gardens administration. More information

Municipal Development of Urban Green Space, 1920 to 1948

The defeat in World War I and the revolutionary events of 1918 brought an end to the monarchy and led to the formation of the Weimar Republic in 1919. In 1920, on the basis of the law of April 27, the new municipality of Greater Berlin was established, with 3.8 million inhabitants. More information

Development of Urban Green Space in East Berlin, 1948 to 1990

The Main Department of Green-Space Planning was dissolved as part of an administrative reform, and the borough departments of public gardens were downgraded to offices for the city parks. More information

Development of Urban Green Space in West Berlin, 1948 to 1990

In West Berlin, a new Main Department of Green Space and Horticulture/ Landscape Gardening was established in 1948, headed by Fritz Witte (1900-1972) until 1965. A major focus of his work was an emergency green program, including the restoration of the Großer Tiergarten and the Humboldthain. More information

Development of Urban Green Space in United Berlin since 1990

Only shortly after reunification, the decision was made to set up a landscape programme including nature conservation for the entire city area. After being decided upon by the Berlin state government and approved by the House of Representatives, it came into effect on June 13, 1994. More information