Actual Use of Built-up Areas / Inventory of Green and Open Spaces 2015


Social, political and economic changes generate new tasks and functions for a city, many of which cannot be satisfied within the framework of existing urban structures. Even almost three decades after the reunion of the two parts of the formerly divided city, Berlin is still engaged in a prolonged process of economic and demographic restructuring. The expected developments outlined in the Berlin Land Use Plan 1994 at the beginning of the 1990s (cf. text, Edition 1995) had been only partially realized initially. A major growth impetus had been predicted for the metropolis of Berlin and its immediate surroundings through 2010. The real development, however, was the opposite. While, on the one hand, most of Berlin’s immediate neighbouring communities grew rapidly from the mid-1990s, the population of Berlin, on the other hand, showed a slight decrease in population until the early 2000s, which only reached its 1991 level again in 2010. At the same time, there was also a loss of jobs. From the year 2005, Berlin initially saw a slight increase in population, which became consistent in the following years and has been developing dynamically since 2010. It currently comprises an annual population increase of 40,000 to 50,000 inhabitants (cf. also Population Prognosis 2018-2030, only in German).

New urban developments, require adapted strategic considerations for urban and landscape planning, for which a knowledge of current land use is an indispensable precondition. The impact of urban development and construction processes on the environment depends to a large extent on the type and intensity of the actual land use. For this reason, the effects on the environment, and also the nature and potentials of urban space, are closely linked to uses and structures.

The actual-use and urban-structure mapping procedures of the Environmental Atlas go back to concepts and strategies from the 1980s, and have since become increasingly important. In terms of spatial and substantive differentiation, these maps are important especially for city-wide higher-level analyses, models and programmes in the areas of the environment, urban development and landscape planning. A close integration of the content of the present actual-use maps exists with the maps on Urban Structure, 06.07 and 06.08 of the Environmental Atlas. The actual use shown in Maps 06.01, 06.02, 06.01.1 and 06.02.1 is to some extent further differentiated in those maps. Particularly for the use category “Housing”, which includes a broad spectrum of urban structures, a further differentiation is of particular interest, in order to be able to derive various urban and environmental indicators and parameters. Since not all data required for certain calculations or plans are available, or can be collected with reasonable effort locally, an approach has been adopted in recent decades that can be described as that of “urban-structure typology”. Under this process, indicator values are derived on the basis of random samples, data obtained from the literature, or expert assessment, and parameters are assigned to the mapping units. Since the utilization and urban structure have been mapped completely, these indicators can then be transferred to the entire city for many applications with a sufficient degree of accuracy.

Especially for the tasks of urban and landscape planning, an understanding of the actual land use is vital. Thus, an evaluation of the needs of the population for recreational opportunities near their homes requires information on the location of residential areas and of open spaces. Also, the close proximity of certain pollution sources to sensitive areas, such as commercial areas in the vicinity of housing or allotment gardens, can provide indications on existing conflicts (noise and air pollution, heavy-metal pollution of the soil), and strategies for solutions can be developed. Similarly, without detailed knowledge of various urban structures, the development of planning concepts for adapting to climate change would not be possible.

Furthermore, the actual-use mapping data contained in the Urban and Environment Information System (ISU) is used in the everyday planning process, as a result of its use as a base of information for landscape care plans, environmental reports as part of the construction planning process, and for other environmental impact assessments and statements.

Maps 06.01 and 06.02 together constitute a mutually complementary comprehensive presentation of actual land use in Berlin, and should, in terms of their content, be considered a single map. For methodological reasons, these maps partly overlap. Therefore, beginning 2010 two further maps are being provided, in which the information that had hitherto been separated is combined, so that the actual use is comprehensively represented across all use types. The following text always refers to all maps, unless reference is expressly made to a particular one.