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

Map Description

Each mapping unit for Actual Use of Built-Up Areas and for the Inventory of Green and Open Space is described separately below.

The Categories for the Map “Actual Use of Built-Up Areas” (06.01)

Block areas are shown as Housing if they are primarily used for residential purposes. Certain residentially related service enterprises, utilities and local green spaces are also included. Residential areas include both the dense inner-city areas and the open housing estates at the periphery of the city.

The Mixed use area may be similar to primarily residential areas in appearance. However, the housing is more strongly interspersed with commercial and service enterprises (department stores, offices, etc.), cultural facilities and small businesses. In exceptional cases, housing may account for as much as two thirds of the area, but as a rule, commercial, service enterprises and other businesses predominate.

In some cases, Mixed use areas are characterized by a high share of retail enterprises, tradespeople, or small businesses, or extensively used commercial space and the associated sheds, workshops or warehouse/ storage areas, while residential use is clearly secondary, and accounts for only one third or at most half of such an area. If such areas are underused, they may be interspersed with fallow areas.

The negative impact of commercial use on a neighbouring residential area usually ranges between minimal and moderate, but is in some cases high.

Areas with high use intensity and density are presented as Core use areas. They are found exclusively in the central areas of the inner city, and in the main borough centres. These are areas of particular importance for commercial, private and public services, and for cultural and scientific institutions. To some extent, higher-level public facilities, especially federal administrative offices, embassies, etc. in inner-city areas are assigned to this category.

Structurally, major differences are apparent between various parts of the city. The spectrum ranges from block structures of the Wilhelminian period to high-rise buildings built in recent decades. In general, these areas are characterized by high urban density and a high degree of imperviousness.

The characteristics of a Commercial and industrial, large-scale retail area include large industrial buildings, warehouses and storage/ parking areas. The housing share is subordinate, with around one third at a maximum. This category also includes railway freight yards and commercial areas on railway land, waterside lots of a clearly commercial character (shipyards, boatyards, etc.), as well as large-scale retail and other space-consuming commercial operations, including the parking facilities belonging to them. Disturbance due to noise and emissions can be rated from moderate to very high.

Sites of the Public use category include cultural, university and research, health care, administrative, security and law-enforcement facilities, religious institutions such as churches, child care centres and other youth recreational centres, schools and sports facilities. A few children’s playgrounds and retirement homes are also included in this category.

Special use areas include such areas as the Olympic Stadium and the Messegelände trade fair complex, as well as large restaurants in recreational areas oriented toward group tours.

The category Utility area includes power, gas, water, district heating and facilities of the waste removal and sewage departments.

Public roadways are generally not included in the use mapping process. The Traffic areas as described here therefore include primarily railway lands, private roadways, as well as Tegel Airport. Moreover, traffic islands and median strips also count as Traffic areas, to the extent that they are marked on the block maps. “Green spaces associated with traffic areas” – i.e., along roads, rail lines and bodies of water – are also assigned to this category in the mapping process, albeit as dual use areas which are also counted as Green and open spaces.

Freight railway stations and commercial areas on railway land are, by contrast, not counted as traffic areas, but are rather assigned to the category “Commercial and industrial use, large-scale retail”.

Parking spaces including parking garages were only considered to be traffic areas if they occupy an entire block. Parking areas with ascertainment sizes exceeding one hectare, but which are located within a single block in combination with other uses (e.g. residential use), are not separated off by a block segment partition, but are rather assigned to the dominant use.

The Traffic area category also includes railway lines and operating facilities of the subway (U-Bahn), the urban railway (S-Bahn), the long distance railway and the tram system, and also parts of the underground/subway lines which are outside of the tunnels in open cuts.

The Central Bus Station (ZOB), and the bus and tram depots are also assigned to this category.

Weekend cottages are by definition not permanently inhabited, and are primarily used for recreation. This category also includes areas with allotment-garden-type use, which are not listed in the “Berlin Allotment Gardens” map developed by the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment as per the Federal Allotment Gardens Law.

Compared to a single-family home area with residential use, these blocks are generally characterized by a smaller structural volume and a smaller-scale subdivision of the lots. Compared with Allotment garden areas however, these areas are more densely built-up, and the lots are generally larger.

Areas classified as Construction sites are those with a typical construction site character, as a rule, with open ground. Once the foundations and first floors of the new building are recognizable, it will be classified according to its planned use.

Categories of the Map “Inventory of Green and Open Space” (06.02)

The category Forest includes all wooded areas of the Berlin forests, as well as those wooded stands outside the Berlin forests which appear clearly in aerial photography as forest stands. Besides the wooded areas of the Berlin forests, this includes reforested former sewage farms and other fallows with forest-like vegetation.

Not included in this category are forest-like parks, such as the Großer Tiergarten or the Klein-Glienicke People’s Park, which is part of the parkland inventory of Berlin. Such areas have been assigned to the use category Park / green space and to the area type Forest.

Body of water includes all natural bodies of water, e.g. rivers, lakes, ponds, and also canals, retaining and seepage basins of the Berlin Water Authority, provided they are recognizable as water surfaces (or as water engineering structures).

The category Meadow and pasture includes meadows, pastures and enclosures used for agricultural purposes, and also experimental areas used by the universities for similar purposes, and former sewage fields, regardless of how the products of these fields are used.

Farmland includes areas identified as being used for agricultural purposes. The difference from the category Meadow and pasture is that in this case, the land is periodically ploughed, sown, fertilized and harvested.

To determine the use of meadow and pasture and farmland, the database of the digital field block register was analyzed for the first time. The use categories Meadow and pasture and Farmland may alternate over the course of only a few years in the same area. For these two agricultural use categories, it is therefore particularly important that the mapping process reflect the current state of knowledge.

The category Tree nursery / horticulture includes both the acreage of private tree nurseries and garden centers, and of borough garden centers and city horticultural schools. These are areas with predominantly outdoor cultivation. Facilities with purely indoor operations are rather assigned to the category Commercial and industrial use.

Block areas with borough garden centres, horticultural schools, the work yards of the horticultural offices, and certain research facilities, such as the Institute for Crop Research of the Technical University Berlin and the corresponding teaching and experimental fields of the universities, are mapped as dual use together with Public use /special use. Due to their high demand for space, tree nurseries and horticultural facilities are largely located at the outskirts of the city.

In addition to those facilities listed in the Directory of Green Spaces compiled by the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, the category Park / green space includes other green spaces, if they are similar in appearance to a publicly accessible park facility and are apparently subject to regular maintenance gardening. Thus, for example, well maintained green spaces associated with traffic areas along roads and motorways are assigned to this category, albeit as dual purpose areas with traffic use. Smaller, public-square-like green spaces and playgrounds are also mapped as a Park / green spaces, provided they are less than approx. one third impervious; otherwise they fall under the category of City square / promenade. Blocks of the use category Park / green space are also generally assigned to the area type Park / green space. Very extensive parks and recreational facilities characterized almost exclusively by extensively maintained or non-maintained wooded or meadow-like areas are in some cases assigned to the area types Forest or Fallow area (e.g., the Klein-Glienicke People’s Park). Some special, not freely accessible facilities, such as the Botanical Gardens or Zoologischer Garten or Tierpark Friedrichsfelde, are mapped as a Park / green space, but with the dual purpose assignment as Public use / special use. Other public facilities, too, may be associated with green facilities. These parklands are then not delimited separately, even if their size exceeds the ascertainment limit of one ha. They may be mapped as dual purpose areas, in order to also connote their predominantly “green” character.

By contrast however, private outdoor facilities, playgrounds, etc. in residential areas are not mapped as a Park / green space, since they are part of the character of the residential use of those areas, and the open space structure of these blocks is further differentiated in the type assignment (see comments on the Environmental Atlas Maps 06.07/06.08).

City squares / promenades are the public spaces of urban living. City squares serve as places of sojourn for leisure and recreational purposes, as meeting areas, market places etc., and are often located in front of railway stations and other representative public buildings.

Promenades are spacious pathways that provide pedestrians and cyclists with space for movement away from road traffic. Promenade may also include some more highly impervious median strips, provided they are not used as parking lots. Squares and promenades generally have a higher degree of imperviousness than parks and green spaces.

A Cemetery includes both areas currently used for burial purposes and former cemeteries, provided they are still recognizable as such.

The data on the inventory of cemeteries in Berlin maintained by the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment is the basis for the scope of these areas. Honorary graves and monuments, on the other hand, are not assigned to the area type Cemetery, although they are recorded in the Berlin inventory of cemeteries; they are mapped as Public and special use, and assigned to the area type Culture.

However, cemeteries are not generally considered areas of Public and special use. Only when usually small-scale blocks are largely occupied by a church building, and the surrounding cemetery is only a subordinate feature will a dual use as Public and special use be assigned, in which case the block is then assigned to the area type Church. However, if a church or chapel is located on a large cemetery only in a subordinate function, no dual use is assigned.

Structurally, cemeteries differ from one another mainly in terms of their stock of trees. While older cemeteries and forest cemeteries are essentially characterized by their very old stocks of trees, many newer cemeteries are still largely without larger trees.

The basis for the assignment and delimitation of the category Allotment garden is the data base compiled by the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment of Berlin allotment gardens, which record the allotment gardens with appropriate use, as defined by the Federal Allotment Garden Law.

Other areas with similar use characteristics are classified as Weekend cottages and allotment-garden-type use.

A Fallow area is an area that is currently not in use and not maintained, on which variegated stands of vegetation can often develop.

A distinction is made between a Fallow free of vegetation on the one hand, which includes mostly excavations, soil or rubble dumps, or demolition areas, where no vegetation has yet taken root, due to the fact that their utilization has only recently been abandoned. In some cases, the site conditions ensure that no vegetation will enter the area for some time. These may be brownfields where little vegetation grows due to the very high degree of imperviousness, or else sand dunes and beaches, on which spontaneous growth of vegetation occurs only very slowly, due to a lack of nutrients, or due to regular disturbances.

Another category of fallows is Fallow with predominantly meadow-like vegetation. On open brownfield sites, a vegetation of ruderal perennials and grasses often establishes itself during the first few years. Especially on nutrient-poor sites, this vegetation can remain relatively constant over the course of several years. In general, however, unstable conditions prevail.

All brownfield sites which cannot be clearly assigned to one of the other fallow or forest categories are mapped as Fallow with mixed vegetation – meadows, trees, bushes. The development of vegetation on a fallow site depends on many conditions, such as the abiotic site conditions, the initial vegetation and anthropogenic influences, so that on long-fallow sites, various successional stages often alternate within a small area.

If, on the other hand, an area is covered almost entirely with trees, it will be assigned to the category Forest.

The category Sport facility includes both covered and uncovered sports facilities. All sports use areas are at the same time mapped as Public and special use.

Uncovered sports facilities are outdoor facilities used for sports, physical activity and leisure activities. These include not only sports fields, swimming pools and beaches, but also riding, golfing, archery and water sports areas. The latter are characterized by small dockyards, boat and club houses, parking lots etc., with a high proportion of green space. Clearly commercial water sports areas (dockyards, boat-building facilities, etc.) are assigned to the category Commercial and industrial use. Some fairly extensively used beaches (without changing rooms, kiosks, etc.) are assigned to fallow or forest categories.

The covered sports facilities include primarily those housed in halls, such as indoor pools and ice skating rinks, and also stadiums and multipurpose halls, in which non-sporting events such as concerts may also be held.

Use Distribution for Berlin

The following tables and figures show the shares of all use types in relation to the total area of Berlin. It should be noted that 1,964 areas have both a land use category of built-up areas (nos. 10 through 90) and of non-built-up areas (nos. 100 through 200).

With this approach, major potential green and open space areas can be displayed on other use areas. This applies particularly to Public and special use sites, Utility areas, Commercial and industrial areas and Traffic areas. These areas are shown on both maps, i.e. differently (cf. the explanations of dual use in the Methodology section).

Since for the evaluation of area shares, each area only once can be considered once, both cases– green priority and construction priority – have been calculated separately.

The calculations are based on the area size data of the ISU. The block areas were calculated with the help of the Geographic Information System (GIS) based on the block segment map ISU5.

Table 2 shows the absolute and percentage area shares of different uses of the total area of Berlin.

Link to: Vergrößern
Tab. 2: Area shares of different uses of the total area of Berlin, area sizes based on block segment map ISU5, as of December 31, 2015
Image: Umweltatlas Berlin
Link to: Vergrößern
Fig. 1: Shares of the various use categories of the total area of Berlin, area sizes based on the ISU5 block segment map, analysis based on construction priority, as of December 31, 2015
Image: Umweltatlas Berlin
Link to: Vergrößern
Fig. 2: Shares of the various use categories of the inventory of green and open space, and of the total built-up area of Berlin Area sizes based on the ISU5 block segment map, analysis based on construction priority, as of December 31, 2015
Image: Umweltatlas Berlin

In terms of the absolute area of all Berlin boroughs [in ha], the following overview emerges:

Link to: Vergrößern
Tab. 3: Area shares of different uses of the total area of Berlin [in ha], area sizes based on the ISU5 block segment map (in case of construction priority), as of December 31, 2015
Image: Umweltatlas Berlin

A presentation of the distribution of use types among the boroughs in absolute terms in ha, and in relative terms in % of the area of the borough, is shown in Figures 3 and 4.

Link to: Vergrößern
Fig. 3: Shares of different uses of the total area of Berlin in ha, area sizes based on the ISU5 segment block map (in case of construction priority), as of December 31, 2015
Image: Umweltatlas Berlin
Link to: Vergrößern
Fig. 4: Shares of different uses of the total area of Berlin in %, area sizes based on the ISU5 segment block map (in case of construction priority)
Image: Umweltatlas Berlin

Land use distribution changes in comparison to the previous edition

A comparison with the figures of the Edition 2011 reveals several pointers in how use has changed in Berlin, which allows for more general trends in urban development to be deduced. Hence, growth of 359 ha in block areas with residential use demonstrates increased residential construction activity, which may be explained predominantly by the actual developments since 2010. It is important to note here that the additional subsequent densification within a block of the same use category is not shown at block or block segment level.

The clear decrease in fallow areas of approx. 1,000 ha (Use Type 171, 172, 173) is only partly due to these areas being used for construction purposes. Although some fallow areas are now used as “Detached single-family homes with yards”, “Row houses and duplexes with yards” and “Rental-flat buildings of the 1990s and later” and as commercial areas. The main reason for the decrease in fallow areas, however, is the changed use of Tempelhofer Freiheit and the park facilities at Gleisdreieck, which are now green spaces.

Furthermore, as a result of a more accurate method of determining fallow areas than that applied in Edition 2011, there seem to be changes in use. In a large number of these cases, a comparison with the current green space inventory led to an amendment of the use category to “Park / green space”. This is due to the following: several areas which had previously been identified as fallow areas, could now be recognized as green spaces due to their dedicated use, albeit not being recognizable as such phenomenologically (e.g. by analyzing aerial photography). This is reflected in the area for the use category “Park / green space”, which saw a significant increase by a total of 761 ha. In addition, many areas previously mapped as fallow areas, were now presented as “Meadow and pasture” or “Farmland” according to the current field block register, without necessarily any actual changes in use having taken place. In this regard, too, growth was recorded for “meadow and pasture” (plus 239 ha).

The growth of areas in the category “Weekend cottage and allotment-garden-type use” can be explained by rededication to large extents. Especially in the boroughs of the former East, various former allotments lost their status according to the Federal Allotment Garden Law due to rededication. The increase in “Weekend cottage and allotment-garden-type use” can hence be explained by the decrease in the use category “Allotment garden”. However, two thirds of the decrease in “Allotment gardens” is based on use changes in residential and commercial areas.

The significant decline in the “Traffic area” category is mainly effected by parking lots that were rededicated as residential and commercial areas. Likewise, large hospital areas formerly allocated to the “Public use and special use” category were changed to residential areas.

Overall, however, we cannot reliably determine the extent to which changes in the area shares of the respective uses are due to methodological factors and not due to actual use changes based on the figures. Hence, it is impossible to accurately quantify the proportion of green and open spaces that have been lost due to actual constructional use or change in use, which may have taken place in the period since 2011. The area monitoring (only in German) of the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment can provide more detailed findings here.

Description of Map “Actual Use of Built-Up Areas” (06.01)

The Map “Actual Use of Built-up Areas” (06.01) shows the different use categories by their shares of the built-up area of Berlin and their distribution throughout the city area (as of December 31, 2015). Figure 5 elucidates the distribution of the use shares further.

More than the half of the built-up area of Berlin is used for housing. Commercial and industrial areas and Public and special uses account for 13 % and 16 %, respectively – still a relatively large share of the built-up area of Berlin. The Traffic areas are next, without the roadways not shown as traffic areas, with 6 %, and then the Mixed areas, with approx. 5 %. Very little space is taken up by the Core areas, Utility areas, Traffic areas, Weekend cottage and allotment garden-type use. The current map contains block areas mapped as Construction site, which only account for a small share of 75 ha, however.

In the distribution of the use categories of built-up areas within the urban area, characteristic structures can be recognized. Thus, purely residential or commercial areas exist in the outskirts areas much more frequently than within the City Rail Circle Line; the Mixed and Core area use categories are more heavily represented in the latter. Commercial areas are particularly concentrated along waterways, railroad lines and main roads, due to the more favourable transport conditions. One often finds Mixed areas and scattered Core areas in the old village centres in various parts of the city. Particularly characteristic is the concentration of the Core Areas in both the western city centre around Kurfürstendamm / Tauentzienstraße, and in the eastern city centre area of Alexanderplatz / Friedrichstraße. Public use areas are distributed throughout the entire urban area relatively evenly. Utilitiy areas occur mainly in the outskirts, frequently in the vicinity of commercial areas.

The described structures are also reflected in a comparison of the distribution of the land use categories within the boroughs (cf. Fig. 5).

Link to: Vergrößern
Fig. 5: Shares of selected use types in the built-up areas of all Berlin boroughs, area sizes based on the ISU5 block segment map (in case of construction priority), as of December 31, 2015
Image: Umweltatlas Berlin

Examples for the characteristic use distribution in the outskirts areas are the boroughs of Marzahn-Hellersdorf and Neukölln, with 63 % and 62 % residential use and 12 % and 13 % industrial use, respectively, while in the borough of Mitte, the borough’s central functions are reflected by its shares of only 32 % Housing areas, but more than 5 % Core area use and approx. 12 % Mixed area use, as well as a high share of Public use facilities (28 %).

This function is not shown so clearly for the western city centre around Kurfürstendamm/ Tauentzienstraße, with Core area shares of only 2 % or less, since that core area is distributed among the three boroughs of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Mitte and Schöneberg-Tempelhof.

Besides the borough of Mitte, the inner city boroughs of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf have relatively low shares of residential areas, with 42 % and 43 % respectively; correspondingly, the share of public use facilities is very high, with 18 % and 21 %, respectively. Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Mitte are the boroughs in which the largest shares of the original mix of uses are most clearly apparent. They are the boroughs with by far the largest Mixed use shares (12 % and 15 %).

With 63 % residential use Zehlendorf-Steglitz stands out as a residential borough with a low share of commercial use (5 %).

Description of Map “Inventory of Green and Open Spaces” (06.02)

The Map “Inventory of Green and Open Spaces” (06.02), shows the different use categories and their shares of the non-built-up areas of Berlin, as well as their distribution throughout the city.

The largest share of the Inventory of Green and Open Spaces is located in the outskirts of the city, including particularly the large wooded areas of the Grunewald and Düppel forests in the southwest, the Spandau and Tegel forests in the northwest, and the large forest areas in the borough of Köpenick in the southeast of Berlin. Forests account for 38 % of all Green and open spaces. Bodies of water account for 13 % (cf. Fig. 6).

Areas used for agricultural purposes, which account for almost 9 % of the inventory of open space, are found particularly in the north-eastern area (Pankow and Weißensee). Other agricultural areas are located in the remaining outskirts. Allotment gardens, which account for some 8 % of the open space inventory, are found almost exclusively outside the City Rail Circle Line, in the outer boroughs. Often, they are located near canals, rivers and railroad lines. The currently unused fallow areas are distributed throughout the entire urban area, particularly along railroad lines and bodies of water. They account for some 10 % of the total open space. Tree nurseries and horticultural areas are found only in the outskirts, while areas of the categories Sport facility, Cemetery, and Park and green space are located throughout the entire urban area.

The area size of the open spaces increases as one moves from the inner city area toward the outskirts. Moreover, in the outer areas of the city, the various categories of open space are often located adjacent to one another, and thus form larger contiguous open systems, while the various open areas in the inner city usually occur in isolation, and are surrounded by built-up areas. In the inner-city boroughs, the inventory of open space is dominated by parks.

Link to: Vergrößern
Fig. 6: Shares of selected use types of green and open spaces in the Berlin boroughs, area sizes based on the ISU5 block segment map (in case of green priority), as of December 31, 2015
Image: Umweltatlas Berlin