Urban Structural Density 2011


Natural landscape and urban development – both have determined the urban structure of Berlin.

The maps “Actual Use of Built-Up Areas “, “Inventory of Green and Open Spaces” and “Urban Structure” describe the types of land use in the Berlin municipal area in detail. However, statements on the degree of structural use are only indirectly possible using these maps available to date.

However, only the degree of structural use can describe urban structural density and utilisation intensity, and hence, in addition to the supply of facilities and open space, the urban structural quality of a residential area.

In the present maps therefore, the degree of structural use has now been mapped for the entire city for the first time at the level of blocks and block segments, in the form of land to building ratios (LBR) and floor space indices (FSI). The Maps 06.09.1 Land to Building Ratio (LBR) and 06.09.2 Floor Space Index (FSI) provide a detailed overview of urban structural density in Berlin.

The two parameters “land to building ratio” and “floor space index” are planning values under construction law which describe the degree of utilisation of lots. The regulations of the Construction Utilisation Ordinance (BauNVO) of 1990 provide the basis for the calculation. The regulations of the Construction Utilisation Ordinances of 1962, 1968 and 1977 have not been considered, since they do not significantly contribute to the representation of urban structural density.

The land to building ratio (LBR) indicates the share of the area covered with structural facilities, compared to the size of the lot (cf. §19, Sec. 1 BauNVO).

The floor space index (FSI) is a parameter which describes the intensity of use of an area. It states how many square metres of floor space are available per square metre of property area, and is calculated according to the outer measurements of all full storeys of the buildings (cf. §20, Sec. 2 & 3 BauNVO).

The maps are oriented towards the definitions of the Construction Utilisation Ordinance, and show the key values of urban structural density at the level of single blocks, since representation at the level of lots would not be suitable for a general map. For the present investigation, the actually existing inventory for these two planning parameters was ascertained, and thus shows the existing intensity of use for all built-up areas containing buildings.

The maps are designed to permit a comparison of the utilisation of built-up areas actually realised with the stipulations and descriptions in the Berlin development plans (land use plans, building use plans and construction plans), and thus to provide indications for the localisation of the overuse or underuse of areas. For that reason, the threshold values of the presentation or the class boundaries are defined with reference to those of the building use plans and the land use plans. In order to permit more differentiated statements for the densely built up areas with pre-First World War buildings, additional classes were created above the floor space index of 1.5.