River-view villas, endless parks, green picture-perfect allotment gardens next to concrete high-rises and industrial parks – Berlin’s urban structure is as diverse as its inhabitants. The metropolis is home to some 3.7 million people and counting. Not always has the city been this colourful and multi-faceted, however. With more than 100 military facilities and barracks, Berlin was mostly a lacklustre collection of barracks in the 19th century.
It was not until the end of the 19th century that Berlin’s appearance began to change, and the city developed into an industrial hub. Suddenly, there were a lot more jobs; this also caused the demand for housing to skyrocket. Henceforth, building regulations and development plans regulated the growth of the city. Thus, the size of housing blocks and courtyards as well as the height of buildings was defined. Between 1880 and 1918, dense block development with its multiple narrow and consecutive rear courtyards, now characteristic of Berlin, emerged in the area enclosed by the S-Bahn ring.
Berlin’s construction is ongoing. The metropolis changes every day, and the urban structure is recorded continuously. Berlin is divided into 52 different area types – ranging from large estates and dense block development to green and open spaces, traffic and industrial areas. Click here to browse our extensive collection of data and maps on land use and gain a deep insight into Berlin’s urban history.