It’s a summer thing: the heat is shimmering on the tarmac; much cooler air awaits you in the park. One reason for this difference in temperature is the soil surface. Plants in the park store water and release it as vapour into the atmosphere, thus cooling down the air. Tarmac, concrete and cobblestones rob nature of this ability; the air remains hot. Water, especially after heavy rainfall, cannot seep into impervious soil, which increases the risk of flooding. Pollutants from the air and precipitation are not retained in the soil either and are at least partially washed into surface waters.
Impervious soil coverage evidently has a negative effect on nature and our climate. For this reason, the plan is to reduce land consumption throughout the country, for example, with the concentration of infrastructure or compensation areas. In the State of Berlin, the degree of impervious coverage in the city was 33.9 percent in 2021, with around one third each consisting of buildings, undeveloped impervious areas and roads.
Here, you will find a wealth of information and working results on impervious soil coverage for Berlin. Data collection commenced at the beginning of the 1980s. The results are presented in the Environmental Atlas. They allow you to track the degree of impervious soil coverage by type of area or cover. The surveys of 2005, 2011, 2016 and 2021 introduced a new method; these years may be compared comprehensively. The data on impervious coverage from 1990 and 2001 is based on non-uniform methods; a direct comparison is therefore not possible.