A new kind of city park has been established at Gleisdreieck. Construction work on the park is now complete, although it is still undergoing further development.
An overgrown wilderness and a carefully designed landscape, a restorative retreat and open space that can be used for a wide range of activities – a new type of urban park has been created in the Gleisdreieck area. Local residents were closely involved in its development from the outset. Although the eastern section in Kreuzberg opened in 2011 and the western section in 2013, collaborative further development of the Park am Gleisdreieck is still far from complete. Until 2017, Grün Berlin and the landscape architects’ firm Atelier Loidl will work on its planned procedural completion in close cooperation with the users’ advisory board, which has been promoting the ideas and suggestions of interested Berliners since the end of 2014.
Their approach continues a long Gleisdreieck tradition of citizens’ involvement and participatory park design. Berliners’ wishes and ideas have been incorporated into the park’s planning and construction from its inception. Before the two-stage landscape planning competition was launched there was an intensive exchange of views and ideas with future users in the form of household surveys, an online dialogue and on-site events. In the planning and construction phase a “process-related public participation” concept was applied. The core of this process was the setting up of a working group to accompany the project. The group, consisting of elected citizens’ representatives, park planners, government agency staff and Grün Berlin GmbH discussed measures and concrete plans for creating the park. Public planning forums, exhibitions, site visits and workshops also offered a wide range of opportunities for participation.
Although its construction is complete, the park is constantly being further developed – conceptually as well as in terms of landscape and building, with the addition of more sports and games areas, supplementing of equipment, park management, and the maintenance and further development of tree and shrub plantings, the large lawns and meadows and ecologically significant areas. Care and maintenance measures were identified in a care and maintenance plan developed specially for the Park am Gleisdreieck. Managing the park also involves operating and further developing pilot projects integrated into the park such as the “Gärten im Garten” (gardens within a garden), allotment gardens POG, the intercultural “Rosenduftgarten” and beach volleyball space in the Westpark. Also necessary are maintenance measures to repair damage caused by the intensive use of the park and unfortunately also by vandalism and graffiti, and the repair, expansion and upgrading of technical facilities.
Another element of the procedural completion of the park is the building of an additional kiosk in the Westpark, directly adjoining the children’s playground near the Kurfürstenstrasse entrance. Opening in 2016, the new pavilion houses sanitary facilities, a multifunctional space with lockers, and a shop selling snacks and drinks.
The users’ advisory board developed the idea of a community garden in the Westpark, offering a space for educational programmes and workshops that would harmonise with the park’s formal design language. A wasteland site to the south of the dogs’ exercise area near the ramp to the hardware store on Yorckstrasse was a suitable location for this. As well as the possible community garden, the site will also offer space to extend the dogs’ exercise area and for another small playing field.