Here the sky, expanse and freedom seem limitless. When Tempelhofer Feld was opened to everyone in 2010 it gave Berlin another unique feature – one of the world’s biggest inner-city green spaces. Where once planes took off from West Berlin for destinations all over the world, there is now over 300 hectares of green space for skating, strolling, gardening, picnicking, bird watching, kite-surfing and much more. 19 projects currently successfully experimenting with artistic, gardening and social uses for the Tempelhofer Feld free space add to its diversity. The projects have created a wide range of activities and programmes for Berliners, ranging from art mini golf and a ‘green’ classroom through to community gardens.

Tempelhofer Feld is also a refuge for many plants and animals. Its size, and open, warm dry environment means that it can play an important role in the conservation of species found here. The park’s spacious, partially natural grasslands are one of the most significant habitats in Berlin for bird species that are endangered in Germany.

Tempelhof airport’s history has been complex and eventful. Pioneering early aviators started making aviation history here in 1883. The German airline Deutsche Lufthansa was founded on Tempelhof airfield in 1926 and the first airport building was completed in 1928. From 1936 to 1941 the Nazis had a gigantic new quarter-circle-shaped building built here. At that time the airfield was also used as Berlin’s only concentration camp, holding mainly political prisoners. The forced labourers used to build fighter planes were housed at the edge of the airfield in rough barracks. During the Berlin Blockade in 1948/49 the Allies kept west Berlin supplied with an airlift that started from Tempelhof airport. As a US air force airport it became an internationally renowned symbol of the defence of freedom. In 2008 the airport was closed and in 2010 the former airfield opened for the population to use as a recreational and leisure area. In 2015 an information trail on the history of Tempelhofer Feld documenting aspects of its eventful past was created.

In 2014 Berliners decided in a referendum not to allow construction on the edge of the airfield and to largely keep Tempelhofer Feld as it was. A statute governing Tempelhofer Feld’s conservation (“Gesetz zum Erhalt des Tempelhofer Feldes” - ThFG), which prescribes protective goals and preservation objectives, came into force in June 2014. A conservation and development plan that was developed in a participatory process maps out proposals for this huge open space’s evolution.

Dates & Facts

Site Former Tempelhof airport, between Tempelhofer Damm, Columbiadamm, Oderstrasse and Ringbahn
Size 303 hectares
Planning Currently being developed based on a participatory process
Opened 8th of May 2010

 

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