Urban Green Space Provisioning in Berlin, Germany. Environmental Justice in Sustainable Urban Green Space Planning

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:45 PM
Room: 311+312
Oral Presentation
Nadja KABISCH , Geography, Humoldt Universitšt zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Dagmar HAASE , Humboldt Universitšt zu Berlin and Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany
The city of Berlin, Germany, tries to integrate the ecological, social and economic dimensions of sustainability in all fields of policy action since some years. The main aim is to increase quality of life for all residents in an equal way. However, Berlin is facing further immigration which will lead to nearly 250,000 additional residents in the next 20 years. This population growth combined with urban planning policies of (re)densification will certainly drive the conversion of urban green spaces into residential land. This development might result in an unsustainable city environment which would raise concerns of environmental justice, too.

Set against this background, we present an analysis of urban green space provisioning in Berlin in order to identify distributional inequities between urban green spaces and population. The relation is discussed in light of variations in user preferences associated with age and immigrant status. Publicly available land use and socio-demographic data at sub-district level are applied in a GIS, dissimilarity index and cluster analysis approach. Our results show that although most areas are supplied with more UGS compared to the per capita target value of 6m², there is considerable dissimilarity by immigrant status and age. Environmental justice is further discussed on a site-specific case in Berlin – the park and former city airport Berlin-Tempelhof. Visitor profiles and preferences are analysed. Results from questionnaire surveys indicate that the identified dissimilarities on sub-district level are not the same as environmental injustice in Tempelhof, but point to a mismatch of urban green space and user preferences.

We conclude that, if a city claims to follow the sustainability paradigm, successful urban green space planning should consider the match between quality of a park and specific cultural and age-dependent user needs while providing equal access to high quality green spaces for all residents.