Urban Fold

The Perfect Storm Of Urban Planning Gone Wrong?

How Berlin went awry since the fall of the wall.

"Immediately after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, there were glimmers of hope in the form of private investment. Broadcast companies set up bureaus in the newly reunited city, and Western businesses looked for space to tap into the formerly closed-off markets of Eastern Europe. Overzealous government officials took a page from the American urban planning playbook, forging "public-private partnerships" to offer subsidies to seemingly anyone who wanted to build an office tower or a luxury apartment building.

...Berlin is the perfect storm of urban planning gone wrong: too much government money, too much top-down planning, and too great a desire to build a tourist attraction masked as a symbol. So far, the top-down planning model has produced what is at best a tourist trap, at worst an outright failure.

...The top-down, five-year city planning agenda has failed to overcome the culture that Berlin built up during the first 750 years of its explosive history. Berlin is still sexy, and its districts are still vibrant. And its planners, alas, are still misguided."

Thanks to Tory Gattis

Full Story: Poor, Sexy Berlin: The failure of urban planning

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