Essay on Urban Green Spaces in Berlin

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903 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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City location and demographics

Berlin is a capital city of Germany. It is situated in the northeastern part of Spree and Havel rivers and covers an area of 891.7 km2. One-third of its area is covered by lakes, rivers, parks, and forests. The topography is low with a plateau joining north France to the western part of Russia (Sebastian & Maull 12-78). The city experiences maritime temperate climate. Winters have an average temperature of 30C, summers 2225 0C while spring and autumn are chilly. The population of Germany is 82.67 million as per the census in 2016 while Berlin is approximately 2.7 million. According to World Bank Report, Germany population growth has increased from 0.8% in 1960 to 1.2% in 2016.

According to Urban Development concept for Berlin 2030, the city is strategically planned to be a place that supports economic strength, quality of life and social conscience. The city will constitute of experimental design, creative urban planning and a balance of modern and traditional architectural heritage. Green spaces to be created will be meant for leisure and meeting purposes. Socially, the city will provide better places for communities to live hence forming a diverse community which shall participate in the growth of the economy. The plan for the organization of Berlin will be under a reliable local authority which is recognized internationally in its service delivery. By 2030, the city is planned to have multiple innovation centers, create institutions links and promote the startups with the aim of improving entrepreneurship. Equal access to educational opportunities will be provided, and all academic institutions monitored to ensure they give quality and affordable education. On the environment conservation, the city focuses on increasing renewable energies, attracting urban technologies and promoting climate protection initiatives. The city has also increased the budget allocation for slums for efficiency improvements. It has also formed stakeholder partnerships to address challenges faced in slums such as urban poverty (Nadja & Haase 129-139).

The age structure varies with year. As per 2016, 13.4% of the population were aged under 15, 9.5% 15-25, 31.1% 25-45, 27.0% 45-65 and 19.1% above 65 years. The employment rate has been down since the Germany reunification. Despite this factor, at least every year there is a significant unemployment decrease of 1.0% hence putting berlin in position 14 in Germany. The unemployment rate was 9.6% in February 2017 marking a significant decrease from 2016.

Most of the largest companies are located in Berlin City. They are a good source of employment. Tourism is another economic activity highly invested in the city. From history, Berlin is leading in organizing international conferences which currently total to 195 meetings. Creative industries have also facilitated a lot in the growth of Berlin economy. It hosts 1,000 film and television companies, 270 theatres. The city has accredited research institutions offering quite some disciplines.

Just like any other city or country, Berlin has an informal economy which helps significantly in the local economic life. This forms an investable part of Berlin economy since most of the residents make a living from this sector. An economic issue of concern to this sector is that it has no formal policies or structures. This affects the entrepreneurs investing in it since no sustainability guaranteed. Could not find ex. Informal economy.'

City infrastructure and impacts on health and environment

Pollution issue in Berlin is somehow controlled. Air pollution is at 39.10%, water pollution 35.87%, noise and light pollution 48.31%, and garbage disposal 29.51%. Air pollution is still affecting the environment despite the environmental zones enforced in 2008. The law restricts some car from entering the city and also aims at reducing car use as a way of improving air quality. The city also encourages bicycle infrastructure which has currently doubled to 13%. The key water challenge is eutrophication of the Spree and Havel rivers. Attempts to provide safe water free of pollution have been made in the city. For instance, there is the extraction of water within the city. Solid waste pollution has decreased in the city since 1992 where a total of 2,594,000 tonnes was collected compared to 1,481,000 in 2012 indicating a decline of 43%. This change was realized after the city incorporated methods of recycling of waste (Mehner et al., 331-344).

The transport infrastructure in Berlin is good. Tarmacked roads connect each part of the city enhancing mobility. There are 979 bridges well-constructed and highly complex railway lines connecting Berlin to other cities. There are two international airports and the third one in construction process. It has over five power plants which supply electricity and gas. Berlin Water Works Company serves the city with water and manages the waste disposal though there are many other companies which also assist on the same.

Heart disease is the most common killer diseases affecting the residents of Berlin and the country at large. Men are at a greater risk. Research shows that 310 people per every 100,000 die due to heart-related disease. Access to education is not a problem since the city has 878 schools with a comprehensive learning curriculum. Animals and plants have also been affected highly through eutrophication hence killing aquatic animals. Oil pollution damages the growth of water plants due to blockages of stomata.


Works Cited

Arlinghaus, Robert, and Thomas Mehner. "A management-orientated comparative analysis of urban and rural anglers living in a metropolis (Berlin, Germany)." Environmental Management33.3 (2004): 331-344.

Harnisch, Sebastian, and Hanns Maull, eds. Germany as a civilian power?: the foreign policy of the Berlin Republic. Manchester University Press, (2001): 12-78

Kabisch, Nadja, and Dagmar Haase. "Green justice or just green? Provision of urban green spaces in Berlin, Germany." Landscape and Urban Planning 122 (2014): 129-139.


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