January this year I wrote about the active participation of citizens in the planning of the Gleisdreieck park in Berlin, an abandoned railway site with wild vegetation and historical pieces of engineering.
Last week the participation of the citizen´s organisation was suspended by the project managers of the park, Grün Berlin Gmbh. Matthias Bauer, of the Gleisdreieck planning workgroup (the citizen´s organisation), put is this way:
“Wind turbines are shut down during a storm, citizen participation is shut down when opinions become too diverse”.
It seems that after a decade of planning and struggling the project, like many others, suffers the paradox of community participation in the implementation phase. However, apart from the somewhat frustrating end – from now on the planning will be conducted only by private companies and the government – the community have managed a number of important alterations in the plans:
– the area planned for roads has been reduced
– more industrial heritage and wild vegetation will be maintained
– more open spaces will be maintained, instead of dense new planting
– the community vegetable gardens are now incorporated in the plans.
The project manager
The competition, led by the city´s planning department