Berlin - Europe

Do a trip report here....go to another city and want to relate it to what KC is doing right or could do better? Give us a summary in here.
Riverite
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Berlin - Europe

Postby Riverite » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:29 pm

I recently returned to Berlin, after having lived there some five years ago. I always knew that it didn't have proper suburbs. It was one of the things that drew me into urban development & urban planning. I know that the wall had a lot of effect on that. I find it interesting to see a city that essential froze all development from the 40's to the 90's. Now a third of their city is natural, and they have one of the best transportation networks in the world. I know that the Berlin example is anecdotal, but I wonder if we can take any lessons from it. Obviously they had their own problems like rebuilding essentially half of the city. What do you all think?

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Highlander
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Re: Berlin - Europe

Postby Highlander » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:08 pm

Berlin is the capital of a large country with a very successful economy so they have the in-place driver to redevelop the city and the situation is probably unique in the world in that way. Unfortunately, KC doesn't have the economic drivers that can produce anything close to the frenzy of activity Berlin has seen. The transportation network is indeed incredible although by European standards, Berlin is not that dense of a city. I also love the architectural contrasts from what little pre-war that got preserved (or rebuilt) to the 1950-60 Soviet and Western styles to the Post Wall ultra modern in the government section, Potsdammer Platz and along the urban route of the wall itself. That said, not all of that new building really works that well, I do not like the architecture in the government sector all that much and Potzdammer Platz is uninviting and a bit disappointing. It reminds me of new urbanism in the US - it's cool at first glance but it doesn't really integrate into its surroundings all that well. I do think the new hauptbahnhoff is really well done. Maybe my favorite train station in the world.

Unrelated to your question, did you see the Berlin Stadtschloss (palace)? It's the most ambitious rebuild in Germany since the Dresden Frauenkirche was rebuilt. I am planning a trip back to Berlin to see it when its complete. Supposed to be done this year.

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Re: Berlin - Europe

Postby Riverite » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:46 am

I did see the palace, it isn't finished yet. While I do like the frauenkirche, I'm slightly wary to be excited for this one. I've seen enough of the rebuilt areas in Potsdam to know that it won't ever look quite right

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FangKC
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Re: Berlin - Europe

Postby FangKC » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:38 am

It is amazing how fast they rebuilt cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, and Dresden after WWII, and how much investment was required. They were devastated and in 40 years were rebuilt. It took almost 10 years to clear the rubble alone. Forty years ago was 1978, and KC has blocks all over our central city and downtown that have sat vacant and not redeveloped for sixty or seventy years. Most of the North Loop was demolished for a future redevelopment scheme that never happened.

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Re: Berlin - Europe

Postby Highlander » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:53 pm

FangKC wrote:It is amazing how fast they rebuilt cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, and Dresden after WWII, and how much investment was required. They were devastated and in 40 years were rebuilt. It took almost 10 years to clear the rubble alone. Forty years ago was 1978, and KC has blocks all over our central city and downtown that have sat vacant and not redeveloped for sixty or seventy years. Most of the North Loop was demolished for a future redevelopment scheme that never happened.


The big difference is that there is not a huge suburban world of sprawl in Germany to live in. Germany is pretty small in terms of area and if they lived anything like Americans, there would be nothing but suburbs from the Polish to French borders. Germans did not have a choice but to rebuild. There were some pretty poor and not-so-dense suburban like apartment complexes that sprung across Germany in the 50's/60's with the worst examples being in former East Germany. Get out of the center of Dresden and many of the apartment complexes are still pretty awful - ugly, spread out, nothing really urban about them. Soviet Utopian crap.


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