Encounter zones

Berlin, Germany ,2011

‘’The car’s supremacy is coming to an end.‘’ stated Monika Herrman, major of the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg in Berlin. ‘’Most of our citizens don’t own a car and just walk, cycle or use public transport to move, which is better for the environment and leaves more space for the people’’.

In 2011, the Berlin Senate proposed the Pedestrian Strategy to promote walking as the most environmentally friendly way of getting around. By reducing car traffic, noise and pollutants emissions can be reduced as well, improving the quality of life.
Framed in this strategy, the Project ‘’Encounter zones’’ includes the implementation of several other pilot projects whose main objective is to improve traffic safety, the quality of stay and accessibility.
Part of this was the trial phase implemented in the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg with parklets occupying car parkings, green points installed and big stones proposing a new distribution of space. Now the district has decided to remove them and move one step forward.
After reviewing the impacts, the district will convert the 500 m between Nostitzstrasse and Schleiermacherstrasse into a car-free calm area. A broad 2 lanes bicycle path will be created. Deliveries to shops and restaurants will only be allowed from 6 am to 11 am, but, on the other hand, they will receive more space for terraces and products’ exposition. The neighbouring streets will be one direction and with a speed limit of 20 km/h.
An urbanism competition will be hold for the new design of the area, who will need to fulfill the requirements based on the public participation during the trial phase. The area is expected to have green and blue spaces in order to fight climate change’s effects, cooling the area and hosting some insect’s species.
It is considered to be the role model for the neighbourhood of the future.

Photos by: Bezirk Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Benjamin Pritzkuleit, Jürgen Ritter

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