Green parks are generally considered to be indispensable elements in a 21st century city. Local governments are aware of the positive effects of a green environment on health and general well being of their populatiopns. Scarcity of space may be a limiting factor for the creation of more parks. That is why unusual, unexpected locations have to be found, in spite of the specific problems these special urban areas may entail for the design of parks.
The city of Berlin developed a new park in the so called ‘Gleisdreieck’, an area named after the railroad junction that for a hundred years dominated the environment and, at first sight, made it into an improbable location for a park. The way Berlin solved the problems may now serve as an example for other locaL governments.
In a book by Leonard Grosch and Constanze A. Petrow, ‘Designing Parks – Berlin’s Park am Gleisdreieck or the Art of Creating Lively Places’ (JOVIS Verlag), the history of the Gleisdreieck Park is described. Starting with the civic group that first got the idea, the authors explain the design principles that were applied and the actual construction. The description of the principles underlying the design can be used as a toolbox in comparable situations: using urban/industrial locations for the construction of urban green parks, with the active participation of citizens.