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Modernization of Alexanderplatz

This Model can be found at the “Senatsverwaltung für Stadtent­wick­lung und Wohnen” in white are showed buildings built before 1990 while in plain wooden it is possible to see the projected buildings. In wooden but with detail it is possible to see the buildings already build after 1990.

Alexanderplatz is one of the most iconic landscapes of the city of Berlin, which is currently undergoing major changes. Projects for the area include its densification and modernization following the guiding ideas for a compact, transit-oriented city.

Alexanderplatz is one of the most important economical and commercial centers of Berlin, at the same time is an important transport hub. It has been reconstructed after WWII by the DDR, then it was the most important center and the Fernsehturn was built as the tallest structure of the city. At the present, the development of Alexanderplatz is guided by the Kollhoff plan. Since one of the aims of urban development in Berlin is to keep a compact city, the promotion of multiplicity of urban function in the city center is a key element. Taking that into account, the Kollhoff plan propose to build towers to densify the area and create a modern landscape. This plan includes the construction of high rise building that complement the preexisting blocks structures and promote the commercial use of the ground levels and the public space around the building specially for pedestrians. Another Key element is the preservation of the Fernsehturn as the highest structure in the surroundings. This development of Alexanderplatz high rise building will give the city a new modern skyline.

As we mention, Alexanderplatz is an important hub were you can transfer from a tram to a S-bahn (4 lines) or a U-bahn (3 lines), this main function combined with the commercial function that Alexanderplatz currently have with the presence of important shopping centers and department stores, presents an ideal situation to promote public transport. Another important aspect of this area regarding the transport system is that most of the area is orientated towards pedestrian use. The main idea is that people that chose to take public transport can make their shopping without needing a car, they don´t need to go to the outskirts shopping centers either. A well-connected commercial area in the city center is fundamental to achieve the goal of promoting public transport and a compact urban development.

The high-rise buildings that are planned to be built in this area (see image of Berlin City Model) will reinforced the centrality of Alexanderplatz as a business area, even though today most of the office space is not actually in Alexanderplatz but in its surroundings. One of the most problematic points of the plan and the new development of the area is linked to the number of square meters that will be allocated to housing space and specifically, what type of housing will be built. With the crisis of affordable housing that Berlin city is currently going through, this is one of the most sensitives aspects of this development. The distribution of affordable housing, luxury housing, commercial and office space is a key aspect for developers, particularly when they need to calculate the financial viability of the project. This decision might have a huge impact in the transport system as well as user behavior changes depending on these variables, as do the peak hours.

Alexanderplatz is undergoing a strong process of reform and modernization, since the post-war reconstruction the urban landscape in this area has not suffered such drastic changes as those projected for the coming years. This modernization of Alexanderplatz will change dramatically the landscape of one of the most iconic area of Berlin.

Ana Villasenin