Redesigning Oderberger Street

You could read it on Flyers attached to trees, glued to street lamps, pinned to doors – and also the black stripes (not a band) hanging from trees and bushes in the Oderberger Street made it quite clear: the Oderberger Street (Berlin Prenzlauer Berg) is about to be reshaped’, rebrushed’, ‘redesigned’.

Oderberger Street Green - Prenzlauer Berg

Green in Oderberger Street, Prenzlauer Berg

The city council’s motivation for this ‘redesign’ is probably mainly to remove all the trees, bushes and the ‘green’ that was originally planted ‘wildly’ by the residents of this neighborhood since the late 80ies – on the other hand this ‘wild green’ is probably one of the reasons why the Street is so well known and often considered ‘beautiful’ – or at least ‘different’ – one of the features that makes the Oderberger Street stand out from the crowd unique.

Some thoughts about the possible reasons for this ‘redesign’: as far as I know every tree and every bush that grows on Berlin soil has its very own identification number – and is registered, catalogued and managed as professionally as possible. But how do you manage some ‘green’ if you can’t even tell if it’s a tree or a bush..? So the easiest solution to that problem seems to be to take action under the headline ’safety first’ (there’s rumors that some people have complained about the bad condition of Oderberger Street and that it is almost impossible to walk on the pavement with kids and/or a pram and/or a wheel chair and/or high heels – and that additionally also the cars were suffering from the view covering ‘dangerous’ green hanging everywhere) and ‘redesign’ the street.. which currently seems to mean taking down everything green that is neither registered nor catalogued.
see also:
Citizens’ Initiative Oderberger Street (BIOS) ->
article ‘the green spirit of the Oderberger’ (TAZ (german))
plans/maps (PDF) of the panned ‘redesign’ of Oderberger Street
• and a blog post (german): Jenz Steiner: ‘too green for the greens’

green greetings, t..

PS1: my personal opinion about this ‘redesign’: make it a ‘playground street’! There’s enough good examples of The local birth rate – actually the local concentration of children per square meter is quite high and sooner or later the kids might (re)claim the street anyways. If it was a ‘playground street’ it would be perfectly safe to walk down Oderberger Street on high heels with kids playing football and a pram and a wheel chair – or simply in the a row of four people next to each other..!

PS2: some more pictures of Oderberger Street and Kastanienalle can also be found from my ‘photo-blog’ at

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