To maintain the visibility of the remnants of the railway history in the face of the powerful natural dynamics, selected railway relics such as the signals and the old turntable were restored. The many paths set in the old tracks are a permanent reminder of the cultural foundation of the nature development of the Sudgelande. A new cultural layer has been established through the art works of the Odious group, which present a creative tension with the developing wilderness as well as with the relics of the railway (Fig. 10). The water tower was secured as a landmark of the Sudgelande (Fig. 5), old buildings were surrendered to a controlled decay or are used for the exhibition or as studios for the artists.
Is the Natur-Park Sudgelande a good example of a successful integrati... >
Most of the Natur Park Sudgelande is protected; the core area has been designated as a nature reserve (3.2 ha) and the rest as a landscape conservation area (12.9 ha). In the nature reserve, species conservation takes priority. The targeted species are, above all, insects of open habitats and plants of the dry grasslands, such as several rare hawkweed (Hieracium) species. The clearings, which may not be entered by the public, are cared for in such a way as to give the characteristic species of the open landscape a chance to survive. The landscape conservation area is to be fully accessible. Dangerous areas that aren’t visible (e. g. shafts) were secured before the park was opened. The defined rooms are stabilized through maintenance measures... >
In order to make clear, in accordance with the general model, the transformation from railyard to urban wilderness over time, the natural dynamics of some areas are arrested. In this way, three types of spaces or “rooms” were defined: “clearings” are to be kept free of shrubs over the long term. Stands that are light and open are to be maintained as “groves,” while in the “wild woods” the natural dynamics can proceed fully unfettered.
The spatial determination of the three types was carried out according to nature conservation and landscape aesthetic criteria... >
Figure 1 shows the Natur Park Sudgelande today, after significant implementation of the master plan. A few new elements were added to our planning during the implementation phase, including additional paths and the integration of works of art in the nature park.
Starting from the park’s main entrance at the S-Bahn station Priesterweg, a path system was developed that is based, fundamentally, on the linear structure of the earlier railyard. Here train tracks were made into paths (Fig. 2). Existing ramps and underpasses that once served for crossing the tracks were used to establish the path system on three different levels. Through this inclusion of the third dimension, quite different views of the area result... >
The approach of the master plan was based on the model of simultaneity of culture and wilderness, of distance and nearness of the visitor. To implement this, a concept of zoned spaces was created in which natural and social processes were partially controlled and partially left to their own dynamics. With this approach, different goals could be combined with one another.
• In some areas, uncontrolled development of the new wilderness is allowed, without influence on the species composition. In this way, the
important role of non-native species in the vegetation of the Sudgelande and as a characteristic of urban vegetation was expressly accepted.
• In other areas, the open landscapes are maintained, within which succession is to be controlled through maintenance... >
In general, species diversity is greater in the earlier and middle stages of succession than in later woodland stages. This is true for the Sudgelande as well with one small exception. The 40- to 50-year-old black locust stands have shown themselves to be astoundingly rich in plants, ground beetles, and spiders (Kowarik 1992; Platen and Kowarik 1995). Rare and threatened species of plants as well as hymenoptera, however, are predominantly found in the dry grasslands (Prasse and Ristow 1995; Saure 2001). A substantial increase in woodlands would emphasize the wilderness character of the Sudgelande, but would also lead to a decline in the characteristic species and communities of the open landscapes.
Thus, the master plan for the Natur-Park Sudgelande had to address two challenges: first... >
The species diversity of the Sudgelande (Table 2) has, in principle, developed without human intervention. The dry grasslands, in which most of the rare species are found, have emerged on nutrient-poor anthropogenic soils and are not suited to being trampled. If the small clearings of the grasslands are made accessible to visitors, eutrophication and trampling will foreseeably lead to a decline of most of the rare species. Excluding visitors, however, contradicts the goal of urban nature conservation, which is, above all, to promote natural experiences for urban residents (Auhagen and Sukopp 1983)... >
The development of new wilderness took place at the Sudgelande nearly unnoticed for a long time due to the inaccessibility of the site. Plans to completely clear the vegetation in order to erect a new freight train station led, at the beginning of the 1980s, to strong protests and to the founding of an NGO which has worked since then to preserve the Sudgelande as a nature area. As a result of these efforts, a number of studies were undertaken that demonstrated the high species richness and the presence of rare species at the Sudgelande (Table 2). At the end of a very changeful planning process (details in Mohrmann 2002), it was determined that the Sudge – lande would be set aside and developed as a nature park as a compensatory measure for new railyards in the inner city area... >
The Sudgelande, approximately 18 ha, lies on the southern border of the inner city of Berlin in the district of Schoneberg-Tempelhof It is a component of a much larger freight railyard (“Rangierbahnhof bei Tempelhof’) that was built between 1880-1890. Old photographs show a desolate railyard on which trains have been shunted on a multitude of parallel tracks. Tracks for the long-distance trains as well as for the inner-city express train define the area to the east and west. From the north and the south, heavily trafficked streets adjoin the site, with the result that the Sudgelande has an island-like character despite its urban location.
After train service was discontinued in 1952, the Sudgelande was mostly, but not entirely, abandoned... >
Ingo Kowarik, Andreas Langer Planning Group OkoCon & Planland
The particular political situation in Berlin between 1945 and 1989 had significant effects on the development of nature in the inner city. In the western part of Berlin, urban development ran in slow motion for four decades. In contrast to other parts of war-torn Europe, here large, formerly built-up areas that had been destroyed in the war remained free of renewed development; these areas were set aside as reserves to allow for future planning with Berlin as the capital city. In four decades, natural colonization processes on numerous, often heavily fragmented areas led from herbaceous and shrub stages to wild urban woodlands... >