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. After a preliminary study (Kowarik et al. 1992), the Grun Berlin Park und Garten GmbH, a semipublic corporation for the development of prominent green-space projects in Berlin, commissioned the planning group OkoCon & Planland with the design of the nature park. After an implementation period, which was financed with funds from the government of Berlin as well as the Allianz Umweltstiftung (Allianz Foundation for Sustainability), the nature park was opened to the public in May 2000. The area has been legally set aside as the Schoneberger Sudgelande landscape and nature conservation area.
Table 2. Species richness of the Schoneberger Sudgelande (sources: Kowarik et al. 1992, Prasse and Ristow 1995, Saure 2001, Dahlmann pers. comm.)
Challenges and approaches of the master plan
The master plan for the Natur Park Sudgelande had to find planning solutions for two classic conflicts that likely arise frequently in the development of urban woodlands.