When we lived in Berlin Tempelhofer Feld was in our back yard - we were there almost every week. Some weeks I biked through to get from Tempelhof to Neu Köln quicker, or went for walks to clear my mind, met with friends to barbeque and sat next to basically what felt like every single different nationality in Berlin and discussed how amazing it is - that having such a park must be the easiest form of integration - here families just eat together side by side share their dishes and talk to each other. Spend hours together - no matter where they are from. A pretty cheap initiative for integration if you ask me.
It is a real "people's park" - not like Buttes Chamont in Paris where everything is planned down to every single detail and guards come and close it at precisely 22.00 O'clock every night, not like Englisher Garten in Munich where you can only barbeque in certain areas, or Kongens Have in Copenhagen where you can't play ball because it's too dangerous or like Planten and Bloom here in Hamburg where you are not allowed to bike through. Don't get me wrong - ever park has it's charm but this is unique. Everything is allowed - and you know what it works next to each other people take care of their small city gardens, barbeque, wind surf, skate, bike, run, relax and simply hang out - thousands of people in the middle of the city - there is enough space for everyone.
I agree - rents are rising in Berlin as well and there is no longer a justifies balance between the amount of people who needs reasonable places to live and affordable housing. I might be naive but - having spent a year biking around Berlin - there seams to be plenty of other suitable grounds just as suitable to build new housing on. Yes a big public library certainly sounds great - but what about spending that money on the cultural institutions already around who are eager to get some more public funding.
Berlin is making a decision today - a people's vote regarding the future of Tempelhofer Feld - I hope people go and vote and I really hope this Park will stick around a bit longer - just as it is today.