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Archive: The Capital City of Berlin - Documentation

Development of the Government Quarter – Coordination and Management

1998 - New plans for Ebertstraße, Potsdamer Platz  development area; Source: IBV Ingenieurbüro H. Vössing GmbH
1998 - New plans for Ebertstraße, Potsdamer Platz development area; Source: IBV Ingenieurbüro H. Vössing GmbH

Connecting all the properties in the Parliamentary and Government Quarter to the municipal transport and supply networks was among the most important and difficult tasks Berlin had to master in becoming the nation's new capital. In numerous rounds of coordinating meetings with a great variety of administrations, ranging from those responsible for technical infrastructure (water, electricity, long-distance heating, and telecommunications), to transport infrastructure and road construction, to those responsible for public transport, a planning framework for carrying out common development measures was defined. For the successful realisation of these overall development measures a meshing of processes which had completely different technical requirements and chronological dimensions was prerequisite.

The task

The most important elements of a transport link are the visible parts of circulation: the streets. One requirement tied to the decision to relocate the Federal Government was defined at an early stage: "The locations of Parliament and the Government, as well as those institutions close to Parliament and the Government, must … be easily reached in a calculable amount of time during working hours". This carefully formulated statement is deceptive, however. "In a calculable amount of time" means: as fast as possible and without complications. The aim was to create - as it was named - "a Parliament of short distances".

At the time of the contract's signing the entire area around the Reichstag was poorly connected. Parts of the road network in the city centre were in a wretched state. Even without the "additional task" of quickly preparing to become the nation's capital, the city had many things to do circulation-wise as a result of reunification. Removing the Berlin Wall had led to a rapid increase in private traffic in the city's centre. The days of border crossings were past. Street connections between East and West Berlin had to be established and expanded.

The Federal Government demanded the "creation of proper working conditions for the Parliament and Government". This was a prerequisite for the relocation of these institutions. A circulation concept had to be developed which would equally satisfy the requirements of both the state and the Federation. The challenge consisted in finding an intelligent and integrative solution that would not negatively affect Berlin's citizens.
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