Berlin is home to about 2,500 public parks and green spaces – from small urban green areas to large city parks. These spaces don’t only add nature to the city’s flair, they’re also the habitats of many plants and animals. By alleviating the consequences of climate change and extreme weather, the city’s nature has a positive impact on our climate, air, and soil.
The parks and green spaces are essential in creating Berlin’s identity and forming important meeting spots. Here is where Berlin locals and visitors come to relax and let nature calm them down. Daily life in the city can be overwhelming, so people often retreat to these areas to let off steam. For many people, Berlin parks also act as a gym, stage, dining room, and dance club. The parks witness so many different activities each day. It’s truly incredible if you think about it.
We often get aggravated when we see people carelessly leaving their trash in the park or deliberately destroying its infrastructure. It shows we need to protect our parks, so that these spaces can continue to be a meeting space for free recreational and leisure activities. Preserving the parks also requires us to be mindful of mother nature, so she can fulfil her gentle and peaceful purpose.
In addition to the trash, we get upset when people throw parties in the park without taking others into consideration. It’s also frustrating to see tire tracks on the grass when people ride their bikes through the green areas. All in all, it’s important to treat others and our surroundings with respect. This is the only way for parks to continue being places where people of different backgrounds can meet to do various activities side by side. Simply by practicing respect, parks can remain open-minded, democratic places with endless possibilities for everyone to enjoy.
For this project, we asked people to tell us their craziest, most beautiful, and most exciting Berlin park stories. Perhaps you experienced a good Berlin park story, too? Do you remember it? What emotions does the story evoke?
By the end of the project, we were blown away by the stories we heard. Each one was just as unique as Berlin and its many parks. Unfortunately, not every story told the narrative of everyone respecting Berlin's green spaces. However, even these stories deserve to be told as they help create a holistic picture of the experiences people have in Berlin’s public areas. We can learn a lot from each other. All it takes is for us to listen and talk to each other.
Berlin Park Stories – A Project for Mindful Coexistence.