Summer 2017 in our garden lounge

On July 30, 2017, Berlin’s city district councillors Oliver Schruoffenegger (Urban Development, Construction and the Environment in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf) and Arne Herz (Citizen Services, Economic and Regulatory Affairs) ceremoniously opened the garden lounge of NEUE MOBILITÄT BERLIN. In front of the business premises of they cut the red ribbon and invited numerous guests and residents to an extensive exchange about the current transformation of public parking space.

For over 2 months, the garden lounge was placed on 2 adjacent parking lots. It was used as a hangout place and event location where citizens could socialize and make new acquaintances.

During the previous year, at the same location the “bring-your-pillow” lounge was built with Euro pallets. This popular seating area was very well received in 2017 so that it was meant to be renewed this summer in form of a handcrafted and high-quality designer garden lounge.

Constructed with the help of a master carpenter the parklet was predominantly made of PEFC-certified wood and colored upcycled acrylic glass. It was decorated with flowers and herbs from the Mosaik Gärtnerhof Charlottenburg in Fürstenbrunner Weg.

In the 10-week period from mid-July to the end of September 2017, the International Cooperation Corporation (GIZ) and the Agora Transport Transformation with 70 traffic planners from around the world were recieved among others at the garden lounge by NEUE MOBILITÄT BERLIN. On September 16 and 17, as part of the European Mobility Week, innovative forms of mobility were tested such as the electric car BMW i3 from the DriveNow fleet, a prototype of the BMW Motorrad X2City (pedelec scooter) and a electric scooter by COUP. In addition, mobility providers such as drive-by and nextbike presented their services to interested passers-by.

The TU Berlin, in cooperation with the DorfwerkStadt e. V., addressed “Opportunities and Limits of Citizen Participation in the District” and the Competence Center for Urban Mobility of the BMW Group informed about “Ideas and Concepts for Sustainable Urban Mobility & Quality of Life”.

The NEUE MOBILITÄT BERLIN project also encouraged a critical questioning of the action and communication area. Under the motto “They are taking away our parking lots”, neighbours who previously did not feel sufficiently informed about the motives and objectives of the research project were approached. This was also the case for those who had a fundamentally different idea about how public urban space should be used.

Of course, the garden lounge also offered the possibility of purely private chatting, entertaining stay and pausing. Coffee & cake from the bakery next door or the lunch break could be enjoyed here.

Children played in the sunshine, babies were breastfed and even in rainy weather the free Wi-Fi attracted its "owners" to this "oasis in the asphalt jungle“.

— Rolf Mienkus, UG (haftungsbeschränkt)

On September 29, a closing event was held together with friends and acquaintances as a farewell to the summer. Dagmar Eichhorn presented in her inimitable way the Turkish basil girl fairy tale, a delicious snack satisfied the arisen hunger and the winners were drawn for a free day trip with the electric cargo bike LARS.

How to continue with the parklet in the upcoming years?

This has not been clarified yet – but we are always open for exciting suggestions!