Experiential District Tour: Berlin

Experiential Learning on Urban Water Systems in Berlin


In May, several alumni of the International Journalist Programme (IJP) attended a research tour on energy transition and smart cities in Berlin.

Creative Climate Cities organised an experiential tour with focus on urban water systems as innovation arena and introduced public and civil actors who have developed solutions in response to climate change.

During the tour we discussed urgent challenges and long-term visions for Berlin, and met key innovators to learn how they are transforming these plans into action.

The programme covered three topics:
1. Water as a challenge: How does the city respond to extreme weather events and rainwater?
2. Innovative water systems: How can districts and buildings contribute to natural resource circularity?
3. Water as a resource: How can clean water bodies and canals become a driver for community projects?

The following agencies and initiatives contributed with inputs and shared experiences:

The Berliner Regenwasseragentur, launched in May 2018 as a joint initiative of the State of Berlin and Berliner Wasserbetriebe (Berlin’s water utility company). The “Berlin Rainwater Agency” supports the state of Berlin in water-sensitive urban planning, through information, consulting and qualification services, the cooperative development of implementation strategies and assistance in the implementation of a green-roof funding programme (1000-Grüne-Dächer-Programm).

ROOF WATER-FARM, a research and education project showing ways to innovate urban water management and urban food production, developing possibilities for building-integrated water treatment for the irrigation and fertilisation of roof greenhouses and for reuse in households. Technologies for water treatment and cultivation of plants are being tested in a demonstration site in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The research promotes the hygienic and safe use of rainwater, grey water and black water as a strategy for urban water management and its potential for urban food production.

Flussbad Berlin, an urban development project to reactivate the Spreekanal in the heart of historic Berlin, which has been largely unused for over 100 years. The canal section is to be transformed into an ecological regeneration zone, where shallow water zones along the banks will create habitats and reproduction areas for flora and fauna. A new public space invites visitors to meet, linger or swim in the clean water of the city centre, an 835m long canal section with clean river water, obtained through a 400m natural filtration zone.

Do you want to learn more? Contact us at info@creativeclimatecities.org