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  • Cities are concrete, glass and steel - they look and act un-naturally -

  • absorbing heat and repelling water.

  • Our urban spaces are at odds with the natural environment.

  • But, in parts of the German capital things are different.

  • To deal with rainwater and heat, Berlin is being transformed into what’s called a Sponge City

  • Carlo Becker is the architect of Berlin’s Sponge City strategywhich harnesses rainwater

  • and manages heat.

  • In a natural ecosystem, rainwater is soaked up by soil and vegetation,

  • the majority then evaporates and the rest filters deeper into the ground.

  • The evaporating water then cools the surroundings.

  • Cities disrupt this system.

  • Water can’t soak through the concrete and is piped away.

  • The Sponge City strategy aims to keep rainwater where it lands, to imitate the natural water cycle.

  • Buildings are covered in green roofs and facades.

  • And down on street-level, urban wetlands and road-side trenches - known as Swales -

  • filter run-off and hold water, keeping the city cool by imitating nature.

  • This is Rummelsburg, in East Berlin.

  • Built 20 years ago, it’s become a large scale example of the Sponge City concept.

  • On top we have extensive green roof of approximately 6 to 8 cm

  • and from there the water flows into these courtyards here in the middle,

  • and underneath there is a garage.

  • On top of the underground garage we have a soil layer of almost 80 cm.

  • It’s like a sponge and it soaks the water during heavy rainfall

  • and then it's used by the plants...

  • so they take all the water and finally evaporate it.

  • Heiko Sieker is the brains behind the neighborhood’s innovative management of stormwater.

  • In the whole area here we have no storm sewer system, so no conventional pipe system.

  • The water flows from the road surface into the swale and from here

  • it’s infiltrating into the ground.

  • On hot summer days, you can really feel the coolness here, it’s much cooler compared

  • to other parts of the city because of the evaporation.

  • You can say it’s natural air-conditioning.

  • Rummelsburg is just one example of a Sponge City -

  • neighbourhoods across Berlin have implemented similar initiatives.

  • But Berlin isn't a perfect Sponge City.

  • In the middle of summer 2017 the heaviest rain in the century hit the city

  • submerging parts under water

  • and warning how much work there's still to do.

  • In fact, the city council has recently decided all new developments should manage stormwater

  • on site, in the spirit of the Sponge City.

  • Climate Change is forcing Berlin and many other cities around the world

  • to adapt urban environments...

  • transforming them to work with nature, not against it.

Cities are concrete, glass and steel - they look and act un-naturally -

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ベルリンはスポンジ都市になりつつある (Berlin is Becoming a Sponge City)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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