New impetus for old promenades

New impetus for old promenades

Event "High streets in a frenzy" together with the Central Real Estate Committee

It's no secret that Berlin's main shopping streets such as Ku'damm and Friedrichstrasse and the retailers there are not doing well. So what can be done to make the legendary "promenades" attractive and liveable again for residents and visitors to Berlin?

Possible ways out of the promenade crisis were discussed in front of over 100 guests by Senator for Economic Affairs Franziska Giffey and a panel comprising Nils Busch-Petersen (Managing Director of the Berlin-Brandenburg Trade Association), Antje Leinemann (Bayerische Hausbau, BIKINI Berlin), Uwe Timm (TIMM Retail Services + Property Advisers and AG City Board Member) and Eike Becker (Managing Director of Eike Becker Architekten) under the moderation of ZIA Regional Director East Stefanie Frensch.

Senator Franziska Giffey opened the discussion with an impulse on the current challenges facing the capital and the change in shopping behavior: shopping is increasingly understood as an experience. This makes the combination of various elements of leisure activities, a functioning infrastructure, accessibility and mobility all the more important for Berlin's "high streets". Cleanliness is also important for a positive shopping experience. Franziska Giffey referred to the Ordnungsamt app, which can be used to quickly report unclean places.

As is so often the case, it is worth taking a look at the bigger picture: Gianluca Rizzo (Managing Director Brixton BID, London) explained how the London district of Brixton has reinvented itself in recent years. According to Rizzo, the key to this success was the involvement of the diverse residents. By taking their different wishes and needs into account, a community mindset was created. The result is a "Business Improvement District" (BID) that offers added value for a wide range of target groups, a place of "social experience".

"A successful transformation process must involve local people."


In the ensuing discussion, Busch-Petersen emphasized that we should also take the keyword "opinion-forming" to heart for Berlin's promenades. A successful transformation process must involve local people. An experiment like Berlin's traffic-calmed Friedrichstrasse, in which the opinions of residents, traders and consumers are not evaluated in the end, would be to the detriment of local residents. Architect Eike Becker would like to see Breitscheidplatz upgraded with more safety and accessibility and a comprehensive range of "mixed-use properties".

The conclusion of the afternoon: a lot can be learned from successful lighthouse projects such as Brixton. And a broad alliance of politicians, urban planners, the real estate sector, retailers and residents is needed to breathe new life into the high streets and make them fit for the future.


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