Save the community gardens of Berlin!

So Nadja just signed a lease on a place in Pankow.

A beautiful place with a balcony that looks out over one of the community gardens that Berlin is famous for. Nadja heaven, really.

Come to find out the community garden is 90 years old, founded in 1921.

90 freaking years!

Beautiful gardens, they are, with tangled slews of veggies, amazing flowers, old gnarled orchard trees and a crazy amount of birds that have obviously come to call this garden home now for hundreds of bird-generations, except there’s one problem.

Problem is, as she went walking around the next day, looking at the gardens, gushing at all the vegetables and trees and how fine it all looked, she notice a few banners hung up around and found it turns out the gardens are under dire threat of being turned into CONDOS!

“Ecological” condos where they advertise the garden they plan to build.

What they don’t advertise is that they are destroying a 90-year-old garden, so they can build their new one.

Heaven and Earth” the complex is named.

Oh, the bitter poetry.

We checked out the plans online and they really ham up the environmental point, how ‘green’ the whole thing will be, except the building itself is a blocky L-shaped crime against architecture, and with a swimming pool, to boot.

All this, and the deal they made to get the land seems kind of shady.

Seems the Deutsche Bahn (German rail) has sold the land from beneath the gardens to a company for real cheap so the company can develop it, and somehow got it past the local government without the typical debate needed to do such things.

And now, since about April it seems, the gardeners are fighting back.

“Treehouses not Townhouses” is one of their slogans, they have a blog, a facebook page and are trying to put pressure on the local government. Though it looks pretty bleak. Developers, it seems, have more power than citizens.

The really nasty part is that similar action is happening all around Berlin. They are developing the shit out of this city, a city they advertise as the Greenest City in Germany.

Ha! Not for long.

There is a hearing the first of November at the Pankow Bezirksamt at 9:45 room 110, if any of you happen to be in Berlin and up for a community hearing that needs people to turn up for. If you can’t make it, but happen to know anyone in high places in Berlin politics, be sure to call your friends and tell them to pull whatever strings they have hold of…this shit will wreck this city, and erode the very thing that people like about the place.

Here’s a film the Gardeners made (in German), full of wonderful sarcasm and satire, as any good film from Berlin should be.

* all pictures taken from  http://www.gartenfreunde-pankow.de/ and http://www.dieoasepankow.blogspot.com and http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/KGA-Famos-Kleingartenoasen-mitten-in-Berlin/171352109583493

ANYONE AND EVERYONE SHOULD CLICK THE LINKS AND FRIEND, SHARE AND DO WHATEVER NEEDED TO SPREAD THIS AROUND (even if you’re not a Berliner, just make it popular, because that shit counts these days!)

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About Andrew Flohr-Spence

Something about the sound and the word. Was a singer/bassist for five years, a German major for five, an English teacher in Germany for another five, then a journalism major in Denver for 5 more, and now I'm back in Berlin (for a while, I intend).
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