Berlin: Towards an Integrated Strategy for Social Cohesion by Organization for Economic Cooperation &

By Organization for Economic Cooperation &

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Extra info for Berlin: Towards an Integrated Strategy for Social Cohesion and Economic Development (Urban Renaissance)

Sample text

Dependency on social welfare is much lower than Berlin averages and comparable to those of other Eastern districts. 2% for the latter). 9 per cent between 1996 and 1999. The former district has a high number of small industries and a slowly growing middle size service, trade and small industry sector. The manufacturing sector is not very developed. The small crafts sector has lost many employees, the number of construction businesses has increased but the number of employees has diminished. Retail space has increased considerably.

Mitte also offers a wide variety of open and recreational spaces with the latter occupying approximately 17 per cent of the district’s surface. The Tiergarten is 38 the stage for the most crowd-drawing celebrations in Berlin and the city’s central park. The Volkspark at Humboldthain, areas close to the Leopoldplatz in Wedding; and waterfront stretches along the river Spree are some of the recreational areas. These sites are sometimes overly used because of their central location. Lots where the Wall used to stand and are now vacant present particular challenges for spatial planning in the district.

Indeed, due to the “island” status of West Berlin during the 40 years before Re-unification, the West Berlin economy was heavily subsidised. With Reunification subsidies were cut. And, larger firms re-located to places where they could produce at lower cost, serve larger markets, or where they could find more favourable conditions for production or expansion (for instance in the green-field sites in Brandenburg). Smaller firms had to close because of increasing costs or partly due to the fact that with the closure or the re-location of larger firms in the vicinity they had lost positive externalities such as favourable conditions given by the local network of suppliers, services or downstream customers.

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