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Type: Thesis
Type of Thesis: Master Thesis
Title: Octa-Oasis: Activation of underutilized public space at Leipziger Platz in Berlin to promote community engagement.
Authors: Alves, Richard
Issue Date: 15-Mar-2021
Keywords: Platz; Planning; Urban Research; Urban Development; Urban Design; Resource Efficiency; Urban Activation; Community Engagement; Berlin
Public squares are legacy elements in the urban structure of our cities. These multi-functional spaces serve a multitude of uses varying in their nature of use - political, recreational and cultural. Across European cities in the late twentieth century, an effort was made to regain control of these public spaces for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists. This has resulted in a more active community-level engagement. However, the former dominance of the vehicular aspect is still seen in some squares in European cities, as in the case of Leipziger Platz in Berlin.

Leipziger Platz in Berlin has a historical significance in the city as this is a square that was once seen as part of the city's shopping axis housing one of Europe's largest departmental store, Wertheim back then. The heritage buildings along its iconic octagonal profile were then gradually abandoned and destroyed as the Berlin wall was erected. For the next decades, the square which was once part of the city's urban core was disused and lost its significance. However, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and through efforts and funding from private developers the entire area around the square was redeveloped into a hub of office and commercial activity, as it stands today. Gradually the city made efforts to restore the legacy of the former spaces. However, the important traffic route that once passed through the center of this square was restored and led to the divided nature of the square we see today.

In Berlin today this square remains a space that is not actively used but has considerable pedestrian movement along its central axis due to the recent opening of the Mall of Berlin in place of the former departmental store. This thesis aims to activate pedestrian usage within the square with the implementation of urban design interventions that foster community interactions while addressing the traffic situation in the area. In doing so the project aims to give the city of Berlin an activated space that will serve as a respite for the many commuters that pass through the central district.
Subject Class (DDC): 333.7: Natürliche Ressourcen, Energie und Umwelt
HCU-Faculty: Resource Efficiency in Architecture and Planning (REAP) 
Advisor: Dietrich, Udo 
URN (Citation Link): urn:nbn:de:gbv:1373-repos-6635
Directlink: https://repos.hcu-hamburg.de/handle/hcu/551
Language: English
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