Berlin is a city that prides itself on reinventing itself. In Berlin, over 6,000 years of cultural heritage meet trendy neighbourhoods and a start-up mentality. With a new discovery waiting on every corner, Berlin is as diverse as its almost-four million inhabitants.
Berlin is a synonym for punks versus politicians, hipsters versus squatters, innovative minds versus those holding on to the good old times. But most of all, Berlin is all of them together. There is space for free spirit and tradition, for heritage and change.
Controversies are pre-programmed, of course, and show up with the so-called ‘Berliner Schnauze’, sometimes in small quarrels but also in meaningful protests, that more than once already have changed the course of history.
Over the years, the once-divided city has had to reinvent itself repeatedly – and like no other city, it is poised for its next reincarnation: a city of the future.
2020 alone has marked numerous significant projects. The new Berlin airport will open as well as the prestigious Humboldt Forum, which is to move into the reconstructed city palace, providing the heart of a new cultural centre.
However, Berlin does not stop there. From the new, cultural city centre, many paths lead to the outskirts, where you can find plenty of green spaces, beautiful parks, gardens, forests and bathing lakes. All over Berlin’s 12 districts, the so-called Kieze, you can discover all kinds of architectural and cultural treasures, including 440 galleries, 180 museums and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Apart from some remains of the Berlin Wall, there is hardly any trace left of the former division of the city. The Wastelands have long been built over and many of the German Democratic Republic-style prefabricated buildings have been renovated. In 2021, the Neue Nationalgalerie at the Kulturforum will complement the once empty, but now architecturally representative city centre around Potsdamer Platz.
Yet, there is always space to grow. The city’s mix of open spaces and high flying plans, of creative minds, scientific innovation and business-minded entrepreneurship is the perfect nourishment ground to implement new ideas. Possibly, Berlin will never be quite finished, and the construction site fences and cranes will be part of the cityscape for quite some time. Proof that Berlin is an ever-changing city, always ready to reinvent itself and to shape the future for generations to come.