urban development berlin

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Everything back to square one: Planning at the Jahnsportpark starts anew

GERMAN VERSION

Back in December 2019, we reported for the first time on the rebuilding plans for the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahnsportpark in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Pankow. At the time, the plan was clear: Demolition of the dilapidated stadium was to begin in the fall of 2020, followed by a similarly sized new building.

There was massive opposition to these plans from residents and citizens’ initiatives, and even the responsible committees of the district were suddenly no longer in agreement about whether the demolition of the stadium was really without alternative. The residents criticized above all the lack of a sensible traffic concept for a possible new stadium.

PROTESTS BY RESIDENTS AND CITIZENS’ INITIATIVES WERE SUCCESSFUL

There had also been an online petition against the implementation of these plans – apparently with success. The planning process is now being readjusted once again, with a completely open outcome. The only thing that is clear is that the decision on the future of the Jahnsportpark is to be made before the elections in September 2021.

At least that’s what Katrin Dietl, spokeswoman for the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, said. So the project no longer lies exclusively with the district. The Senate has also become involved in the planning process.

DECISION ON THE FUTURE OF THE SITE TO BE MADE BEFORE THE ELECTIONS IN SEPTEMBER

This is because the wrangling in the district council had led to major delays in the planning process and, among other things, ensured that the staging of the Special Olympics in 2023, which were to be held in the newly built stadium, would have to be moved to an alternative site. Under discussion is the Mommsen Stadium in Charlottenburg.

To speed up the process, the planning teams will begin their work at the end of June. Three different, autonomous teams will work on three different scenarios.

THREE POSSIBLE SCENARIOS ARE BEING EXAMINED

The first scenario is the one planned so far: demolition of the old stadium and new construction on the same site. The second scenario is a reconstruction and partial renovation of the existing stadium. Scenario three seems particularly unusual at first glance. It envisages the construction of a new stadium and the renovation and continued operation of the existing stadium. The new stadium would then be significantly smaller than the current stadium, which holds 20,000 spectators.

Official consideration must be given in all scenarios to central planning requirements focused on urban development, which were defined in the feasibility study by the sports administration. These include, for example, the listed Hinterland wall, as well as open space and landscape structures, existing pathways and other so-called “identity-creating features”. These are to be preserved in any case.

DEMOLITION OF THE OLD FLOODLIGHT MASTS IS POSSIBLE

The iconic floodlight masts of the old stadium represent one such identity-creating feature. However, whether they will be retained clearly depends on which scenario prevails in the current planning process. In plain language, this means that if the old stadium is demolished and a new building is erected on the same site, the floodlight masts would be demolished.

However, it is entirely possible that two stadiums will stand side by side in the future in the sports park on Schönhauser Allee. The remaining design of the sports park will also be analyzed again as part of the planning process.

WILL THERE BE TWO STADIUMS NEXT TO EACH OTHER AT THE SPORTS PARK IN THE FUTURE?

After all, the new stadium is only one part of a planned, comprehensive redesign of the entire area, which already offers several soccer, tennis and basketball fields as well as running and recreational areas. The facilities are to be modernized and expanded.

The construction of an Alba club center is also part of the expansion plans, which – without the new stadium construction – is expected to cost around 95 million euros. In 2014, the new stadium was estimated to cost around 120 million euros. Of course, this sum will now have to be recalculated.

What the final solution for the future Jahnsportpark will look like is not yet foreseeable. However, a rapid planning process and speedy certainty for the neighborhood would be desirable. We will continue to monitor the issue.

 


Demolition, new construction, continued operation, parallel operation? The future of the stadium at Jahnsportpark is the subject of intense debate.


An identity-forming feature for the neighbourhood on Schönhauser Allee: the old floodlight masts of the existing stadium.

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