Berlin´s Exurbs - Berliner Speckgürtel

A joint project of Gundula and Bernd Walz

The city of Berlin is topographically still comparatively compact. Decades of division of Germany and Berlin ruled out an expansion of the city into its hinterlands. Since the German reunification the Berlin metropolitan area is expanding rapidly into its mostly rural surrounding regions. These exurbs are called "Berliner Speckgürtel". This nickname may be translated as "blubber girdle" because its communities are economically booming. Towns and villages are growing. Increasing land use by industrial areas, business parks, wind farms, transport routes etc. transform the formerly rural hinterlands dramatically. We live in Potsdam, the largest city in Berlin´s Speckgürtel, and we are amazed by the still very rural Hinterland but also fascinated contemporary witnesses of the dramatic landscape transformation in the Berlin metropolitan area. With our cameras we try to document this landscape transformation, and we present our very subjective view.

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