Berlin’s districts and their local way towards circularity

Berlin’s districts and their local way towards circularity

Circular Economy approaches can widely be found on a product and business model level. As Circular Berlin we want to explore from the system level how we can support Berlin’s way towards a circular city and what specific local actions we need in different districts. In our last community event 2020 “Mein Kiez – macht unser Berlin circular!” we invited Berliners to talk with us about current approaches in the city and to create a vision for their district. 

On November 26th, we welcomed four speakers to understand the state of circularity in Berlin. Around 30 participants joined the discussion.

From our home city of Berlin we had the privilege to hear about the diverse work and perspectives of: 

Dina Padalkina, founder of Circular Berlin, opened with introducing the status quo of Berlin, covering the key objectives for Berlin to reduce CO2 emission 85% by 2050. As well she introduces key areas of impact developed in Berlin waste management strategy 2020-2030.

Nicole Hartmann and Patrick Léon Gross, organizers of Donut4Berlin, presented their initiative to bring Kate Raworth’s Donut Economy to Berlin. Around the central question of “How can Berlin make good life possible for all within the planetary boundaries?” we learned about their approach and first explorations to create a city profile for Berlin.

Dennis Lumme, coordinator in the district office Treptow-Köpenick, showcased the development of a municipal sustainability strategy. We gained insights on how such an overall process looks like for his district and how other districts could learn from it.

Laura Grotenrath, food and zero waste lead of Circular Berlin and founder of Zero Waste your Life, ended the keynotes with presenting the concept for a Zero Waste Kiez in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg which Circular Berlin together with BUND and Grüne Liga developed in 2019.

After listening to the approaches in Berlin, we worked in small district-specific groups to foster networking and create ideas and directions for workshops and initiatives in 2021.

From their district view they challenged the following questions: 

  • Collect words that best represent your district, both positive and negative.
  • What are challenges in your neighborhood that Circular Economy could help you with?
  • What is your vision, your goal for the neighborhood in one sentence?  

Almost all of the groups highlighted the lakes and natural waters they have in the district. And in their results and visions resonates the wish of connectedness. 

Have a look at the written results here. 

Visions for Berlin neighborhoods

  • Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg: A network of colorful life and a well-known (!) local repair, share and production infrastructure.
  • Mitte: Connect the districts.
  • Pankow: A village in the middle of the city with short distances and much visibility and proximity.
  • Spandau: Achieving community participation and a good life for all Spandau residents* and beyond through sustainable development – all three dimensions of sustainability are considered – of the district.
  • Treptow-Köpenick: We are working towards a neighborhood that is oriented toward the common good and gives all the people who live in it an equal opportunity to participate.

Mein Kiez was an enriching experience and we are grateful to our speakers, supporters, and participants. We sincerely thank everyone for being a part of this event and are excited for follow-up events over the next year! 

The event was organized by Leon Bucher.

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