When I visited Berlin in 2015, workers had just been busy tearing up a few blocks of Maaßenstraße, near Winterfeldtplatz.
Being an ignorant visitor, I presumed it was just another ordinary road project. As it turns out, it was the beginning of an effort to give some of the street back to the people in the community.
The former Berlin Tempelhof Airport is a surreal green space.
It was an active commercial airfield until 2008 but since then, it’s been turned over to the people as a neat place to work and hang out.
The runways, once busy with jetliners, are now the domain of cyclists, in-line skaters and skateboarders.
The green spaces welcome kite enthusiasts (as seen above in September 2016), dog walkers and community gardeners.
There’s even a mini-golf course on site.
Some of the old airport terminal and cargo spaces are being re-used as offices, too.
This isn’t the first time the Tempelhof site has been easily accessible to the public. According to a historical article from the Berlin airport authority, the space was once used as a parade ground before it was earmarked for airport construction.
Once the airport closed, Berlin residents saved the space thanks to a referendum, the authors of the website tempelhoferfeld.info told me via Twitter.
As a result of the vote, the vast open areas won’t change very much while the area occupied by the defunct airport terminal and ancillary buildings can be developed with input from Berliners.
Definitely an instance of preservation, recreation and urban re-development working hand-in-hand.
This striking structure is part of Tillikum Crossing, the newest bridge across the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. Opened to traffic in fall 2015, it’s reserved for use by MAX light rail Orange Line trains, Portland Streetcars, cyclists and pedestrians. It is the first bridge of this sort in the United States, according to TriMet.