Water as one of the oldest symbols of mankind with its reflective quality is a powerful topic and token of audiences’´ delight. Berlin as a city surrounded and perforated by lakes and defined by rivers and canals is an ideal setting for research on cities by rivers and watersides. To foster this, close cooperation with organizations such as River//Cities is mandatory as exchange and networking are the basis of any development. In cooperation with River//Cities and further partners the audiences preferring events close to water or on water are being modeled and monitored.
River Spree is a relatively small river. Due to all its canals and bridges as well as its length of 46 km, its presence in Berlin is very noticeable.
For a long time, a big part of the river served as the border line between East and West Berlin. In this area, the waterfront has already been “repossessed” by cultural and recreational institutions – such as beach bars, beach clubs, a pool, a restaurant and a night club on a river boat, etc. This area is still changing very fast. Many of the old industrial sites have been or are planned to be transformed into the office buildings (Media Spree).
Looking at the Spree in Berlin, three different aspects can be summed up:
Firstly, its waterfront is being used for recreational activities, especially on the outskirts.
Secondly, on the Museumsinsel (Museum Island) and in the government district it reveals its representative character.
Thirdly, the old industrial sites evoke a completely different experience.
In the 19th century, Berlin expanded immensely and numerous factories were built along the river which was then used as a means of transportation. Later on, due to the decline of a heavy industry, there is a lot of industrial wasteland waiting for its transformation.