Tempelhof: From Airport to Park

Tempelhof: Vom Flughafen zum Park
  • What to do with Tempelhof Airport after operations stopped in 2008 was unclear but Berliners knew they wanted it to be a public space.

    What to do with Tempelhof Airport after operations stopped in 2008 was unclear but Berliners knew they wanted it to be a public space.

  • In 2009, the 'Have You Ever Squatted an Airport?' protest movement to occupy the airport saw heavy-handed police response on the airport's perimeter.

    In 2009, the 'Have You Ever Squatted an Airport?' protest movement to occupy the airport saw heavy-handed police response on the airport's perimeter.

  • The city-state decided to open the airport to the public as an urban park, but commercialisation and privatisation plans were still being drawn up, so opposition continued.

    The city-state decided to open the airport to the public as an urban park, but commercialisation and privatisation plans were still being drawn up, so opposition continued.

  • On the day of the park's opening in 2010, protestors marched to demand 24-hour access to the park and to voice opposition to privatisation and commercialisation.

    On the day of the park's opening in 2010, protestors marched to demand 24-hour access to the park and to voice opposition to privatisation and commercialisation.

  • Masses turned up to enjoy being the first to walk on the runways and green areas.

    Masses turned up to enjoy being the first to walk on the runways and green areas.

  • It was pretty amazing seeing the final subversion of a Nazi symbol.

    It was pretty amazing seeing the final subversion of a Nazi symbol.

  • The space was now open to everyone.

    The space was now open to everyone.

  • Multiple community uses for the park kept springing up.

    Multiple community uses for the park kept springing up.

  • Summertime grills would fill the BBQ areas with smoke and smells.

    Summertime grills would fill the BBQ areas with smoke and smells.

  • Artists put up installations.

    Artists put up installations.

  • In 2011, community gardens started blossoming.

    In 2011, community gardens started blossoming.

  • In 2012, a section of the airport was excavated to reveal the foundations of a forced labour camp of Lufthansa. The aim was to engage with post-war politics of memory.

    In 2012, a section of the airport was excavated to reveal the foundations of a forced labour camp of Lufthansa. The aim was to engage with post-war politics of memory.

  • The 2014 securing of the park's future is cause indeed for celebration; here, the Tempelhofer Feld sunset provides a stunning backdrop for the skills of the many hobby kite-flyers.

    The 2014 securing of the park's future is cause indeed for celebration; here, the Tempelhofer Feld sunset provides a stunning backdrop for the skills of the many hobby kite-flyers.

Links:

The park is variously referred to as the Tempelhofer Park, Tempelhofer Feld and Flughafen Tempelhof (Tempelhof Airport). The official website uses the brandname of the defeated commercial project, Tempelhofer Freiheit.

The attempt to squat the airport failed but the 100% Tempelhofer Feld civil society movement garnered enough signatures to push for a referendum that succeeded in keeping the whole space a public park.

‘Excavating Tempelhof Airfield: Objects of Memory and the Politics of Absence’ is a paper by anthropologist Maria Theresia Starzmann from McGill University, Canada, that seeks “to critically engage with German post-war politics of memory through a study of material culture”.

Community gardens serve multiple purposes of drawing and creating community, engendering creativity as well as greening urban spaces within the framework of a local commons (joint-ownership).

Experienced: 19.06.2009 || Recounted: 06.06.2014 Click here for bigger map
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