Hobrecht’s Berlin – Value & Coming To Be
Growth, change, and heri­tage of Berlin’s urban expan­sion plan
2014 – 2018

James Hobrecht’s deve­lo­p­ment plan for Berlin’s expan­sion from 1862 is a recur­ring (often nega­tive) refe­rence in plan­ning history and the basis on which the inner city was created and is based upon until today. The inter­di­sci­pli­nary rese­arch project aimed at illu­mi­na­ting the ideas behind and the real history of the plan(s) in an inte­grated way. The focus was on:

1. the plan’s logic as an urban growth frame­work (Chair for Urban Design & Urban Deve­lo­p­ment),

2. the deve­lo­p­ment of urban space with regard to the robust­ness of the growth frame­work (Chair for Urban Trans­for­ma­tion), and

3. the urban space as a work of archi­tec­ture and its cultural, histo­rical and artistic value (Chair for Urban Heri­tage).

Attri­bu­tions of value, spatial deve­lo­p­ment and plan state­ments were combined in the term „Hobrech­tian Berlin“ in order to do justice to the multi­di­men­sio­na­lity of the object of inves­ti­ga­tion. At the same time, this comple­xity was reflected in the combi­na­tion of urban-morpho­lo­gical analyzes with inves­ti­ga­tions into mission state­ments, social values, and compa­rable 19th-century Euro­pean urban plan­ning. Thus, local insights into the urban struc­ture of Berlin were set into the Euro­pean context of the time, histo­rical and metho­do­lo­gical know­ledge gained and Hobrecht’s contri­bu­tion to urban plan­ning reeva­luated. In addi­tion, the plan was examined as a control and regu­la­tion instru­ment under changed condi­tions of the 19th Century. The revi­si­ting of the under­lying design decis­ions deepened the under­stan­ding of the deve­lo­p­ment of urban plan­ning disci­pline in a signi­fi­cant way: By looking at the built city to this day, it is possible to view the history of ideas and real history over a long period of time. In addi­tion, a contri­bu­tion was made to current debates about the Euro­pean city and its common heri­tage, and critical reflec­tion was encouraged.

K LAB (or the Karto­gra­phie­ver­bund as prede­cessor insti­tu­tion) was involved in carto­gra­phic work on the rese­arch project. Based on exis­ting Berlin geodata-invent­ories and the ISR’s map coll­ec­tion, new infor­ma­tion levels of the city – espe­ci­ally histo­rical maps – were digi­tized and inte­grated into a geogra­phic infor­ma­tion system and dife­rent carto­gra­phic output (analog and digital) created. The maps and visua­liza­tions were included in various publications.


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Teaching / Courses

SS 2011 Steg­reif MA SRP & UD: Mapping das Hobrecht­sche Berlin I – Cerda meets Hobrecht, Lectu­rers: Million/Brück/Calbet i Elias

SS 2012 Steg­reif MA SRP & UD: Mapping das Hobrecht­sche Berlin II – Auf der Suche nach Hobrecht in Neukölln, Lectu­rers: Million/Brück

WS 2015/16 MA-Project SRP & UD: Housing for the MASS – Old Ideas, new Forms of Urban Living, Lectu­rers: Million/Bentlin/Calbet i Elias


Dolff-Bone­kämper, Gabi / Million, Angela / Pahl-Weber, Elke (Eds.) (2018): Das Hobrecht­sche Berlin. Wachstum, Wandel und Wert der Berliner Stadt­er­wei­te­rung. DOM publishers, Berlin.

Bentlin, Felix (2017): Under­stan­ding the Hobrecht Plan. Origin, compo­si­tion, and imple­men­ta­tion of urban design elements in the Berlin expan­sion plan from 1862. In: Plan­ning Perspec­tives. ISBN (Print): upco­ming print publi­ca­tion in 2018. DOI (Online): https://doi.org/10.1080/02665433.2017.140848

Calbet i Elias, Laura / Hutterer, Florian / Uttke; Angela (2013): 150 Jahre Hobrecht­plan. Die wieder­keh­rende Frage nach dem großen Plan. In: AK Städ­tebau SRL „Der Große Plan. Aktu­elle Beiträge zum Städ­tebau.“ Berlin. S. 123–126. ISSN 0936–0778.

Bentlin, Felix (2012): Raum­schule Neukölln – Archi­tek­tur­ver­mitt­lung durch Mapping im Hobrecht’schen Berlin. In: PLANERIN 5/2012: Pixel, Bits & Netz­werke, S. 43–44.

Uttke, Angela / Brück, Andreas / Hein­rich, Anna Juliane (2012): Mapping Hobrecht Neukölln. In: Bezirksamt Neukölln von Berlin (Hrsg.): QUER/STRASSE. Die Schü­ler­work­shops 2012 zur Sanie­rung der Karl-Marx-Straße. Projekt­do­ku­men­ta­tion, S. 6–13. Zugriff unter http://www.aktion-kms.de/files/schuelerworkshops_2012.pdf

Rhede, Chris­tiane / Hutterer, Florian / Herold, Stephanie / Calbet i Elias, Laura (2011): Bebau­ungs- oder Frei­flä­chen­plan? Die Rolle des öffent­li­chen Raumes bei Hobrecht. In: Flecken / Calbet i Elias (Hrsg.):  Der öffent­liche Raum? Sichten, Refle­xionen, Beispiele. Berlin 2011, S. 95–106.