It is an interesting experiment in citizen participation in light of the tensions between different interest groups, some of whom want larger areas dedicated to new residential developments, for example, while others are demanding more space for private projects.

Three areas have been designated “pioneering fields”, inviting citizens to propose and carry out projects in what is called a “laboratory for temporary uses”. The range of projects is as wide as the airfield itself: shiatsu and meditation classes, urban agriculture, an interactive crazy-golf course that teaches about sustainability, a unicycling school, educational projects that teach natural science and language to kids, a club that aims to create new types of sports — the list goes on. As pressure on space increases and commercial and non-commercial interests continue to conflict, Berlin’s long tradition of citizen participation is bound to set the tone for similar projects in the coming years.

This and more inspiring projects can be found in the print copy of A smart guide to Utopia or the ebook version.