Following on from the monographic issue on Moscow, this edition’s CityMaps section dedicated to Berlin also presents the GIS-based maps in their new graphic form.
As with Moscow, the map on the cover page shows population distribution separately from the density distributions of the other features considered. As a result, population density can be more effectively compared to the topography, services, public transport, and natural vegetation on the other four maps.
Like the other cities we have examined, Berlin too shows lower residential density in inner-city areas. However, the residential areas are very close to what is a fairly small city centre, and display an important distinguishing feature of Germany’s capital: their clustered distribution around the old town. Residential areas appear as virtual units unto themselves, islands forming a sort of extended archipelago of cities within a city, pieces of a puzzle, each with their own morphological characteristics.
As the densely interwoven road network clearly shows, although Berlin can essentially be described as a single centred city, it is in fact made up of an orderly series of urban sub-systems. The topography (essentially a flat plain crossed by the river Spree) is certainly conducive to this extensive multiple-unit urban layout.
The residential islands are true cities within a city thanks to the widespread, porous presence of services that make each unit independent yet never exclusively geared to a single urban function.
As the services distribution map shows, unlike similar urban layouts in other cities where the city centre and residential districts are clearly separate, Berlin’s clustered layout is underpinned by very efficient distribution of community facilities.
The public transport map gives an immediate idea of the far-reaching capacity of Berlin’s U-Bahn and S-Bahn. It is also a striking reminder of this city’s incredible history,...
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