Utopia in Central Berlin

The sun is shining down on green facades, casting its rays onto the multitude of solar panels from which residents are generating their own electricity. An elevated train glides silently along its route, taking its passengers from A to B. Pedestrians stroll the streets at ground level and enjoy the feeling of being in the middle of a beautiful green utopia, surrounded by futuristic architecture and lots of urban nature – and all of this in central Berlin.

If the Fraunhofer Institute’s project “Morgenstadt” becomes reality, Karl-Marx-Allee in the year 2035 could very well look like this:

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The Project “Morgenstadt” at Karl-Marx-Allee
Image courtesy of Fraunhofer

Karl-Marx-Allee serves as a model for project “Morgenstadt” in Berlin, but the project is in no way limited to a single city. Architects and scientists have embraced the task of improving the quality of life in the world’s major metropolises in years to come.

What the future holds in store

If the vision of the architects and scientists is anything to go by, the “City of the Future” will deliver full employment for the city’s residents, limit the distances people have to travel, and prioritise leisure. A city that creates the space for every individual to choose how they want to live and work and is characterised by participation and civic engagement.

A carbon neutral and energy-efficient city, in which electricity is generated locally by the city’s inhabitants. Where the gardens and green spaces we find on the flat roofs of buildings help to improve the city’s climate, as well as adding to the well-being of the population.

A Berlin free of traffic jams? According to the scientists, this is not only possible, but could happen sooner than you think. The futuristic elevated train will not only replace Berlin’s underground, it’s routes will also be open to electric cars.

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The model of the honeycomb towers.
Image courtesy of n-tv.de – Vincent Callebaut

Why we are already thinking about tomorrow today

Life in big cities has always been defined by plurality and the drive to innovate. And yet technological development is now happening at an unparalleled pace. Added to this is the unprecedented speed at which cities are growing. After all, almost five billion people will soon be living in the world’s biggest cities, which presents urban planners with new challenges: demographic change, scarcity of resources and climate change will all intensify the need to develop new approaches to designing our cities.

The “City of the Future” will need to be sustainable, flexible and adaptable. Cities will not only have to function energy-efficiently, they will also need to be resilient. The greatest challenge in this is staying flexible at the same time as protecting their citizens.

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A model of a futuristic Paris.
Image courtesy of n-tv.de – Vincent Callebaut

For project “Morgenstadt” to soon become reality, the technologies needed to create it will have to be fully integrated into urban life. This is why the German government has already launched its “High-tech Strategy 2020,” with the clear aim of establishing Germany as the leading innovator in Europe and the world. And this aim is exactly what the Fraunhofer Institute’s “Morgenstadt” initiative endorses.

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We can’t wait to see what life in the big city holds in store. In the meantime, we can dream of Utopia in Berlin … and a futuristic Karl-Marx-Allee.
A green city model.
Image courtesy of bine.info