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Marzahn-Hellersdorf’s urban landscape is an astonishing patchwork. While tower bocks dominate east Marzahn and north Hellersdorf, Biesdorf, Kaulsdorf and Mahlsdorf are more like settlements dotted with little homes. This juxtaposition was not so pronounced until the GDR decided to build a large number of Plattenbauten (tower blocks) at the end of the 1970s. The borough’s population diminished until 2010, so only now questions are again being asked concerning the constructing new flats.
Representing only 2.5% of the population, the borough does not appear to be preferred by EU citizens. However, their number has tripled since 2009, in particular as a consequence of immigration from eastern European countries.
Stefan Komoß has been the borough’s Social Democratic mayor since 2011. However, with only 15 delegates, the SPD won 4 seats fewer than the Left Party. The CDU (Christian Democrats) has 15 seats, the Greens and the Pirates 4 each, and the NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany) 2.
On 18 September 2016, all EU-citizens have the opportunity to vote for the district assembly. You can find out here what it is all about and how it works in six different languages.
On 2 September 1977, the roofing ceremony for the first completed tower block of the then borough of Marzahn was held. Occupying house numbers 41 to 45 of Marchwitzastraße, it was the biggest building of its kind in Europe. The first renters moved into its ten floors at the end of 1977. A stele on the Allee der Kosmonauten, Marzahn’s major traffic artery, commemorates the event.
“Insel der Schwäne” (island of swans) tells the story of Stefan, who moves with his parents from their village to Berlin-Marzahnwhere his father is employed as a construction worker. The boy has to adapt to his new concrete world after life in more natural surroundings. The film portrays the experiences of a generation who lived through the 1980s in the GDR.
The Gärten der Welt (gardens of the world) are part of a recreational park in Marzahn. Visitors can wander through various gardens of Chinese, Italian, Korean or Japanese design. There are also two mazes of English and French design to discover. A tour of the world in Berlin!
An unusual attraction
There is an incredible view of Marzahn, Berlin and Brandenburg from the Skywalk on the Marzahner Promenade. The viewing platform was built on the roof of a tower block and is 70m high. It is arguably the best view in the capital.
Which is your favourite place in Marzahn-Hellersdorf? What could the borough do better, how should it change? Your comments are part of the political discussion leading up to the BVV (local) election!