What controls the secular process of sub-urbanisation of Berlin to garden and satellite cities and what were the effects? Through the massive retreat of its wealthy and academic bourgeoisie from the centre, Berlin became a bipolar city. On this side of the "railway ring", stood the "stony Berlin" of tenement blocks, the "largest mietskasernen city in the world"(Julius Posener). On the other side the "largest villa city in the world" was growing. The concept of the "green" city had some positive influence and brought a long-term "moral mission" of the upper middle classes into the inner-city. The pre-war villa settlements were an effective laboratory for the middle class dream of owning a house and a garden on the green and healthy outskirts of the city. In the competition between the political systems after the War, the GDR ran with an inner-city housing development, which unlike the prevailing "spacious green city" idea in West Berlin, had to remain true to the old city structure. Recently some urban planners and sociologists, looking at suburbia in a positive sense, using concepts like 'net city' or 'edge city', have accentuated the autonomy of suburbia. Whether this suburban mix contains the future of city development, remains to be seen.

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European Science Foundation
The European Metropolis 1920-2000
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Reif, H. (2003). Dynamics of Sub-urbanisation - The Growing Periphery of the Metropolis. Berlin 1890 - 2000. In The European Metropolis 1920-2000. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/1020