Against the backdrop of the contemporary disciplinary debate on the creation of river baths and the restoration of bathing activities as a means of regaining rivers and improving the quality of urban life, in the article ‘Berlino Swim City? Riflessioni in cammino lungo la Sprea a Berlino’ I discuss the treatment of the Spree River in Berlin, through the description of three projects: the Spreeweg, the Flussbad Berlin and the Spree2011/WITE. The methods of analysis applied consist of the use of historical sources, literature review and original materials, collected through interviews and empirical research conducted by the author. The analysis of the presented case studies shows ambivalences. However, it seems that the redevelopment of the Spree river and its riverfront, through these urban and territorial projects, may offer the possibility to address ecological, hydrological, engineering and environmental issues, in light of sustainable development. Swimming in the Spree thus becomes a symbol. It remains to be seen in what forms and at what scale these possibilities will be implemented in Berlin.
This article, written in Italian, is open access and published in the Scientific Journal EcoWebTown. Journal of Sustainable Design, no. 21.
I would like to thank: Felix Bentlin for sharing historical writings and information on the development of water infrastructure in the context of the Hobrecht Plan (private email correspondence); Christian Hajer for the information on urban development in Berlin and the Spree River (telephone interview); Ralf Steeg for the documentation and information provided in relation to the Spree2011 project and the WITE system (private email correspondence); Sabine Kopetzki and Uwe Borgenhagen for providing materials and maps of the Spreeweg and the Berlin’s Twenty Green Walks Plan (private email correspondence); Dietrich Henckel for valuable comments on the text; Rosario Pavia for the kind invitation to write this article.