Berlin: A Green City

Robin Clower
June 28, 2015
Viktoriapark Waterfall

Berlin is not the city I imagined when deciding to come here for the summer. I really wanted to study abroad in Freiburg, a beautiful city in the Black Forest of Southern Germany. Having been to the city before, I know that it’s surrounded by forested hills and has the feeling of a small town, despite the fact that it is a rather large city. Berlin, on the other hand, I pictured as a bustling metropolis: a concrete beast. I envisioned the New York City style roads, with belligerent taxis honking every 20 feet, tiny sidewalks with no room to breathe, and incongruous parks shunted out of the way in favor of additional storefronts. I was wrong.

Basically every street in Berlin is wide enough for bikers and cars to coexist, they’re not the narrow terrors of Heidelberg where my parents live, nor the 5 lane monsters found in many American cities. The sidewalks on the main streets are always wide enough for 5 or so people to walk abreast, and the side streets never feel cramped. More importantly, the farthest I’ve travelled in this city without seeing a tree is about 50 feet. The majority of streets have trees every 20 feet. Parks are abundant and make up quite a bit of the land in Berlin. Viktoriapark is certainly my favorite park that I’ve come across so far in Berlin, with a whispering waterfall stemming from a memorial to the Napolionic wars, flowing through a wooded hill with a path meandering through the copse, intermittently giving way to meadows perfectly situated to appreciate the sun setting over the city.

However, that’s not the only beautiful park. On my runs and bike rides through the city, I come across parks and playgrounds, varying in sizes between fitting a slide and sandpit among a thicket of trees, to the giant expanses of the Tiergarten and Tempelhof Airport, an abandoned airport turned park/nature reserve/running and biking trail. According to, 40% of Berlin is dedicated to “Green Space” and claims that Berlin has over 2,500 public recreation areas and green spaces. These numbers shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has spent much time in Berlin. A typical day in Berlin for me involves going to school, dropping my stuff at home, and then going for a run under the shade of trees, working out in a park by my house, or meeting up with people and chilling in Viktoriapark. I really love and respect this focus on nature in the middle of a 3,500,000 inhabitant city.

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Robin Clower

<p>I am Robin Clower and currently I&#39;m earning degrees in Secondary Education: Mathematics and German, as well as an additional major in Mathematics at Oklahoma State University (Go Cowboys!) I lived in Germany as a child, but am now headed back after studying Germany&#39;s language, culture, and history for four years at OSU. My main passion in life is teaching, so I hope to teach y&#39;all something while I&#39;m in Germany and learning about myself.</p>

2015 Summer 1, 2015 Summer 2
Home University:
Oklahoma State University
German Language
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