Value and Making of Hobrecht’s Ber­lin. Growth, change and heri­tage of the Ber­lin city expansion

2014 – 2018


The deve­lo­p­ment plan for the envi­ron­ments of Ber­lin, appro­ved in 1862, crea­ted the basis on which the inner city has been built on till today. As a pro­duct of the capi­ta­list-libe­ral eco­no­mic order in the 19th cen­tury, the plan is the star­ting point of a debate about plan­ning as a public policy. For the inter­na­tio­nal expon­ents of urban moder­nity Hobrecht embo­died the nega­tive example of a socially blind reac­tion­ary plan­ning, whose spa­tial rea­liz­a­tion had to be remo­ved. Since the ques­tio­ning of the gui­ding princi­ples of moder­nistic town plan­ning, the cri­ti­cism on James Hobrecht has been ques­tio­ned and the plan its­elf equa­ted with the 19th cen­tury neigh­bor­hoods in an idea­li­zing way. Accord­in­gly, the deve­lo­p­ment plan is a recur­ring refe­rence not only in the study of the Ber­lin urban deve­lo­p­ment, but also of the history of Euro­pean plan­ning paradigms.

The plan has under­gone dif­fe­rent inter­pre­ta­ti­ons, in which design, rea­liz­a­tion and trans­for­ma­tion mix in various ways. Yet, ideas and real history have hardly been con­si­de­red in rela­tion to each other. This is the project’s star­ting point: The inter­di­sci­pli­nary rese­arch pro­ject aims to illu­mi­nate the history of ideas and the real history of the plan and the plan­ning area in an inte­gra­ted way. By focu­sing on the example of Ber­lin, the pro­ject exami­nes gene­ral princi­ples of the emer­gence and change in urban struc­tures and in the plan­ning discipline.


The inter­di­sci­pli­nary rese­arch pro­ject enab­les a pro­found and cri­ti­cal ana­ly­sis of the urban and plan­ning history of Ber­lin, in which the plan’s ideas and real history are illu­mi­na­ted in an inte­gra­ted way. Objec­ti­ves are:

Attri­bu­ti­ons of value, spa­tial deve­lo­p­ment and plan­ning state­ments are com­bi­ned in the term „Hobrech­tian Ber­lin“ to under­line the multi-dimen­sio­na­lity of the ana­li­zed object. This com­ple­xity is also reflec­ted in the rese­arch methods: by lin­king urban and mor­pho­lo­gi­cal ana­ly­sis with stu­dies of role models, social valua­tions and com­pa­ra­ble Euro­pean city expan­sion plans of the 19th century.

Thus, we aim to reflect local insights about Berlin’s city struc­ture in the Euro­pean con­text, to gain his­to­ri­cal and metho­do­lo­gi­cal know­ledge and to re-eva­luate Hobrecht’s con­tri­bu­tion to urban planning.


DFG – Deut­sche Forschungsgemeinschaft


Prof. Dr. Angela Mil­lion, Felix Bent­lin, Laura Cal­bet i Elias


Prof. Elke Pahl-Weber
Chair of Urban Rene­wal and Sus­tainable Deve­lo­p­ment
Insti­tute of Urban and Regio­nal Plan­ning (ISR), TU Berlin

Prof. Dr. Gabi Dolff-Bone­käm­per
Chair of Urban Heri­tage
Insti­tute of Urban and Regio­nal Plan­ning (ISR), TU Berlin


Flyer (EN)
Flyer (DE)


will be avail­able soon: Dolff-Bone­käm­per, Gabi / Mil­lion, Angela / Pahl-Weber, Elke (Hg.) (2018): Das Hobrecht­sche Ber­lin. Wachs­tum, Wan­del und Wert der Ber­li­ner Stadt­er­wei­te­rung. Band XX in der Reihe Grund­la­gen. DOM publis­hers, Berlin.

Bent­lin, Felix (2017): Under­stan­ding the Hobrecht Plan. Ori­gin, com­po­si­tion, and imple­men­ta­tion of urban design ele­ments in the Ber­lin expan­sion plan from 1862. In: Plan­ning Per­spec­ti­ves. ISBN (Print): upco­m­ing print publi­ca­tion in 2018. DOI (Online): https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​8​0​/​0​2​6​6​5​4​3​3​.​2​0​1​7​.​1​40848

Cal­bet i Elias, Laura / Hut­te­rer, Flo­rian / Uttke; Angela (2013): 150 Jahre Hobrecht­plan. Die wie­der­keh­rende Frage nach dem gro­ßen Plan. In: AK Städ­te­bau SRL „Der Große Plan. Aktu­elle Bei­träge zum Städ­te­bau.“ Ber­lin. S. 123–126. ISSN 0936–0778.

Bent­lin, Felix (2012): Raum­schule Neu­kölln – Archi­tek­tur­ver­mitt­lung durch Map­ping im Hobrecht’schen Ber­lin. In: PLA­NE­RIN 5/2012: Pixel, Bits & Netz­werke, S. 43–44.

Uttke, Angela / Brück, Andreas / Hein­rich, Anna Juliane (2012): Map­ping Hobrecht Neu­kölln. In: Bezirks­amt Neu­kölln von Ber­lin (Hrsg.): QUER/STRASSE. Die Schü­lerwork­shops 2012 zur Sanie­rung der Karl-Marx-Straße. Pro­jekt­do­ku­men­ta­tion, S. 6–13. Zugriff unter http://​www​.aktion​-kms​.de/​f​i​l​e​s​/​s​c​h​u​e​l​e​r​w​o​r​k​s​h​o​p​s​_​2​0​1​2.pdf

Rhede, Chris­tiane / Hut­te­rer, Flo­rian / Herold, Ste­pha­nie / Cal­bet i Elias, Laura (2011): Bebau­ungs- oder Frei­flä­chen­plan? Die Rolle des öffent­li­chen Rau­mes bei Hobrecht. In: Fle­cken / Cal­bet i Elias (Hrsg.):  Der öffent­li­che Raum? Sich­ten, Refle­xio­nen, Bei­spiele. Ber­lin 2011, S. 95–106.


SS 2011: Map­ping das Hobrecht­sche Ber­lin I – Cerda meets Hobrecht
Dozen­tIn­nen: Prof. Dr. Angela Mil­lion, Andreas Brück, Laura Cal­bet i Elias
SS 2012: Map­ping das Hobrecht­sche Ber­lin II – Fin­ding Hobrecht auf der Karl‑Marx‑Straße
Dozen­tIn­nen: Prof. Dr. Angela Mil­lion, Andreas Brück
WS 2015/16: Housing for the MASS – Old Ideas, new Forms of Urban Living
Dozen­tIn­nen: Prof. Dr. Angela Mil­lion, Felix Bent­lin, Laura Cal­bet i Elias