Biodiversity - The basis of all life

Healthy ecosystems are critical for clean water, clean air, fertile soils, and provide protection against flooding and erosion. They perform important functions and have direct and indirect consequences for our health and well-being. The basis for this is biodiversity, also known as biological diversity. It comprises the diversity of species, the genetic diversity within species and thus the diversity of ecosystems.

Our goal with Siemensstadt Square is to develop a resilient urban district in harmony with people and nature. For the planning, therefore, a large number of factors must be taken into account. Especially since, in view of the changing climate conditions, the climate-related stress factors for nature in the city are also increasing.

BeeOdiversity in Siemensstadt Square

Siemensstadt Square - New living spaces in the middle of a metropolis with millions of inhabitants

In line with our comprehensive sustainability concept, Siemensstadt Square will create space in the middle of Berlin, a metropolis of millions, actively shaping new living spaces, for people and nature.

  • Site plan of the future Siemensstadt² urban quarter
    Create spaces

    To enable biodiversity, you need as many green open spaces as possible. Siemensstadt Square already creates these in the basic concept. Open spaces can be used simultaneously - coordinated by intelligent, digital guidance systems - by the various user groups. The classic separation into footpath, cycle path and road is no longer necessary; they are superimposed. Cars are largely banned from the area. Siemensstadt Square ticks to the rhythm of pedestrians and cyclists. This creates free space and calm.

  • Rendering of the new Look of Siemensstadt Square with green nature between modern architecture
    Allow urban nature

    Wasserundurchlässige Materialien werden vermieden. Die miteinander vernetzten Grünflächen folgen - wo möglich - einem naturnahen Muster. Natur und Stadt dürfen zusammenwachsen und als vielfältige Stadtnatur erlebt werden.

  • Biodiversity - Meadow with wild flowers
    Shape ecosystems

    In this context, the buildings see themselves as a bridge between natural spaces. New vegetation is created with greened facades and roofs. The selection of native and adaptable plants provides diverse habitats. An efficient ecosystem creates the new identity of Siemensstadt Square.

BeeOmonitoring – A Place to Bee

Already in the inventory of biodiversity, Siemensstadt Square is taking an innovative and natural approach. Around 80,000 bees buzz across the site collecting pollen and nectar. Small amounts of the pollen are regularly sent to the Belgian startup BeeOdiversity and compared with an extensive plant database. In this way, the bees become `natural drones' and part of a natural biodiversity monitoring of Siemensstadt Square.

In Siemensstadt Square, BeeOmonitoring will accompany the entire construction process after a pilot phase and will also be continued after completion. Samples will be taken annually between April and October - the bees' flight season - and the biodiversity of the site will be improved on the basis of these findings.

For example, species specifically found at the site can be specifically promoted, overpopulation regulated and endangered species protected. Harmful influences are detected in time and can be prevented. This creates a balanced ecosystem with the aim of regulating itself in the future.

Bees in Siemensstadt Square - Mr. Buschmann shows the contents of the pollen filter

The "Carinthian bees" and "Buckfast bees" in Siemensstadt Square are considered particularly peaceful as well as good honey suppliers. Their hives are located on the roof of the dynamo plant. There the bees find the necessary peace and quiet, and at the same time their flight radius covers the Siemensstadt Square area from here, because they prefer to swarm northward. Since they do not fly over bodies of water, the "Faule Spree" forms a natural border.

Bees in Siemensstadt Square - Beehive with pollen filter on the roof of the switchgear house

BeeOmonitoring was developed by the Belgian startup BeeOdiversity. The method allows monitoring the environment by analyzing pollen and nectar collected by bees. This allows conclusions to be drawn about the plant diversity of the region and its nutritional quality for the bees. All data is processed after laboratory analysis and presented in a digital dashboard. This also allows short-, medium- and long-term changes to be identified.

Bees in Siemensstadt Square - Ingo Buschmann shows a full pollen filter from his bee colony

The bees are looked after by hobby beekeeper Ingo Buschmann, who also raised the colonies. They complement the ten colonies he already keeps in his private garden. In addition to the biodiversity analyses made possible by the bees in Siemensstadt Square, he is now particularly looking forward to new insights into beekeeping and hiking with bees, which will be possible here for the first time.

Portrait Ingo Buschmann, Beekeeper and Siemens Energy employees in Siemensstadt Square

In order to create diverse habitats for animals and plants in Siemensstadt Square, to allow nature to flourish in sufficient open spaces, and thus to enable climate-friendly and sustainable living for all, a large number of individual measures are required. In Siemensstadt Square, these are defined, among other things, by a specially created "open space rulebook". Because basically, the greater the diversity, the more stable the system!

Here is a selection of the measures, which will be continuously expanded and refined as the project progresses:

Flexibility

All open spaces are planned from the outset in such a way that a lively coexistence of different uses is created with the aim of achieving the greatest possible flexibility.

Composite Green Spaces

Interconnected natural corridors reinforce each other and channel natural phenomena. The permeability to neighboring areas enables the exchange of plants, animals and people. In this way, Siemensstadt Square becomes an integral part of Spandau's natural balance.

Less Surface Sealing

Sealed surfaces are reduced by seamless or impermeable materials. Precipitation can be stored underground and returned to nature. The neighborhood breathes and the rainwater benefits plants, evaporates with a cooling effect for the urban climate, or feeds the groundwater.

Biotope area factor

For cities to remain livable, the natural balance must function. To ensure a minimum standard of "green qualities," the so-called biotope area factor (BFF) was developed in Berlin. It can be used to define what proportion of the property area should serve as a plant site or infiltration area. This area then assumes important functions for the natural balance. The BFF is also used in the master planning for Siemensstadt Square.

Facades & roofs

Green facades and roofs radiate less heat, store rainwater and increase the quality of the microclimate. They are now part of the natural network, not a barrier.

Materials

For the construction of buildings and open spaces, resource-conserving and sustainable materials are (re)used as far as possible.

Habitats

The integration of flowering strips, nesting and breeding aids, diverse perennials, deadwood and rock formations, hedges and other measures increase the proportion of usable food sources and attractive living and resting spaces. Imitating natural, familiar habitats from the wild, they are integrated into the urban planning concept.

Plant Diversity

The newly planted trees, woody plants and grasses come from our region. Animals know them and therefore use them as a habitat or food source. Adapted to the local vegetation and climate conditions, they require less care, can withstand dry periods and are thus prepared for future climate changes.