Last year, conflicts between local residents and park users were the subject of intensive discussions at the Mauerpark Round Table. A participation process was set up and the Save Mauerpark initiative put forward a range of ideas for workable regulations.
As a result, Pankow borough council introduced new rules for the 2019 Mauerpark season and used multilingual brochures and park rangers to inform people about them throughout the season.
For the 2020 season, structures known as acoustic shells will be introduced as a practical way of dealing with unwanted noise. The shells form a sound barrier that protects local residents (1), while at the same time improving the acoustic experience for the musicians and their audience (2).
Flanagan Lawrence architects are international leaders in this field. Their acoustic shells come in very different shapes and sizes and are already in use in parks and public spaces around the world. Ulrich Schweizer, an engineer and member of Berlin Street Music, has designed a mobile version of the shells for the pilot project in Mauerpark. Pankow’s parks and gardens department and Freunde des Mauerparks e.V. have signed an agreement to implement the pilot project.
The mobile acoustic shells will be erected mostly on Sundays, weather permitting, from May 2020 onwards. Freunde des Mauerparks, together with students from TU Berlin and Pankow’s parks and gardens department, will investigate and document their effectiveness. At the same time, the various user groups will be kept up to speed on developments. It is obviously crucial to ensure that the musicians in the park are onboard with the project and Berlin Street Music will take on the important role of looking after communications with them.
Freunde des Mauerparks e.V. see the acoustic shells as a practical approach to resolving the conflict that will benefit both residents and musicians. In this way, we are continuing to address the needs of all the park’s user groups and fulfil our declared aim to promote constructive cooperation and a culture of tolerance and mutual respect in Mauerpark.