NATURA URBANA | THE BRACHEN OF BERLIN tells the post-war history of Berlin through its plants.
When I had time to do City Strolls, visiting the Glasgow bracken was a favourite. Unfortunately we do not have the same respect and love of the bracken as the Berliner. The 70s adventure playgrounds, environments and happenings, pop up theatres, had its time in the city. But big brother council and its ubiquitous red glaze soon covered up the bracken and sanitise the land long before it was needed for development parcels. I was never surprised that each time we did a talk on Scotland’s Common Good Fund, at the Electron Club or elsewhere, at least one Berliner would turn up for each occasion. And very impressed they were, that our Common Good Fund existed, along with its uniqueness. I guess it would take a Berliner, to appreciate, who still have the sense and scope of what the brachen and the commons represents and has to offer.
We also had our own Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord potential, but the Philistines-that-be down at the council, could not wait to be rid of ever last remanent of our innovative, industrial and engineering past in order to swathe the landscape in concrete boxes. Who knows to what mental damage the cleansing, both social and environmental of the city has done to its citizens. Soon there will be no place to be lost in, to find, to imagine. No nooks and crannies to offer respite from the bland. No city strolls because there will be no place to go or discover only generic landscape.