(The Senate Department for Urban Development and Environment)
This morning I interviewed a woman at the urban planning office of Berlin working on the city laws, mapping, statistics, and regulations of cemeteries. She also has worked on a large project re-examining the future of the cemeteries in the city. There are over 200 cemeteries in the city, but because of the recent increase of cremation (80%) all of this space is not needed! Graves only exist for 30 years or so unless the family is able to maintain it for longer with extra funding, so the cemeteries are actually decreasing in size because now many of the large graves are disappearing. The city has decided to re-integrate some of these spaces as parks, and in some special cases even allow new building projects to develop. Berlin in the middle of a housing crisis and it is difficult to accommodate everyone with apartments… so death may be taking up less space these days, but more people keep arriving.
When the interview was over I walked downstairs and found an exhibition in the same building of these large scale 3-D maps of the city.