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When in October 2008 Tempelhof (one of the earliest commercial airports in the world) closed, plans to build luxury apartments soon emerged. Knowing what gentrification and unnecessary development do to a city, Berliners organized themselves to oppose the project until the former airport became a protected city park.
The Reichstag, the meeting place for the German parliament, is another example of ecological commitment.
The reconstruction of the house of parliament (Bundestag) was a public project that an English architect, Norman Foster, won. Foster’s success was partly due to his careful attention and use of natural light and heat. The futuristic looking cone, at the center of the dome’s entrance, is filled with moving mirrors to reflect light into the parliament chamber located below, significantly decreasing the need to produce artificial light. The top of the dome, too, is permanently open to control the building’s temperature ecologically. However, Berlin effort to regulate carbon emissions extends well beyond public buildings and parks.
To learn how the auto industry is dealing with the recent ecological demands, I contacted Claudia Fried, from the Clean Energy Partnership; a joint venture between government and leading industrial companies to further the possibilities of hydrogen as an alternative source of energy…