Yes and no. I think the Flussbad project is driven to a certain extent by the idea to connect the city with an unused arm of River Spree. We are talking about an urban void of 1.8 kilometers in length in the very heart of the historic center of Berlin. The intention of the project is to revive and enrich that area, to make it accessible for the Berliners. Using the river for swimming has a long, yet forgotten, tradition. In that way, the Flussbad project re-establishes an old connection in a modern manner.
Countless factors. On one side, we have the project aim to improve life, to make life in the city center more enjoyable. Bringing different people into the city center is another consideration. Right now, we have a lot of administrative offices in the center, institutions and museums. We actually want to bring Berliners back to the city center and mix them with the tourists, to keep the city center vibrant and delightful for the future. Museums often don't include authentic life anymore. Flussbad is trying to become a catalyst to improve urban life. To make our project tangible, we have to make people understand it. We think about how to re-use the river, which now mainly serves for tourist transportation. And heritage protection people are worried that Flussbad might damage the aura of the museums. There are so many aspects to consider.
I don’t think we have convinced all of them. Not yet. We convince other people, and we are very reasonable. So we don’t push things that are stupid. Not everyone needs to like it, but we try to build bridges from all sides. That’s the strategy to get things done. We will see if we'll be successful.
The Stadtschloss, or the Humboldt Forum, as one must call it now, is trying to facilitate what they call an intercultural dialogue. Which, of course, is mostly directed towards the past. But how can we re-orient our thinking processes towards the future? The Flussbad project has the potential to be a catalyst for connecting the Humboldt Forum with the city of Berlin: to prolong an intercultural dialogue with everyday culture by implementing a function in the city center that also appeals to people that perhaps wouldn’t usually visit the Museum Island. With Flussbad, the unused Spree Canal becomes a true connecting lifeline in the city again.
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