The Berlin Metropolitan region consists of the two Federal states Brandenburg and Berlin. Its core area encompasses 66 municipalities around Berlin and the city itself. Delineated by the regional planning authorities to control urban growth, the so-called sphere of mutual influence (engerer Verflechtungsraum) can be regarded as peri-urban area. It embraces an area of about 5,400 km² and is populated by about one million inhabitants (2006), growing gradually with additional 75,000 inhabitants since 2000. According to own calculations based on Corine Land Cover 2000 about 15% of the area is used for settlement and infrastructure with a majority characterised as suburban.
Farming in the case study region Berlin-Brandenburg is affected by less-favoured conditions of low qualities of soils, consisting mainly of sand and clay as well as extensive wetland and peat bog. However, horticulture is characterised by a number of cultivation traditions of nation-wide importance, such as asparagus, fruit trees or cucumber. In 2005, the Brandenburg agricultural census counted over 800 holdings with primary or secondary occupation in horticulture producing on 12,000 ha agricultural land. Although horticulture represents only 0.9% of the total agricultural area and 12% of the total holdings, it accounts for about 20% of the net value added of the entire farming sector, illustrating the economic relevance.
Within the city boundaries of the metropolitan area of Berlin, in 2007, agricultural census counted 85 agricultural farms on 2250 ha, amongst which 4 farms with 249 ha are run organically. For Berlin, the RDP Berlin Brandenburg offers three measures only (121, 212, 213, 214). Measures with relevance for the short chain delivery of food (111, 123,124, which are open in Brandenburg and hold round 10% of the overall axis 1 indicative budget) are not open for farms in Berlin city. This is also the case for LEADER projects. Only 15 farms in Berlin are beneficiaries of CAP Rural development programme axis 2 measures, while in Brandenburg it is rd. 10% of all farms (Matzdorf and Piorr 2010).
Contrasting is the green image of urban farming initiatives in Berlin, quickly emerging all over the town. With 44% of its total area, Berlin city offers a huge and above average potential of green spaces. Particular important is the high share of spaces for intermediate use, e.g. on the former city Airport Tempelhof, with another Airport (Tegel) to follow. New forms of intercultural, community, mobile, temporary gardening initiatives are active. The traditional form of allotment gardens comprises 3,5% of the total city area (Goedde, 2011).

A Case Study flyer is available in English and in German.

Contact: Annette Piorr (apiorr (at)

Matzdorf, B., Piorr, A. 2010: Expertise zur Förderung der periurbanen und urbanen
Landwirtschaft in Berlin. Bewertung der aktuellen umweltrelevanten Fördermaßnahmen des EPLR. Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Berlin.
Goedde, M. (2011): Stadtentwicklung und Urbane Landwirtschaft in Berlin. Vortrag Workshop INNSULA, 13.07.2011. Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Berlin.