2009-11-01Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/21886
Divided City, Divided Infrastructures
Securing Energy and Water Services in Postwar Berlin
The division of Berlin’s infrastructure systems following the blockade of 1948/49 posed an enormous challenge to the city’s infrastructure planners on both sides of the political divide. This paper is a study of the destabilisation of apparently highly durable technical systems precipitated by the Berlin blockade and the subsequent efforts of those responsible to re-stabilise the systems. It investigates the different experiences of division in the electricity, gas, water and wastewater sectors with a view to raising our understanding of the durability and adaptability of urban technical networks in the face of major upheaval. In the immediate aftermath of the blockade, the paper argues, the prime concern of network managers in both West and East Berlin was to maintain essential services in the face of interventions and reprisals from the other side. As prospects for re-unification diminished, the strategy shifted towards reducing the vulnerability and advancing the territorial cohesion of each side by re-ordering their technical networks physically, spatially and organisationally.
Files in this item
Originally published as: Timothy Moss (2009): Divided city, divided infrastructures: Securing energy and water services in post-war Berlin, Journal of Urban History, 35:7, 923-942, DOI: 10.1177/0096144209347742
No license information