CHALLENGE: How Might We Redesign The Public Space Around Our Street Trees Using The Principles Of Circularity

Challenge for OSCEdays Berlin 2017


This challenge is about rethinking public space using the principles of circularity! We have an invitation from the city of Berlin to design the space around the trees (“Baumscheiben”) in the Richardstraße in Neukölln. We invite you to brainstorm and build real solutions that actually will be implemented.



– Trees –

The trees in our direct neighborhood, the trees that live in our streets, create a lot of value for us. They filter dust from air, endow the oxygen we breath, regulate the city’s climate, protect us from sunshine and rain and their green heals our psyche. They are important agents of the urban ecosystem. Surrounded by concrete a tree living in the streets of a crowded city is given only a minimum of space. Too-often used as trash can and with its soil under constant stress it seems as if we do not appreciate their existence.

Source: NABU

It’s time to give something back and close the circle. Circular also means to give something back to and appreciate and be aware of that what we receive value from. The few square meters around the street tree is public space. As long as the city’s regulations are applied this space can be freely designed by us. It can be used to set a good example of the principles of the circular economy, raise awareness and possibly change old patterns.


MAKE YOUR OWN DESIGN. Use material waste which is all around in the streets of Neukölln to create a little fence to protect the soil and exhibit art that shows your appreciation of trees in the city. Some examples are raised bed gardening, vertical gardening, sculptures, music instruments, participative art, just to name a few, really anything is possible. Be creative.

Your canvas: 1,5m x 2m x 0,4m, keep a distance of 0,5m to parking cars, leave the base of the tree uncovered, only go 10-20cm deep, do not hurt the roots.

Source: Baumscheibenflyer

Make use of the principles of the circular economy, by:

a. reusing material waste
b. protect and enhance nature
c. create awareness


  • the tree’s microcosmos: the waste and pressure on the soil creates a oxygen deficiency which gives the microorganisms a hard times producing the essential nutrients every tree needs. Waste and pressure on the soil also prevent the rainwater from entering the soil and cause it to flow down the drain.

  • (bio-)diversity: once the soil is loose there is space for plants to grow which provide the habitat for insects to live. That will change the urban landscape. Also the exhibit of art and culture creates diversity in public space.

  • awareness: although you can find material waste in every street, it is only the tiniest tip of the iceberg. Reusing some of that waste creates awareness for its existence and its actual value. Reusing materials creates an alternative to short lifecycles of products and the throw-away culture, which dominates our society at this moment. Creating awareness of the value and treatment of nature especially in the urban context helps to close the value circle.


  • think sustainable: protect the tree, people and animals, and don’t hinder traffic.

  • use waste from the streets of Neukölln. It will be provided for the challenge.

  • follow the city’s regulations: They contain the width, length and height of the construction, they regulate how deep to dig to change the soil, and that the tree and humans should not be in danger of any sort.

Participant’s creations will be used to protect trees in Richardstraße, a stone throw away from Agora Berlin. It will be part of this larger project Richards22.

> "Every human being is an artist, a freedom being, called to participate in transforming and reshaping the conditions, thinking and structures that shape and inform our lives." _Joseph Beuys_

Source: Street Yoga

Poster of our project:

:deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree: :deciduous_tree:

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Hi @damax

super cool! I am really excited about this.

Check this. There is already a small guide on circular street art on this forum. So good to see that more experiments will be created. I am happy to help with documentation and input. We need to hack our cities to make them circular :wrench:

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