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German entertainment park experiences “adaptive cycle”
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The German entertainment park Spreepark Plänterwald was open in 1969, then as Kulturpark Plänterwald. Over time, new attractions were developed, the amount of visitor increased and the park was renamed Spreepark Plänterwald. Visitor numbers decreased around the year 2000, however, amongst others due to high entry prices and limited parking space. In 2002, the park went bankrupt and was closed. After almost a decade of decay, the park is in a process of being rediscovered. The deteriorated park proves to be an appealing, obscure decor for movies and video clips and an interesting object for (amateur) photographers.

The German entertainment park Spreepark Plänterwald was open in 1969, then as Kulturpark Plänterwald. Over time, new attractions were developed, the amount of visitor increased and the park was renamed Spreepark Plänterwald. Visitor numbers decreased around the year 2000, however, amongst others due to high entry prices and limited parking space. In 2002, the park went bankrupt and was closed. After almost a decade of decay, the park is in a process of being rediscovered. The deteriorated park proves to be an appealing, obscure decor for movies and video clips and an interesting object for (amateur) photographers. Since 2009 guided tours are available, in 2011 a café (re)opend, and more recently the park is used as a stage by theatre companies and event organisations. 

The development path of the attraction park is strikingly well-described by the “adaptive cycle”, a theoretical model that is gaining importance in academic literature. This adaptive cycle consist of four phases, as is discussed for instance in Davoudi (2013). These phases are subsequently passed through over a period of time.

1) Growth phase  (r) – accumulation of resources, seizing opportunities, success

2) Conservation phase (K) – growth slows down, stability

3) Creative destruction (Ω) – chaotic collapse, release of accumulated capital.

4) Reorganisation phase (α) – a time of innovation and restructuration

 

Figure 1: the panarchy model of the adaptive cycle (source: Davoudi et al., 2013)

Clearly, the Spreepark Plänterwald has experienced all phases of the adaptive cycle. The phases of growth and conservation were pursued by the owners, and led to the development of the entertainment park. The phase of creative destruction occurred rather unintentionally. At the moment, the reorganisation phase is ongoing. The relics of the past are used in a self-organising manner by local innovators. As a result of going through the four phases, the park has changed in structure and function.   

Seen on: upcoming.nl, abandoned-berlin.de, and berliner-spreepark.de

References – Davoudi, S., Brooks, E. & Mehmood, A. (2013) Evolutionary resilience and strategies for climate adaptation, Planning Practice and Research, 28(3), 307-322.


 

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