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“Pépinière” - Nancy City Park

The Volksgarten or Stadtgarten is a design form of the public park that was created at the end of the 18th century and was further developed into the Volkspark or Stadtpark at the end of the 19th century . In practical application, the terms are not necessarily used as selectively as in theory.

The purpose of public gardens and public parks is to give the population access to nature and places to relax in urban areas. One of their problems is that they usually (have to) arise where areas of lower land value (areas prone to flooding or landslides, feudal residual greenery, outdated infrastructure complexes, etc.) cannot be better utilized and / or where the population demands better green provision so can be met in the simplest way.

The Volksgarten

The design idea for the Volksgarten emerged in Germany at the end of the 18th century. It is still based on garden art, which is based on aesthetic criteria, and was developed theoretically by Christian Cay Lorenz Hirschfeld and refined by Friedrich Ludwig Sckell to Peter Joseph Lenné and Gustav Meyer , but it also solidified in schematically planned formalisms.

For the recreation, education and upbringing of the urban population, parks have been created throughout the German-speaking area by the municipalities , but also by the respective sovereigns . In addition to forest and meadow areas , ponds , water features, resting places, monuments and pavilions were also created. Originally, these were mostly feudal (hunting) parks that were opened to the public by enlightened rulers (for example in the case of the Vienna Prater and the Augarten ), later on specially created grounds (e.g. Englischer Garten , Munich).

The Volkspark

Jungfernheide Volkspark , Berlin (ca.1920)

The idea of ​​the Volkspark arose at the end of the 19th century from criticism of the Volksgarten concept. The new conception marks the transition from garden art, which is strongly oriented towards aesthetic criteria, primarily based on the concept of the English landscape garden, to modern, user-related open space design and landscape planning .

What was new about the Volkspark concept was, in particular, the consideration of the urban population's needs for space to play and exercise, not just for decent strolls and use of a few less planned amusement areas. Central, large and contiguous play and sports areas that can be walked on are typical of public parks, with a correspondingly reduced network of paths (for example, at Leberecht Migge, also allowing any trampled paths that may arise as a result).

Well-known designers of the first Volksparks are, for example, Fritz Schumacher and Fritz Encke , other designers were Ferdinand Tutenberg , Leberecht Migge , Harry Maasz .

Size comparison of urban green spaces

Great Tiergarten, Berlin (1833)
International size comparison
investment Size
in km²
National City Park , Stockholm 2700
Richmond Park , London 1000
Amsterdamse Bos , Amsterdam 09.35
Sutton Park , Birmingham 0900
Bois de Boulogne , Paris 08.40
Phoenix Park , Dublin 07th00
Eilenriede , Hanover 06.400
Silesian Park , Chorzów / Katowice 06.20
Wiener Prater , Vienna 06th00
Golden Gate Park , San Francisco 04.10
Kings Park , Perth 04th00
Ohlsdorf Cemetery , Hamburg 03.89
English Garden , Munich 03.75
Tempelhofer Park , Berlin 03.55
Central Park , New York 03.50
Borisova gradina , Sofia 03.02
Barmer plants , Wuppertal 0300
Great Tiergarten , Berlin 02.10
Altonaer Volkspark , Hamburg 02.05
Bürgerpark and Stadtwald , Bremen 02.02
Big garden , Dresden 01.8
Niddapark , Frankfurt am Main 01.68
Rheinaue , Bonn 01.60
City Park , Hamburg 01.50
Jungfernheide Volkspark , Berlin 01.40
Volkspark Dutzendteich , Nuremberg 01.30
Grugapark , Essen 00.70

List of public and city gardens

Selection of representative public and city gardens in German-speaking countries (according to today's name, then sorted by city)

Public gardens

Hofgarten, Düsseldorf (1809)

Public parks

Volkspark Friedrichshain, Berlin (1875)

City gardens and city parks

Great Garden, Dresden (1780)

See also


  • Robert Schediwy , Franz Baltzarek: Green in the Big City , Tusch Urbanistica Vienna 1982
  • Erika Schmidt: City parks in Germany - variants from the period from 1860 to 1910 . In: Die Gartenkunst 1 (1/1989), pp. 104–124.
  • Erika Schmidt: Original condition and current condition of some German city parks from the 19th century . In: Die Gartenkunst 2 (1/1990), pp. 77–86.

Web links

Commons : City parks  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Stadtpark  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations