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Old Posted Nov 9, 2006, 4:45 PM
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Potsdamer Platz - The project

*Previous history
Before World War II Potsdamer Platz was one of the busiest squares in Europe. Back in 1904 34 tram lines, six horse-driven bus lines and heavy carriage traffic crossed the square; thousands of passengers arrived daily at Potsdam station. It is no coincidence that in Germany the first traffic lights for five directions were erected in 1924 on Potsdamer Platz. A copy of the traffic light tower can once again be admired at its old location. The traffic junction was also a popular district in the city with its busy side streets.

The new building work based on the urban development plan of Hilmer und Sattler re-established the old urban landscape in 1991. After years in the shadow of the Wall, Potsdamer Platz re-emerged as an important hinge between the West City and East Centre.

**The transport network of New Berlin
The reacquisition of the area brings with it new traffic requirements. Today, Potsdamer Platz is part of the important east-west link from Potsdam over Leipziger Straße to the old centre. No-one wants to see a return to the old road traffic. Berlin is working towards a modal split (ratio of public to individual traffic) in the inner city area of 80:20. Priority is given today to public transport. In future, visitors and residents are to reach Potsdamer Platz mainly via the new, underground regional station, suburban overhead railway, underground, buses and a planned tram link along Leipziger Straße. All these routes, both above and below ground, had to be taken into account when building roads in the new district.

***The square in the urban landscape
Its new dual role as a central transfer location and entertainment centre in the city centre meant a compromise had to be reached between transport requirements and urban planning restraints during the road planning phase. The goal was to bear in mind upscale Berlin urban design traditions and to make the square somewhere people like to spend time
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