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Grünbau Trade Fair in Berlin

Under the motto "design, build and maintain outdoor spaces", Grünbau Berlin together with bautec, the International Trade Fair for Construction, Energy and Building Technology was held from 21 - 25 February 2012 at the Berlin Exhibition Area.


Some 57,000 visitors from the industry came to find out about the most up-to-date products and services offered by the 800 exhibitors from 22 countries. "This success underpins Berlin's leading position as the exhibition space for the construction industry in northeast Germany," says Werner Mocke, the Director of the Trade Fair.

And what was the Grünbau Trade Fair like? Gardening and landscaping definitely have a significant effect on the quality of housing and of life in modern times. Key expressions in this context are improvement of the residential environment, revitalisation of housing estates and the modernisation of playgrounds and leisure facilities. Because of this growing significance, gardening and landscaping have become an important factor in the housing and construction industry. Unfortunately this sector was not a recurring theme throughout the trade fair, but was housed in one half of Hall 25.
Grünbau Berlin was intended to be a trade fair and platform for all the actors, who make their mark in the areas of gardening and landscaping, the construction of games pitches and sports facilities and outdoor furniture: landscape architects and planners, manufacturers of construction materials, builders, financiers and investors. There is still a long way to go! But the way can become the target.
The potential of this exhibition is without a doubt its location in Berlin. This must be constantly examined by the Berlin Trade Fair over the long term.
The trade fair concept can be further refined: one exhibition hall given over entirely to playgrounds and sports pitches would attract a wider range of visitors from the industry and the Berlin conurbation. The lack of this meant that too few visitors from the industry found their way into Hall 25.
And a little more attention to detail would have infused the "Play Hill” with a lively, playful atmosphere.
Moreover, using just one name would have contributed to stamping a character on the event giving it a trademark. For in Hall 25 you could see both the name of the event from two years ago, “freispielberlin”, as well as this year's name, “Grünbau”.

What was positive and therefore a magnet for the public were the Play Space Talks. On Wednesday, 22nd February 2012, jointly with Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk e.V. and as part of these Play Space Talks, a forum dealing with child-friendly planning in cities and communities was organised. Directed play planning and the design of play spaces formed the nucleus of this series of lectures, which were very well received by the visitors. "Child-friendly planning is a holistic approach, which leads to a better quality of life in a city and community not just for children, who have more play opportunities, but for every citizen. Throughout Germany this concept long ago passed its initial phase to develop into a stable trend, which promises to be effective far into the future. This trend is both a new opportunity and a challenge for the communities. In the view of Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk 'Grünbau Berlin' is an ideal forum, from which to transmit the necessary momentum and to enter into dialogue on the subject. " This is the opinion expressed by Holger Hofmann from Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk.
A second focus of this year's event turned towards the topic of semi-natural open spaces in the city. The "Green development of our cities – our task for the future" Grünbau Talks dealt with the important topics of untouched green spaces, optimum living conditions and an environment worth living in.
The one-day event, on Thursday, 23rd February 2012, was organised jointly with the Technische Fachhochschule Berlin.
"It is unimaginable that we can continue to develop the urban environment without enhancing the quality of life by providing efficient and affordable means to make it green. This investment is always vindicated, whenever green concepts meet people's demands, obviously work well and can safely be maintained. The Grünbau Talks are putting the spotlight on this task for the future", stated Dr. Hartmut Balder from the Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin.

Comments on the Trade Fair

Jens Zumblick, SIK-Holzgestaltungs GmbH:
"As manufacturers of play equipment from the hinterland of the capital we give a sincere welcome to the Grünbau Fair and we are delighted to support it. Grünbau is extremely important as a trade fair forum for the decision-makers of the region, for the people in these circles often have no opportunity to visit trade fairs in other regions. Yet again, however, what Grünbau lacks is really solid content. You would be more inclined to call it a specialist event, if it were more successful in filling a whole exhibition hall with people interested in hearing about the topic of play space and urban design. Moreover, they should upgrade the programme of seminars and lectures directed at specialists from the industry and locate them right in the centre of the exhibition hall. Events of that sort are often the thing which induces people to visit the trade fair. The playing space talks on Wednesday were a good approach. The rest of the days of the trade fair would have benefitted from similar discussion forums. You can easily do without the Saturday of the trade fair."

Mario Hampel, Kinderland Emsland Spielgeräte:
"This trade fair makes sense for this region, for otherwise there is no trade fair covering this area. Therefore we are planning to take part in future years, for this trade fair lets us establish contacts and gain customers in this part of Germany. The choice of our "barrier-free" theme on our exhibition stand was the right one, for we have noticed unique features in this sector.
As for the Grünbau Trade Fair itself, I must say that the organiser’s design of the trade fair and its implementation left a lot to be desired. The trade fair is scheduled for too long a period. The promotional advertising directed at our industry was poor and this meant that too few manufacturers from the playground equipment sector visited the trade fair. The advertising campaign should have been more targeted and then the number of visitors would have been higher. Finally, the inadequate staging of the "Green Hill", which formed part of the exhibition surface, must be mentioned."

Katrin Pogan, Öcocolor GmbH & Co. KG:
"This trade fair must be seen as a regional event and is in no way competition for GaLaBau. The Tuesday and Saturday, the first and last days of the trade fair are simply completely superfluous. The Wednesday was by far the best day and there was a marked increase in visitor numbers, since there were various lectures in the exhibition hall! Overall, the fact remains that there were fewer visitors this year than two years ago. Berlin is fundamentally a good location for a trade fair. The Grünbau Trade Fair has an advantageous location and is a unique feature in the region. The officials from the Berlin municipal authorities were all there and were grateful for this programme, because they had absolutely no chance of getting to Nuremburg. The same is also true for other administrations in the Berlin hinterland. What would have been nice would have been to have conducted the visitors through more of the region and to have given over a whole exhibition hall to the "Green" theme and playground equipment."

Holger Hofmann, Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk:
"The Play Space Talks were very well visited and supported by an interested audience. Various initiatives and lively discussions demonstrated how communities can produce attractive play spaces for children. The Berlin Trade Fair provided Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk with a successful framework for the Play Space Talks. We are delighted to be their partner once more for the next Grünbau!"

Photos: TM, Messe Berlin

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