What to do with Tempelhof Airport after operations stopped in 2008 was unclear but Berliners knew they wanted it to be a public space.
In 2009, the 'Have You Ever Squatted an Airport?' protest movement to occupy the airport saw heavy-handed police response on the airport's perimeter.
The city-state decided to open the airport to the public as an urban park, but commercialisation and privatisation plans were still being drawn up, so opposition continued.
On the day of the park's opening in 2010, protestors marched to demand 24-hour access to the park and to voice opposition to privatisation and commercialisation.
In 2012, a section of the airport was excavated to reveal the foundations of a forced labour camp of Lufthansa. The aim was to engage with post-war politics of memory.
The park is variously referred to as the Tempelhofer Park, Tempelhofer Feld and Flughafen Tempelhof (Tempelhof Airport). The official website uses the brandname of the defeated commercial project, Tempelhofer Freiheit.
The attempt to squat the airport failed but the 100% Tempelhofer Feld civil society movement garnered enough signatures to push for a referendum that succeeded in keeping the whole space a public park.
‘Excavating Tempelhof Airfield: Objects of Memory and the Politics of Absence’ is a paper by anthropologist Maria Theresia Starzmann from McGill University, Canada, that seeks “to critically engage with German post-war politics of memory through a study of material culture”.
Community gardens serve multiple purposes of drawing and creating community, engendering creativity as well as greening urban spaces within the framework of a local commons (joint-ownership).