The Adlershof–Lusatia Future Corridor
The future of work is being developed along transport axes that reach far into Brandenburg
High cost of living, congested streets, and the home-working trend: These are but three of the factors that have helped along an idea in Adlershof that could soon catch on elsewhere. Its name: Innovation corridors. Instead of commuting to Berlin every day, people can settle down in the surrounding areas and work from there. They go to their workplace in Adlershof only on a few days a week.
“The goal is to get away from car-based transportation,” says Roland Sillmann, CEO of WISTA Management GmbH (WISTA). “If our staff takes the train, we don’t have to supply as many parking spaces in Adlershof. If trains have wi-fi, people can start working on their commute and are in time for their face-to-face meetings.”
This new idea is built on the existing infrastructure of the German capital and its surrounding areas. Berlin is at the centre of a 120-year-old star-shaped region, the so-called “settlement star”, whose axes spread far into Brandenburg. Along these axes, the future of work is now being created. “Our first twin city will be Lübben,” says Sillmann. “People wanting to move there get a local workplace and can come to Adlershof on two, three days a week.”
The advantage for employers: better chances to get good staff. The advantage for employees: Their work becomes mobile but not from the kitchen or living room table like during the months before. Instead, they get access to a co-working space with a good infrastructure in the neighbourhood, where they can meet colleagues from their own companies and others. It is precisely this exchange, the networking, that is essential to Adlershof, even now that is has grown into Germany’s largest technology park with 1,200 companies and 25,000 employees and students.
There are already concrete plans for the very first innovation axis. It will extend from Berlin into Brandenburg’s south east via Adlershof into Lusatia. Lübben and Lübbenau have realised the opportunity and are already working on a joint pool of commercial spaces. It is planned to make the city of Cottbus, Brandenburg’s second-largest city, the axis’ endpoint. Gesine Grande, president of the Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus-Senftenberg, BTU for short, emphasises the boom the region is experiencing: “Certainly we will have a much higher demand for skilled staff here in Lusatia in the coming decades. People that know a thing or two about artificial intelligence, energy and also landscape design and climate research,” she says. She says the focus will be on engineering and computer science. The region is already well-positioned in these fields.
At the other end of the corridor, a good 100 kilometres from Cottbus in Adlershof, people have great expectations for the future corridor, as WISTA’s CEO Sillmann confirms. “It will be important for us to make the connection with Lusatia Science Park if we want to keep up internationally,” he says. “Based on its size alone, it has the potential to become one of the top-three parks in Germany. Adlershof is number one. So, if we manage to combine number one and number three, this would have a ripple effect on all of Germany, even Europe.” Berlin-Brandenburg could soon become Europe’s number one science and innovation region.
Stefan May for POTENZIAL