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After four years working with federal and state funds, 2019 defines a new era


After only six years and two months, when 15 enthusiasts founded the Flussbad Berlin association, we have come very close to the realisation of the project and are now very much looking forward to what the coming months and years have in store for us.

On February 1st, 2015 we set on working in our newly built office on the further development of the project idea of Flussbad Berlin and its wide communication into all sections our society. The four million Euro funding within the scope of the “National Urban Development Projects” funding programme enabled us to carry out more than 100 events, to write and compile a thorough urban development study – Flussbad 2.0 – and to reach a vast local, national and international public.

The study is currently under review by all participating authorities and neighbouring institutions, their replies are due in the coming weeks. We are already working on its publication.

Funded by the federal subsidies, we designed, planned and built a Testfilter into a large barge between 2015 and 2017, which last year for the first time ever successfully filtered polluted Spree River water in a scale of 1:300 and hopefully will do so for another three years and thus collect valuable data for the project itself.

Realised with the federal funding, as well, our Flussbad-Garden has established itself as a meeting, communication and idea-exchange venue. Together with the ESMT as lessor it is our goal to extend its duration and keep it as a space to communicate any project's process, talk to other initiatives and institutions or simply enjoy a good coffee on-site.

The Flussbad-Cup is already a fixture in Berlin. Since 2015, every year at the beginning of summer this event makes it possible for anyone from 16 years or older to experience the feeling of swimming in the Spree Canal and to see the urban backdrop from the water level. The race between Bode Museum and Lustgarten and back has become a fixture of the yearly calendar of open-water swimmers.

In November 2017, the political course for the realisation of the project was set when the House of Representatives unanimously passed the motion “Das Flussbad zum Fließen bringen”.

We were able to achieve this and much more through the federal grant, which we are very happy about.

Changes in 2019

With the funding period coming to an end we have to reduce our scope of work. First of all, we will not be reachable every day as usual and Ana and Elena left our office. We will have to adapt the structure to the new conditions. But we still want to work on the most important goals. The Testfilter and the Flussbad-Garden will continue, their seasons begin in April and May 2019 respectively.

Our regular guided tours (so called "FlussLÄUFE") will start again in the warmer season, probably for a small fee from this year onwards. For a few months already we work on organising the coming Flussbad-Cup we want to hold June 16th, 2019. As the event is not yet fully financed, we are grateful for any ideas to change this situation for the better.

The political decision put the project on an implementation track we already focus our work on, although we cannot yet say when we will be able to swim in the Spree Canal together on a regular base without a special permission. But we still adhere to an opening date in 2025.

Thus said, you will hear from us, that is for certain. And we are looking forward to it.