Berlin is a pivotal starting point for the analysis of both cultural and intellectual dimensions to urban wastelands. As early as the late 1970s, Herbert Sukopp and his colleagues in Berlin were speculating that wastelands are the “field laboratories” for future cities, “where possibly new and well-adapted ecotypes of our native or naturalized wild plants will originate in the changed environmental conditions” (Sukopp et al. 1979: 130). The idea of the “city as laboratory” is invoked in this research project as a means to explore the interface between theory and practice in an interdisciplinary context. After German reunification in 1990 a new array of anomalous spaces became gradually integrated into the city’s unique urban ecology ranging from former security zones to abandoned industrial facilities. Surveys have revealed that levels of biotic diversity within Berlin now exceed that of the surrounding agricultural or peri-urban landscapes (Zerbe et al. 2003). Botanical studies of these unusual ecological formations in Berlin and elsewhere have challenged the analytical limitations of landscape ecology and environmental ethics (Eser, 1999; Lachmund, 2003). Over the last twenty years an array of alternative spaces have become an emblematic feature of post-unification Berlin encompassing not just new forms of environmental awareness but also vibrant developments in art and culture. These so-called Brache (waste spaces) are the focus of sustained cultural and political attention (see Hauser, 2001; Jasper, 2011). There is an urgency to the Berlin fieldwork since many of these key spaces are now rapidly disappearing including the Chausseestraße site most recently investigated by the PI (see Gandy, 2011).