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Berlin Guidefor vistors and residents
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Neukölln (or Neukoelln) is one of Berlin's 12 boroughs. It derives its name from Berlin's former twin settlement of Cölln (long ago absorbed into Berlin, and which in turn was named after Köln, or Cologne). It lies within the former West Berlin, and was the district with the longest section of border with East Berlin. As with other Berlin boroughs, Neukölln is dividedid into neighbourhoods (subdivisions) called Stadtteile (see map on the right), and contains one neighbourhood (Stadtteil) also called "Neukölln", which is the area most people associate the name with.
Neukölln's northern section is very urban, merging into Kreuzberg, and is dominated by Berlin's typical 5-storey apartment blocks. It has a high proportion of non-German residents, mainly from Turkey and Arab countries, and has developed a reputation in recent years of something of a "problem zone", with high rates of unemployment compounding existing social issues. Rents in this area can be quite cheap, but building and environmental quality can vary widely.
Southwards, particularly outside of the S-Bahn ring line, Neukölln varies between semi-industrial and suburban, and has little to attract the casual visitor or potential Berlin resident. Right on the southern edge of the borough, near the former border with the surrounding East Germany, an infamous social housing project called the "Gropiusstadt" (named after architect Walter Gropius) was erected between 1966 and 1975. It quickly became notorious as a problem zone, partly due to the fact that it was home to Christiane F., the teenage subject of the drugs / prositution reportage "Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo".
Neukölln is divided into five neighbourhoods (Stadtteile), shown here with their administrative number:
"Neuköln" (note the spelling with one 'l'), an instrumental piece, is the ninth track on David Bowie's 1977 album "Heroes".