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Urban, sustainable and social: a city for the
21st century

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH is presenting the full breadth of innovative urban development at Expo Real in Munich. From October 4–6, 2017, Europe’s biggest inner‐city urban development project is the main partner on the Hamburg pavilion at booth B2.430

(© Stefan Groenveldt)

HafenCity is already home to a good 3,300 people, a place of work for more than 12,000
employees of over 730 companies, and a center of learning for more than 5,000 students;
at its heart is the impressive major building site at Überseequartier; in the east it is the
scene of experimental innovation; at its western extremity the outstanding Elbphilharmonie
is a new magnet for visitors. On many fronts the development offers a striking demonstration
of its urban, sustainable and social qualities. And now HafenCity is to get a new neighbor
to the south in the form of Grasbrook district.

Construction activity in the center and the east are increasingly integrating HafenCity with
the existing city center. The last major building project in northern Überseequartier (the
KPTN Project) is currently linking up with the Speicherstadt and city center, while
simultaneously an incisive high point by the River Elbe is being created with the major
Watermark, Freeport and Shipyard project and a tower block 70 meters high. Successful
development continues at Strandkai, at whose western tip almost 500 homes will be built
from the end of the year.

By far the biggest private construction project is southernn Überseequartier, combining big
city flair with high visitor traffic and offering employment to around 6,100 workers. Retailing
accounts for 23 percent of the space, with additional areas for catering, entertainment,
offices, a hotel, a vertically organized cruise terminal and around 1,100 apartments. Meanwhile Warburg‐HIH Invest Real Estate has been chosen to develop a new building for the Gruner + Jahr publishing house adjacent to Lohsepark. Its project development arm HIH will be starting
construction in 2019.

New working environments and great innovative dynamism in eastern HafenCity

Eastern neighborhoods are a source of great innovative dynamism. Construction of at least
ten further projects will get under way successively at Baakenhafen in 2017 and 2018, with
the first residents moving into their waterside homes and the first hotel opening its doors in
spring 2018. Five buildings with a total 300 homes, plus offices and commercial uses are to
be built in an attractive waterside location by Baakenhafen on three more plots, put out to
tender in late summer 2017. That means all the residential plots in Baakenhafen
neighborhood, providing a good 2,300 homes, have now been put on the market.

At Elbbrücken the first allocations are setting the tone for the intensely urban character of
eastern HafenCity. Two employers’ liability insurance associations will start building a joint
prevention center in 2018, while plans are now in place for the corporate headquarters of
an international photovoltaics company and the high‐tech smart building “The Pier” for
which the architectural competitions are already complete. Following the allocation in early
summer 2017 of a site for a major 500‐room congress hotel in the direct vicinity of
Elbbrücken rail station, the first residential plots were put out to tender in September –
three of them close to the Elbe and another in an attractive location by Baakenhafen.

An ambitious smart mobility concept for eastern neighborhoods – a European pioneer – is
currently in preparation. The goal is not just a big reduction in private car use but also
considerable cost and resource savings. As a result, the number of parking spaces provided
is being reduced to 0.4 per housing unit, while 30 percent of the parking provision will be
devoted to a station‐based car sharing system spanning the district and offering a reliable
service for all households. A further 40 percent of parking spaces will be equipped with emobility charging stations.

Outstanding culmination to HafenCity and expansion eastwards and southwards

The development of HafenCity is to get an especially fitting culmination at its easternmost
point right by the Elbe bridging point. For the first time in Hamburg’s history there could be
an imposing landmark here, rising to about 200 meters and forming a new southern
gateway to the inner city. Uses under consideration include offices, a hotel, public
amenities and possibly residential. The tender competition for this internationally
outstanding project ended in September 2017. Following careful scrutiny of the submitted
concepts, there will be an intensive period of negotiations before Hamburg’s government
and parliament can focus on the project, probably in summer 2018.

The outstanding, striking high point is also a curtain raiser as new living and working space
opens up beyond HafenCity’s borders in the Billebogen development and new Grasbrook
district. Plans for the latter foresee homes for about 6,000 residents plus 16,000 workplaces
in new offices, commercial buildings, research facilities and laboratories. In the emerging
district a focus on innovation will be more important than speed. That holds true for the
companies that base themselves here as well as for the district’s mobility and energy
concepts. This futuristic urban development project, covering about 46 hectares and with
about 880,000 sqm of gross floor area above ground, will be on a scale equivalent to a good
third of HafenCity. The project will create 4.9 km of publicly accessible waterfront,
combined with attractive green space and high‐quality public urban areas. A mixed district
of the kind every lively big city needs is planned here. It will be a place to link old and new,
with sensibly graduated residential, work and port uses.

“Cities have become the most important testing grounds for futuristic development,” says
Prof. Jürgen Bruns‐Berentelg, CEO of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH. “Environmental
sustainability, new forms of mobility, low‐emission energy supply, social justice,
differentiated housing supply and the creation of jobs for the future: with its stringent high
standards and forward looking concepts, HafenCity is an international driver of innovation
for living and working in the 21st century – well beyond its urban design qualities.”