Thomas Kramer visiting Hamburg’s unique development: HafenCity Project
A new downtown is growing: HafenCity – currently Europe’s largest inner-city development project – is a blueprint for the development of a European city on the waterfront.
Hamburg is setting new standards in developing a new city area along the Elbe – at least in Europe. On an area of 157 hectares, a lively city with a maritime air is taking shape, bridging together workplaces and residential uses, culture and leisure, tourism and retail facilities – quite unlike downtowns dominated by nothing but offices and shops.
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What sets it apart from other major urban international development projects on the water is the area’s very central location and the high expectations of quality reflected, for instance, in its fine-grained mix of uses, standards of urbanity and ecological sustainability, and innovative development process.
The intensive interaction between land and water can also be regarded as unique, for HafenCity is not surrounded by dikes, nor cut off from the water. With the exception of the quays and promenades, the whole area will be raised to between 8 and 9m above sea level. The concept of building on artificial compacted mounds (warfts) lends an area once dominated by port and industrial uses a new, characteristic topography, retaining access to the water and the typical port atmosphere, while guaranteeing protection from extreme floods. At the same time, the objectives of HafenCity development are very wide-ranging.
Definition of a completely new urban district
The task at hand is to define a new downtown in both urban planning and architectural terms. More than 2.32 million sqm. gross floor area (GFA) will be built. HafenCity consists almost wholly of new buildings, since not many old ones were retained or worth preserving, as the site of HafenCity was largely occupied by single-story sheds. This is still the case in eastern HafenCity. A total 6,000 residential units for 12,000 residents are being built, as well as business premises offering in excess of 45,000 job opportunities, plus restaurants and bars, cultural and leisure amenities, retail facilities, parks, plazas and promenades.
The urban planning and architectural reinterpretation of the place centers on established structures. Its milieu is informed by the Speicherstadt, port structures and a few existing buildings, as well as the widespread use of red clinker brick.
Port Of Hamburg 2025
Under the title Hamburg is staying on Course – the Hamburg Port Development Plan to 2025 the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is presenting its strategic port planning. The planning horizon extends up until 2025 as the lead times of infrastructure projects are long and those responsible have to act as prescient as possible.
The Port Development Plan clearly aims at utilizing the growth potential of the Port of Hamburg by setting the right course with regard to future capacities, land strategy and transport connections thus ensuring and strengthening its competitive edge in the long term.
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The Port of Hamburg will continue to be one of the world’s leading ports, and the present Port Development Plan provides the strategic foundation to maintain this position. The aim of strategic planning is to actively participate in shaping the future, whereby we need to constantly adjust to changing framework conditions. Successful strategies go with the flow instead of being stiff and rigid. It is the only way to ensure and expand the Port of Hamburg’s long term competitive position for the benefit of the city.
In port development the Senate of Hamburg pursues the sub sequent strategic guidelines:
Value creation in the Port of Hamburg will be consistently increased on efficiently used land based on the economic attractiveness, technical know how and innovative spirit of the region. Strengthening existing and attracting new port related and job intensive sectors with high added value will benefit the entire metropolitan region.
As Europe’s traditional ‘Asia port’ and gateway to central and eastern Europe as well as Scandinavia, the port seizes the chance to fully utilize existing handling potential. Increased trade with other growth regions will reinforce and expand Hamburg’s market position as a container hub in the North Range. A long term cooperation with the other North Range ports based on trust will lead to joint representation of interests and constructive cooperation. The regional cooperation along the Lower Elbe enables the distribution of tasks among ports based on expert knowledge and opens opportunities to present a more powerful front.
Bespoke, reliable infrastructure at the quay wall, in the port and hinterland as well as intermodal, optimized transport chains will ensure the success of the port. The holistic development of transport modes, increased transparency in information and goods flow management, and the efficient work of qualified and motivated staff will move the quality of the Port of Hamburg to the top of Europe’s ports in terms of reliability and safety.
As a global port right in the heart of the metropolis the port faces up to its ecological responsibilities. By pursuing ambitious environmental and climate objectives and actively promoting and applying innovative technologies and ideas, the port strives to acquire a top profile among ports. Solutions and approaches will be developed to design the economic future of the port as a symbiosis of port, city and the environment with sustainability in mind.
Opportunities in Port Development
Potential forecasted for Hamburg over the years to 2025 as a realistic outlook in terms of development and extent:
– Forecast methodology-wise convincing; its results are comprehensible
– Meets companies’ own market expectations
– Prerequisite: realization of the fairway adjustment project for which official approval has been applied
– Volume-adequate increase of productivity at existing terminals to fully utilize potential
– Volume-adequate increase of productivity on all port-internal modes of transport and port-relevant hinterland connections through public infrastructure investments
– Advancing land planning to provide additionally required handling and logistics sites in line with demand
courtesy of Hafen City Project Port Of Hamburg & Hamburg Port Authority