The Foundation of HafenCity: the Masterplan
For more than ten years, Hamburgers have been watching a city take shape. In the mainly completed west, HafenCity is already a lively place; the center is under construction and preparations for the start of building in the eastern section are under way
HafenCity will enlarge Hamburg's city center by 40 percent. A whole new city district is emerging south of the historic Speicherstadt, with an urban mix of homes, workplace, culture, leisure, tourism and trade (© M. Korol / HafenCity Hamburg GmbH) Start slideshow
HafenCity is one of the most remarkable urban redevelopment schemes on a waterfront world wide. Its trend-setting concept will see the area of Hamburg City Center enlarged by 40 percent, with the development sparking impulses not only for the existing city center, but also for the municipality with its 1.8 million inhabitants as well as the surrounding metropolitan region, home to around 5 million people. In the process Hamburg’s identity as a maritime city is being reinforced, while HafenCity simultaneously becomes a model for the development of the 21st century European city center. It is already regarded as a showcase for major international urban development projects, though its development timeframe extends to 2025.
New core inner city created
Development of HafenCity is essentially based on a Masterplan approved by the Hamburg Senate on February 29, 2000, which was developed further for the eastern section of HafenCity after wide-ranging public discussions in 2010. For the previous ten years the Masterplan, with its concept for an urban horizontal and vertical mix of uses and its flexible basic framework, served as a good point of departure for development of old port sites south of the city center. However it contained no detailed planning for the three eastern neighborhoods, Oberhafen, Baakenhafen and Elbbrücken.
Also the underlying circumstances changed during the past decade. Initially, eastern HafenCity was almost regarded as the inner-city fringe of Hamburg, yet now – partly due to new subway connections – it is very much regarded as part of the new city core. Another factor is that Hamburg is making its “leap across the Elbe” right now, with ambitious projects such as the international building exhibition (IBA) and the international garden show (igs) in 2013 south of HafenCity.
Redefinition of the Masterplan was led by HafenCity Hamburg GmbH in conjunction with the Hamburg Urban Development and Environment Ministry as well as the principal authors of the original Masterplan, Kees Christiaanse, with ASTOC. In 2010 there was intensive public discussion, with a program of more than 40 events. The reworked draft is being honed in further phases (urban design competitions, landscape competitions and architectural competitions).