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Facts & Figures

HafenCity Project

HafenCity development – facts and figures

The most important facts and figures about what is currently Europe’s biggest inner-city development project, its varied quarters and land use concepts

(© HafenCity Hamburg GmbH) Start slideshow

Status: October 2015

With the development of HafenCity on the Elbe waterfront, Hamburg is setting new standards – at least in Europe. On an area of 157 hectares, enlarging the existing city area by 40 percent, a lively city with a maritime air is taking shape, bringing together workplace and residential uses, culture and leisure, tourism and retail facilities, quite unlike downtowns dominated by nothing but offices and shops. 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 its innovative development process.

After 13 years of construction, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH is well on schedule as far as completion and quality are concerned. With its many shops, cafés and restaurants, the western section is already an urban space with more than 2,000 residents and attracts a growing number of visitors. Nowadays more than 10,000 people work in HafenCity as a whole, employed by more than 500 companies, including about 40 larger businesses with space requirements exceeding 1,000 sqm for up to 1,400 employees.


1. Basic data

  • Overall area: 157 hectares (ha) on former port and industrial land
  • Land area: 127 ha
  • Expansion of Hamburg’s city area by 40%
  • Gross floor area above ground (GFA): new building ca. 2.32 million sqm
  • 6,000 to 7,000 homes for around 14,000 residents and up to 45,000 jobs to be created (approx. 35,000 desk jobs)
  • 10.5 km new waterside promenade / 3.1 km riverfront along the Elbe
  • Around 28 ha public parks, squares and promenades
  • 57 projects completed; 50 projects under construction or planned
  • Completed or assured development of approx. 1.23 million GFA through confirmed sales of land or exclusive options (excluding options with planning obligations)
  • Investment volume: private investment – around € 8.5 billion; public investment – €2.4 billion, mostly financed from special assets fund sales of plots in HafenCity (around € 1.5 billion)
  • General planning basis:
    Masterplan 2000
    – Masterplan revision for eastern HafenCity 2010

2. Chronology of development of HafenCity

  • 1997: Announcement of HafenCity project
  • 1999: Masterplan competition: winner Kees Christiaanse / ASTOC
  • 2000: Hamburg Senate approves Masterplan
  • 2000: Start of infrastructure measures, site clearance and relocation of businesses
  • 2003: Building construction begins on large scale (Am Sandtorkai / Dalmannkai neighborhood)
  • 2009: Completion of first neighborhood, Am Sandtorkai / Dalmannkai
  • 2010: Presentation and discussion of revised Masterplan for eastern HafenCity (approved 2011)
  • 2011: Completion of neighborhoods Am Sandtorpark / Grasbrook (except one residential building) and Brooktorkai / Ericus
  • 2012: U4 subway goes into operation
  • 2013: Opening of Grasbrookpark
  • 2013: Completion of Elbe Arcades
  • 2014: Opening of HafenCity University (HCU)
  • 2014: Result of architectural competition for western Strandkai
  • 2014: New investor for southern Überseequartier
  • 2015: Construction of Baakenhafen neighborhood begins
  • 2015: Final urban planning competition for HafenCity (Elbbrücken neighborhood)
  • 2016: Opening of Lohsepark
  • 2017: Opening of Baakenpark
  • 2017: Construction of southern Überseequartier begins
  • 2017: Opening of Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall
  • 2025–2030: Projected completion of HafenCity (apart from a few buildings)
  • 2025–2030: Projected completion of HafenCity (apart from a few buildings)

3. Management of development and HafenCity Hamburg Gmb

In 1997 the Gesellschaft für Hafen- und Standortentwicklung GHS (renamed HafenCity Hamburg GmbH in 2004) was set up to manage the development of HafenCity. It is responsible for the “special city and port assets” fund, which holds land owned by the City of Hamburg on the site of HafenCity. Proceeds from sales of this land go to finance most of the public investment here, particularly roads, bridges, squares, parks, quays and promenades. In addition to its financing responsibilities, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH also prepares and clears sites, plans and builds public spaces (roads, squares, parks, promenades) and public infrastructure, acquires and contracts real estate developers and larger users, and provides public relations and communications services.

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH develops innovative approaches to urban development particularly with regard to urban character and sustainability. Sustainability innovations include new approaches to heat supply, a tailor-made certification system for buildings, sustainable mobility concepts, flood protection and the development of a sustainable urban structure.

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, developing HafenCity at its behest. Public supervision, cooperation and division of responsibilities is intensive: by concentrating non-official functions in a dedicated company spreading the workload and management, Hamburg is able to ensure the efficiency and quality of its urban development responsibilities, while retaining a high degree of public control.


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