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Facts & Figures

HafenCity Project

HafenCity – 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: January 2014

With the development of HafenCity on the Elbe waterfront, Hamburg is setting new standards, in Europe at least. By 2025 a city brimming with life will have taken shape on a site covering 157 hectares. In contrast to other city areas dominated purely by offices and retail, it will blend maritime atmosphere with work, living, the arts, leisure, tourism and shopping. In its very central situation and its high expectations of quality, reflected for example in the fine-grained mix of uses, aspirations regarding urbanity and ecological sustainability, and the innovative nature of its development, HafenCity is very different from other major urban development projects on the waterfront.

In the wake of 13 years of construction, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH can boast a positive interim balance as far as completion and quality are concerned. With its many shops, cafés and restaurants, the western section is already an urban space with nearly 2,000 residents and attracts a growing number of visitors. Nowadays some 9,000 people are at work in HafenCity as a whole, employed by more than 450 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 City by 40%
  • Gross floor area (GFA): new building ca. 2.32 million sqm
  • More than 6,000 homes and more than 45,000 jobs to be created (approx. 35,000 desk jobs)
  • 10.5 km new dockside promenade / 3.1 km Elbe embankment
  • Around 28 ha public parks, squares and promenades
  • 56 projects completed; 49 projects under construction or planned
  • Development of 1 million-plus GFA through confirmed sales of land or exclusive options (with planning obligations)
  • Investment volume: private investment – around € 8 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)
  • 2007: Construction of central area, Überseequartier, begins
  • 2007: Work begins on U4 subway line
  • 2009: Completion of first neighborhood, Am Sandtorkai / Dalmannkai
  • 2010: Presentation and discussion of revised Masterplan for eastern HafenCity
  • 2011: Completion of neighborhoods Am Sandtorpark / Grasbrook (except residential) and Brooktorkai / Ericus
  • 2012: U4 subway goes into operation
  • 2012: Construction of Am Lohsepark neighborhood starts
  • 2013: Opening Grasbrookpark
  • 2013: Completion of Baakenhafen bridge
  • 2013: Completion of Elbarkaden
  • 2013: Construction of Am Lohsepark neighborhood begins
  • 2014: Opening of HafenCity University (HCU)
  • 2014: Result of architectural competition for western Strandkai
  • 2014: Above ground construction of Baakenhafen neighborhood begins
  • 2014: Final urban planning competition for HafenCity (Elbbrücken neighborhood)
  • 2016: Completion of Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall 2025: Projected completion of HafenCity

3. Management of development and HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

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 and sustainable intermodal mobility concepts.

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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