Many routes to a sustainable city

The basic concept underlying transport planning for HafenCity is one of sustainability: priority in this new part of town goes to non-motorized modes of transport and public carriers

HafenCity is qutie often starting point or destination of bicycle tours (© ELBE&FLUT) Start slideshow

Western and central HafenCity already feature many sustainable measures that make it a “walkable and bikeable city” with short, attractive routes. The mix of uses means that a variety of urban uses – living, working, learning, cultural, leisure and shopping – are clustered closely together. Underpinned by the high quality of design and functions (e.g. street level public amenities), connecting routes are perceived as shorter and topographically attractive, at the same time stimulating people to more active mobility.

The six StadtRad bike rental stands  so far (provision to be extended) are an additional encouragement, along with a great public transport system with the U4 subway, the rapid transit connection at Elbbrücken, several ferry stops, and a bus transport system running on hydrogen power. Since February 2012 buses and other vehicles have been able to fill up at the hydrogen gas stations opposite the Spiegel publishing house. And, with its various public charging stations (including Hamburg’s first rapid charging point), HafenCity is a partner in the electric transport model region Elektromobilität Hamburg. Since May 2015, an LNG hybrid barge has ensured that even cruise ships can run on low-pollution liquefied natural gas while moored at the cruise terminal.

Excellent public transport, fine-grained use mixes, high density, good facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, bicycle rental stations: in addition to the typical features of smart mobility, HafenCity has even more to offer on the topic of forward-looking mobility. Europe’s largest neighborhood-based, carsharing/electric vehicle (EV) mobility innovation is taking shape in the eastern quarters.

The aim is not only to cut private car use drastically, but that the mobility facilities in each individual building, as well as for the entire quarter, should be attractively and ecologically designed. Against this backdrop, only 40 parking slots will be available in the area per 100 apartments. One third of them will also be part of a car-sharing system that is planned to consist entirely of electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025.

A privately owned car will then become superfluous for many households and locally working people. At the same time, building costs will be lower, since normally a whole story of parking space will be unnecessary. The public sphere will be enhanced by the reduction in parking slots and CO2 emissions. The Hamburg building regulation (HBauO) which limits provision of parking space will also apply especially to the Elbbrücken neighborhood, while electric mobility requirements there (i.e. the provision of charging points) also apply for commercial uses. Due to cost savings on car parking, tenders and the selection of a mobility provider can take place in 2019.

An essential requirement for sustainable development in HafenCity, with its dense mix of uses and high number of visitors, is also an efficient public transport system. The start of U4 subway´ services – the line was not foreseen in the original Masterplan – to Überseequartier station in December 2012, therefore, represented a major new link in the public transport chain.

Since then regular services have connected HafenCity directly to Jungfernstieg and the central station. In August 2013, services to the HafenCity University station followed. Two months earlier the ground-breaking ceremony for the extension of the U4 through to the Elbe bridges took place. The U4 subway extension, whose 1.3 kilometers mostly run underground, have already been completed. Since the end of 2018 the above-ground Elbbrücken station is in operation. Because it will be linked during 2019 by a glazed pedestrian bridge with another rapid transit (S-Bahn) station, also new, a new public transport junction will be created.