Cooperation with Hamburg-Mitte District agreed

Together the development of HafenCity, Billebogen and Grasbrook represents the largest contiguous urban development area in the City of Hamburg. The decades-long process is changing and putting its stamp on large parts of the Hamburg-Mitte district and paving the way for a socially just, sustainable transformation to mixed-use inner-city residential and work environments. In view of this, the municipal companies responsible for development, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH (HCH) and Billebogen Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (BBEG), have concluded a cooperation agreement with the district of Hamburg-Mitte.
At the heart of the agreement are:
  • an intensification of joint coordination and communication between the district administration and the development companies
  • more targeted involvement of district-level politics – including in the reserved areas of Grasbrook and HafenCity, where responsibility for development plan procedures and building permits lies not with the district but with the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing
  • the strengthening of joint communication with and participation by local and city-wide civil society
The cooperation agreement was signed December 12, 2021 by the Deputy Director of Hamburg-Mitte District Administration, Sven-Olaf Schöpper, the Deputy Chair of Hamburg-Mitte District Assembly, Clemens Willenbrock, and the management of HCH and BBEG represented by CEO Dr Andreas Kleinau and by Theresa Twachtmann.

New expert committee for Elbbrücken

The District Assembly’s new expert committee for Elbbrücken, also jointly set out in the agreement, had already met in advance. In future, the committee will bring together district-level work on Billebogen (with a decision-making function with regard to urban land use plans, for instance) and the reserved areas (with an advisory function in addition to the district’s existing involvement in the commissions for land-use planning and urban development). 

Intensive participation

The ongoing and intensive participation by civil society and other interest groups was also agreed. The legally prescribed formal forms of participation by citizens and public interest groups will be supplemented by various informal formats (e.g. information events, workshops, discussion groups, surveys and other methods of community involvement).

Dr Andreas Kleinau, CEO of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH and Billebogen Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG:
“From eastern HafenCity to Billebogen and the future Grasbrook innovation district, we will be creating a new urban cohesion in the next few years, but also many new uses. We look forward to continuing our constructive cooperation with the district of Hamburg-Mitte with the help of the agreement and to finding the basis for new forms of cooperation. This will benefit not only planning but also communication and participation in particular, which are crucial to the successful management of such complex change.”

Sven-Olaf Schöpper, Deputy Director of Hamburg-Mitte District Administration:
“Inclusive, transparent and clearly structured. With this as their message, the municipal development companies HafenCity Hamburg GmbH and Billebogen Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH & Co.KG, the Hamburg-Mitte District Assembly and the Hamburg-Mitte District Administration are entering into a cooperation agreement to address the development of the urban space in the wider vicinity of the Elbbrücken city gateway. Unlike in the case of HafenCity, the plans relate not only to brownfield sites and port areas but impinge on established urban spaces and thus into everyday life, which will be the starting point for the new perspectives and developments. By clearly assigning roles and responsibilities, as well as strong communication and participation, we are creating the basis for successful urban development that will ultimately benefit everyone – the people of Hamburg, who already give the urban space atmosphere and character, and those who will want to live there in future.”
Clemens Willenbrock, Deputy Chair of Hamburg-Mitte District Assembly:
“We in the District Assembly look forward in the coming years to working with the municipal development companies on the developments of HafenCity, Grasbrook and Billebogen. We will be building on our experience of cooperation on HafenCity and at the same time bringing together our expertise in a new committee. We want to use the cooperation agreement to strengthen the participation not only by the District Assembly, but also by all interested members of the public in our district.”

The complete cooperation agreement (in German) will be added to the  Hamburg Transparency Register.