Developing a New District: Lessons from HafenCity (Hamburg, Germany)

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Developing a New District: Lessons from HafenCity (Hamburg, Germany)

Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg
Professor, CEO of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

HafenCity Hamburg, Europe’s largest inner-city development project located in the heart of Germany’s second largest city, is a 77 project development (with another 63 under construction) encompassing 2.0 million sqm GFA. 3,000 residential units, and offices for more than 750 companies employing 15,000 workers. On February 29, 2000, Hamburg’s Senate made history by giving its approval to the Masterplan for the new inner-city district of HafenCity, with plans to complete the 388-acre city by 2030. HafenCity has hired a variety of developers and architects through public competitions, and deliberately mixes social and cultural institutions, commercial structures and residential buildings, and high and low-income housing to foster diversity and add to the excitement of urban life. What does it take to fund, build, and manage such a grand project?

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