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Olaf Scholz: A Plea for Bicycles and Public Transport

Hamburg's First Mayor presents Hamburg's sustainable urban planning at the Urban Development Conference in London

Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz presented his concept for the growing city of Hamburg at an international conference of urban development experts in London. At the “Urban Infrastructure 2014” conference, Scholz showcased Hamburg as best practice of the challenges large cities have to deal with. Hamburg’s head of state provided insights in Hamburg’s sustainable housing projects, the city’s advanced public transport policy, and other efforts supporting Hamburg’s transition into a smart city. The conference was attended by 150 experts from urban planning, housing, infrastructure, and energy supply.

Urbanisation Increases Globally

“Hamburg reflects in a special way the global trend of large cities attracting people from rural areas”, Scholz said. “Young people, in particular, are attracted by Hamburg’s dynamics and good employment options”, he continued. Hamburg’s urban planning strategy thus pursues two objectives: to raise population while simultaneously preserving Hamburg’s unique quality of life. “This is a big challenge for all involved in politics and administration,” the mayor said

Successes in Housing

Population growth in major cities should not cause rents to rise to rose unaffordable heights, Scholz warned in London. “Residents from all social levels will have to find adequate and affordable housing in the big cities.” In Hamburg, the government thus successfully entered partnerships and alliances with private partners, joined together by the common goal to build more homes.

Green Mobility

Cities will need to expand public transport and encourage the use of environmentally friendly transport, Scholz emphasised. In particular, it should be attractive and easy to change between different modes of transport, and easily switch from tube to bus to train, ferry, bike, or car-sharing. To keep up with the population growth, public transport will have to be expanded continuously. With the public bike system and car sharing offers steadily growing, emissions of transport get less and less in Hamburg, with also the buses switching to low emission. Scholz: “By 2020, Hamburg will only operate zero-emission buses”.

Senate Chancellery,
The event:

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