Chamber of Commerce presents plans for downtown Hamburg

Plans foresee total transformation to ensure competitiveness
17 May 2021
Inner Lake Alster

The Chamber of Commerce presented plans in early May for a total transformation of downtown Hamburg to ensure its competitiveness in future. The present spatial separation of shopping, working, services, living, production and leisure activities must be overcome, according to the Chamber of Commerce. Downtown Hamburg is to become an innovative, attractive, sustainable business and residential area and a meeting place for both residents and visitors. 

Calls for co-operation between stakeholders

"Hamburg's city centre must reinvent itself. A purely retail and restaurant centre is no longer competitive. It is at the heart of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and must again become a place with which everyone can identify," said Norbert Aust, President of the Chamber of Commerce.  The plans mark the start of an ideas competition. Niels Pirck, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, noted: "This fundamental transformation process will only succeed, if all urban stakeholders pull together. We need innovative ideas and concepts in which all urban stakeholders take part." Establishing a company with limited liability to manage the mix of uses and vacancies would also be sensible, he added.

Open-air arena, scientific centre and indoor market

The Chamber of Commerce has proposed a designer market with a festival atmosphere under the U-Bahn bridge at Rödingsmarkt, an open-air arena for international sporting events as well as a scientific centre and an indoor market on Mönckebergstraße. Skywalks between the city centre and HafenCity could create an attractive cityscape and ease mobility. The accessibility of the city centre and developing its residential aspect will be of central importance in future.

Role of mobility and housing 

Commenting on mobility, Malte Heyne, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce CEO, said it will be automated, rapid and climate-neutral in future. "We have to see the bigger picture and consider not only electric and hydrogen-powered transport, but as yet barely unimaginable means of transport such as air taxis or autonomous vehicles." Facilities such as nursery schools, playgrounds and schools and other leisure areas for a rising number of residents are needed as well as new apartments and building extensions to revive the inner city.  Experience spaces such as the Inner Lake Alster and the Fleete with boat rentals, water biking, floating beach clubs and beer gardens and a stage on Lake Alster would also make downtown Hamburg livelier.