From October 15 through December, 6 the two major symbols of Hamburg’s ambitious urban design and re-development will present a traveling exhibition, “Building the City Anew”, in Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The HafenCity Hamburg, Europe’s largest urban development project, is expanding the city center of Hamburg by forty percent with iconic mixed-use design on former brown fields on the Elbe River.
The IBA (International Building Exhibition) builds on a 100 year-old German tradition of experimental design and urban planning with a seven-year project that is transforming an inner city island marked by waste dumps, industrial zones and public housing into vibrant and sustainable community living.
The joint exhibition will be presented at the Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, in Boston from October 15 through 28, 2013. It will also be on display at the Urban Land Institute conference in Chicago, from November 5 through 8, 2013. The final stop on the tour will be at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. from November 14 through December 6.
These large US metropolis with significant waterfront development share a number of sustainable urban planning challenges with Hamburg. “Building the City Anew” seeks to provoke an informed dialogue between cities and to create a platform for a shared vision of the future.
HafenCity Hamburg and IBA Hamburg embrace the vision of a European city meeting the challenges of the future without abandoning its own tradition and character. Through the joint exhibition, HafenCity and IBA Hamburg also seek to initiate an international debate on the future of large cities, informed by projects and experiences of other European cities. “In 2013 the IBA Hamburg is celebrating the culmination of seven years of development; HafenCity Hamburg has been under construction for eleven years,” says Uli Hellweg. “It is a good point in time to encourage debate in a European context, and to share Hamburg’s vision of the future with cities in the US.”
In fact, there are American contributions to both of these major Hamburg development projects: The Boston architectural firm Kennedy & Violich Architecture designed The Soft House, the competition winner for the most adaptable live/work row housing, for the IBA. In the HafenCity, Pritzker award-winners Richard Meier & Partners of New York have designed several buildings and public spaces and continue to create new structures for the on-going development.
“Building The City Anew” is devoted to a diversity of approaches that respond to the strategic responsibilities of European cities. Each urban development project is confronted by a unique set of preconditions. The IBA Hamburg is transforming the structure of a ‘metrozone’, a previously marginalized urban area, through selective measures such as renovation and conversion activities; new cost and energy-efficient buildings and cultural activities that unite a historically diverse community.
The HafenCity Hamburg has redefined a major inner city area formerly devoted to port and industrial uses with award-winning architectural design and the highest standards for building energy efficiency. ”With its attractive pathways and excellent connections to public transport, HafenCity encourages people to leave their cars at home, says Jürgen Bruns- Berentelg. “The intensive mix of uses and the density of building create attractive short distances, which can be easily covered on foot or by bicycle – and most extend along the waterfront.”
At the heart of the exhibition is an outsized compass symbolically pointing the way to the city of the future. The directional points of the compass have been replaced with four major themes: Growing City, Open City, Smart City and Civic City. These form the conceptual framework to explain the strategies and projects which HafenCity Hamburg and IBA Hamburg are harnessing to meet the challenges of the future. “Building the City Anew” was previously shown in Europe, including the EU parliament in Brussels. The US tour was launched at the University of Maryland, College Park in September 2013.
About Hamburg, Germany
The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is located in the North German plain on the lower reaches of the Elbe, around 100 kilometers from the river’s estuary on the North Sea. With 1.8 million inhabitants Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city after Berlin. The city is the center of a Metropolitan Region with more than five million inhabitants and the second biggest port in Europe. Hamburg is one of the trendsetters in Europe concerning sustainable urban development, climate protection, innovate traffic planning and renewable energies. In 2011, the European Commission awarded the city with the title “European Green Capital”.
About IBA Hamburg:
From 2006 to 2013, the IBA Hamburg International Building Exhibition is developing innovative and sustainable answers to the problems facing major cities in the future. IBA is developing some 60 model projects which will stabilize and upgrade the hitherto neglected districts of Hamburg, the Elbe islands Wilhelmsburg and Veddel. More: www.iba-hamburg.de
About HafenCity Hamburg:
A new “downtown” is growing up on an area of 157 hectares adjacent to the existing Hamburg city center – a vital city with a maritime touch, in which working, living, culture and leisure come together. Eventually 45,000 people will be working here and 12,000 living in HafenCity. In addition to its central location, HafenCity is outstanding in its aspiration to create urbanity and its sustainable development. More: www.hafencity.com.