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HafenCity: Hamburg Builds Its Better Half

WHAT DO YOU MAKE OUT OF THIS NEW PROJECT, ROOM FOR HOPE OR MORE OF THE SAME?
STERILE CITY OR BRAVE NEW WORLD?
Hamburg Builds Its Better Half
By Charles Hawley in Hamburg
It's the largest development project in Europe. But as Hamburg seeks to reclaim its old harbor by building a brand new HafenCity, has it bitten off more than it can chew?
... "Urbanity doesn't develop by itself," he says. "One needs squares that function well as community spaces. You have to create the conditions for people to move around. It's a question of the mixture of the various uses. We have tried to do that by including residential buildings, office space, cultural offerings and shops." (...)
And once again..
This is also where many of the world's premier architects will have license to play. Bruns-Berentelg reckons some 40,000 people will stream through the quarter every day. (...)
Is this how planning for a city's new direction looks like?
And if it's up to him, he will have a large say in exactly how those 40,000 people move through the quarter. Indeed, Bruns-Berentelg's vision of urbanity often seems one of careful calculation and studied omission. There will be no shopping mall, with Hamburg opting instead for street-front shops. The exact location of subway and bus stops was a matter of intense planning, as was the ratio of footpaths to roads. There will be five kilometers of road to 10 kilometers of footpaths -- "Only 30 percent of the footpaths will be next to the streets. Pedestrians can use the other 70 percent to get around away from the roads," Bruns-Berentelg explains.
"We want something that has a specific identity," he says, referring to European city planners. "Some buildings should look nice and surprising and everything, but the identity of the city should be reflected. We don't want chaos and we don't want monotony. But within that spectrum, I think Europeans are more afraid of chaos. They tend toward more planning."
Find this article here
Hafen City's website here
 
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