Ideas for the new Grasbrook district

The new Grasbrook district is not meant to be developed as an isolated “island” but instead in the context of the surrounding urban areas and in intensive dialog with people of Hamburg and residents of neighboring parts of the city. Embedding Grasbrook in the neighborhood, especially Veddel, but also Rothenburgsort, Wilhelmsburg and HafenCity, was a consideration from the outset and was an important task that fed into the urban and landscape design competition.

Its waterside and park locations, excellent future public transport connections and spatial possibilities mean that Grasbrook has great potential to become an innovation district of significance for the whole city and a kind of “progress laboratory” for Hamburg. The invitation to get involved in thinking the new district through is therefore addressed to the broad Hamburg public as well as experts from the fields of academia, business and politics.

HafenCity Hamburg GmbH and the Ministry for Urban Development and Housing kicked off the ideas process for Grasbrook with a public city workshop on June 1, 2018. A total of eight public workshops with specialists, neighborhood stakeholders and interested members of the Hamburg public were held up to the close of the Competitive Dialog April 2020. In addition, online participation, exhibitions and outreach surveys during the Veddel local festival were carried out.

Themes and results of the participatory process

Shared values and visions were worked out in an intensive dialog. Tasks and challenges emerged from the direct interaction with the neighborhood and a valuable “pool of ideas” was created as a source of inspiration for the future development of the district.

The central themes from the public participation were:

  • Veddel-Grasbrook links (attractive crossings, neighborhood meeting points and joint services)
  • Diverse urban development and mix of different uses
  • Treatment of existing site – existing buildings and vegetation
  • Diverse public open space for various needs
  • Attractive river banks and sufficient access to water
  • Contribution to a sustainable and climate-friendly city
  • Range of mobility options and creation of low car-use neighborhoods

On the results of the participatory process in detail:

During the competition phase about 2,500 members of the public contributed their suggestions, concerns and valuable local knowledge to the Grasbrook ideas process. The results of this intensive discussion process were documented and evaluated. They were fed into the brief for the Competitive Dialog and guided the jury members in their assessment of the competition entries.

Continuing the dialog...

This intensive public participation process does not end with the final decision of the jury on the Competitive Dialog April 2020. The next stages of planning will also be accompanied by a variety of opportunities for public participation and discussion. Provided the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic allow, the results of the Competitive Dialog alongside the plans and models will be exhibited again publicly in fall 2020 and explained in various discussion formats. The formal public participation on the development plan process also gets under way in fall 2020.