Kleiner Grasbrook is just a stone’s throw away

The green model city directly opposite the Elbtower

Hamburg is making the leap across the Elbe River with its recent city planning. It is integrating the up-until-now separate Elbe islands which lie opposite HafenCity and the Elbtower into the urban fabric.

Kleine Grasbrook is the first port area south of the Elbe to be earmarked for comprehensive transformation into a new living and working district. An area of 47 hectares will become a place of the future in a spectacular waterfront location. The aim is to bring together climate and resource protection, social cohesion, and new worlds of work.

To achieve this, around 3,000 apartments are envisaged – planned for tenants and owners by cooperatives and joint building ventures. One third of the apartments are state subsidized in order to achieve a balanced social mix and alleviate Hamburg’s housing shortage. The plans also include social facilities such as elementary schools, daycare centers as well as shops and sports and cultural facilities in this area.

The new district will be made up of two sections around Moldauhafen. The Moldauhafen quarter in the north is predominantly residential. The plan is to create green residential islands, with spacious green courtyards offering expansive views of the park and the water. The southern harbor gate quarter, on the other hand, will cater for urban commercial uses and jobs. Finally, 16,000 people are supposed to work on Kleiner Grasbrook.

A six-hectare park will become the most important green element in the district. It extends from Veddelhöft in the west deep into the Moldauhafen neighborhood, where it merges with the school and sports facilities. The four-kilometer promenade along the Elbe and the harbor basin will create an environment for residents to enjoy the interplay of water and a green urban landscape.

Photo above and below © Moka Studio
Photo left © Herzog & de Meuron

People living or working on Kleiner Grasbrook will hardly need to use their own cars. “The excellent accessibility of the newly emerging Grasbrook district by public transport is an essential building block to implement a contemporary mobility concept that will enable us to realize the idea of a 10-minute neighborhood,” says Dr. Andreas Kleinau, CEO of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH. Short distances can be covered on foot or by bike. The public transport links by bus, ferry or subway are excellent. The U4 is to be extended and float on stilts in the Moldauhafen basin’s water. Just a few weeks ago, Hamburg’s elevated railroad company decided in favor of the plans by schlaich bergermann partner, gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner and WTM Engineers GmbH Hamburg.

Photo © Herzog & de Meuron
Photo below © Fotofrizz & Moka Studio

Hamburg’s rapid growth is the background to the new district. In ten years, the city is expected to be home to more than two million people. At the same time, Hamburg’s economy is changing. The port, which has been the largest employer up to now, is losing importance. New companies could soon take advantage of the potential space if the huge port areas, which are close to the city center, are sustainably used – as planned at Kleiner Grasbrook and as is happening at the eastern tip of HafenCity, at the Elbtower, too.

Photo below © Fotofrizz

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