Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A look at major waterfront developments

URBAN PLANNING. For years politicians and city planners from around the world have come to Stockholm to visit Hammarby Sjöstad, a showcase urban development on the southern edge of the Swedish capital’s city center.
Once part of the plans for Stockholm’s failed bid for the 2004 summer Olympic Games, Hammarby Sjöstad has since the late 90’s developed into an admired example of modern city building for a sustainable future. It now has 15,000 inhabitants, moving towards 24,000 when the project is completed in 2017.
Waterfront developments like Hammarby Sjöstad have become the model for urban expansion in major cities around Europe.
I recently visited Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, to see the ongoing construction of HafenCity on the banks of the river Elbe. HafenCity is the largest urban development project in Europe. When it is completed sometime in 2020-25 it will be home to 12,000 inhabitants and the workplace for up to 40,000 people.
HafenCity is already changing the face of Hamburg, with a whole new modern city growing rapidly next to the old city center. Like Hammarby Sjöstad, the idea behind HafenCity is to build new life into derelict old industrial and harbour areas no longer needed for their original use.
The new developments are full of climate smart solutions in everything from heating to public transportation and waste management. Hamburg has been chosen by the European Commission to take over from Stockholm as European Green Capital in 2011.
In the months to come, this blog will take a closer look at the lessons learned from Hammarby Sjöstad and tell you more about HafenCity. I will also look at Nordhavnen, a huge new waterfront development under way in the Danish capital Copenhagen.
In Stockholm planners and developers are getting ready to pass the baton from Hammarby Sjöstad to the new Royal Seaport, set to become the next Swedish showcase for modern urban development.
We will look at that too.


Modern light rail streetcar in Hammarby Sjöstad.


Viewing construction in HafenCity.

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