Thursday, January 21, 2010

Plans for "City Ikea" stirs emotions in Hamburg

HAMBURG. Shopping malls on the outskirts of cities, creating caravans of traffic, are a central part of the ills modern urban planning has to deal with.
Swedish furniture giant Ikea wants to try a new concept with plans to build its first full scale inner-city outlet in the Hamburg district of Altona. But the plans have divided local residents and led to widespread protests.
Protesters fear that the planned location of the store on Grosse Bergstrasse, once Germany’s first pedestrian zone, will create massive traffic gridlock in the area and start a process of gentrification.
Spiegel Online reports that the Swedish company thinks half of the customers to this “City Ikea” will come by train, bicycle or on foot.
A referendum on the plans is being held this week. Results are not yet known.

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