Steer future changes within the district
A Picture of the Future in Georgswerder
Cities and Climate ChangeHill of new horizons
Energy Hill Georgswerderto the project
Georgswerder in the Future (Project status 2013)
Georgswerder has a vision for the future, following an intensive planning process involving many people, which is set to steer future changes within the district in a direction that corresponds to local wishes.
As part of this, requirements for the development of the district have been set out from the perspective of the local residents, and have been discussed and endorsed by Hamburg-Mitte District Authority, the State Ministry for Urban Development and the Environment, and the IBA Hamburg. Many individual suggestions have been considered and brought together to form an integrated overall picture.
Georgswerder District: a Typical Metrozone
Visitors to Georgswerder are often surprised that an almost rural idyll lies only a short distance from Hamburg city centre. The district is surrounded by major arterial roads and motorways. Lying at the foot of the Georgswerder Energy Hill, it is framed by allotments and the Dove Elbe, an old arm of the river Elbe. The area predominantly features detached houses with large gardens, but also contains apartment complexes dating from the late nineteenth century.
Despite the district's diversity, it is also increasingly facing a number of challenges. Many areas are unkempt and untidy, strewn with litter or neglected. A large number of houses require redevelopment and renovation. The range of services, from cobblers to chemists, has gone downhill in recent years. Last but not least, the district has an image problem in spite of its green feel, undoubtedly resulting from its proximity to the Georgswerder landfill site. The many sections of society and ethnic groups that have made their home within the area reflect its international cosmopolitan community, and ensuring their harmonious coexistence is also an important task for the future.
Strengthening Georgswerder through Subtle Change
Local citizens have been involved in improving their district for many years. The Georgswerder Working Group represents their interests and is an important stakeholder in further development. The foundations for sustainable overall development are now set to be laid as part of the Georgswerder Vision for the Future.
This initiative clearly identifies those areas of the district that are considered to be particularly urgent candidates for redevelopment and enhancement: a strong centre, an attractive dyke that acts as a lifeline and runs through the district like a backbone, and a well-configured entrance to the area from the north, but also clusters of buildings on the dyke and Fiskalischer Strasse. However, change is by no means the only item on the agenda. Areas that are worth protecting for the future, such as the brick yard pond, the surrounding landscape, and the Dove Elbe, show that Georgswerder is not the place for radical transformation. Rather, the district has opted for a subtle yet confident course of action.
This has resulted in measures that been put in place swiftly by bodies such as the IBA Hamburg, together with the Hamburg-Mitte District Authority, and the Georgswerder Working Group, and have layed down a marker for further projects. It is worth investing in this area, which is close to the city centre, as it offers potential for growth in housing and residential-friendly industrial development in the medium and long term.
The process demonstrates how productive collaboration at district and neighbourhood level between political groups, the district authorities and agencies, planning offices, and the local people can lead to a broad consensus. Initiatives have ranged from the neighbourhood workshop, in which planners work closely with local residents, to the appraisal and recommendations of advisory bodies, and the three evening workshops held with the aim of consolidating and coordinating the vision for the future, while constantly keeping active participation by residents at the forefront.
Even if this process does not result in a specific new plan, its results will bear fruit over time, and everything that sets change in motion in Georgswerder will be oriented towards the Vision for the Future. Political bodies and the municipal authorities will take note of this change, and the dedicated citizens of the district will also make sure that the initiative will be implemented, step by step, until 2025 and beyond.
Apart from the larger projects, the vision for the future of Georgswerder also includes smaller measures to improve the townscape and the atmosphere of the whole district. First steps have already been taken during the IBA in 2013, such as the adjustment of traffic signs, cleaning-up work along the Dove Elbe, an arm of the river Elbe, and the discussion about a new bicycle lane on the Niedergeorgswerder dyke. The picture of the district's future has begun to be realised.
The reshaping of the entrance to the area at Niedergeorgswerder dyke was very important to the local residents, especially the underpass of the bridge which was very dark. During the IBA and in close co-operation with the district authority and the office in charge of roads, bridges and open waters, 'Landesbetrieb Straßen, Brücken und Gewässer', the underpass has been designed more friendly, due to additional light and a new ceiling paint in lighter colours. The bridge piers are now covered with historical and present keywords about the district Georgswerder. In addition to that, the Hamburg office 'spine architects' have designed a plank for the noise protection wall above the bridge which is now welcoming the residents.
At the same time, a temporary poster gallery was being created along the hoarding at Fiskalische Straße/ Niedergeorgswerder dyke. The local citizens were invited to a photo session with the photographer Johannes Arlt and asked to describe their relation to the district. The portraits and quotations covered the hoarding until November 2013 and demonstrated, in an impressive way, the variety and the enthusiasm of the citizens to participate in the reshaping of Georgswerder.