For any urban planner, creating a thriving neighbourhood from scratch where people will want to live and work can be a daunting task. HafenCity (Harbour City) in Hamburg is one of the biggest current urban development projects in Europe and is due for completion in 2025. Unlike many other large scale urban developments, HafenCity has placed neighbourliness and the wellbeing of its citizens at the heart of the project. In order to do this the planners have used principles of ‘environmental psychology’ to ensure that the community’s experience of the area is designed into the development. For example, ongoing dialogue has been encouraged between the developers and new residents. As a consequence the original master-plan has been adapted to changing circumstances.
Thinking about the social impact of creating new places is an issue which the Future Communities programme are also looking into for example in our current research about ‘designing in’ social sustainability which will be published later this year.
To read more about HafenCity, there is a great article on this topic written by Spiegel Online: ‘The challenge of making HafenCity feel neighborly’
Post by: Lucia Caistor-Arendar
Image from: Spiegel Online