Architecture & Cities

How Hamburg is becoming Europe’s greenest city

Ciclabili, mobilità elettrica, stretta su plastica e rifiuti. Ecco come la seconda città della Germania sta diventando una smart city.

One of its latest initiatives was the ban on single-use coffee pods and plastic bottles in state-run buildings. The city of Hamburg, along with other German cities, will follow the Senate guidelines setting up new environmental standards in the matter of consumption, purchase and mobility.

PV panels and wind turbines near the city centre ©

Future purchases will be carried out taking into consideration the environmental impact of the products’ entire life cycle, their capacity of being recycled and repaired, packaging, and their impact on climate and on the use of resources. Basically, Hamburg’s annual expenditure of 250 million euros will be spent on more ethical and sustainable products.

This is an important signal, as confirmed by Senator Jens Kerstan of the Greens: “Hamburg’s administration will soon play a leading role in Germany in terms of procurement and contracting.”

HafenCity district, object of an incredible requalification project © Roberto Kai Hegeler

Hamburg becomes a smart city

The German city also stood out for the Green Network project, which provides a network of bike paths that will connect the entire city. Hamburg plans to take cars off the roads and avoid motor vehicles to enter the city centre by 2034. “In 15 to 20 years it will be possible to explore the city exclusively by bike or on foot,” said Angelika Fritsch, spokeswoman of Hamburg city administration. “We will also offer people opportunities to hike, swim, do water sports, enjoy picnics, restaurants, experience calms and watch nature right in the city”.

Hamburg, appointed European Green Capital, is also a maritime city and its commercial port has a significant impact on the city’s economy. A memorable project was the urban requalification of 155 hectares once destined to port operations: HafenCity is the new district boasting efficient buildings, provided with PV panels and wind turbines, and investing in sustainable mobility. Bicycle paths, bike sharing stations, charging stations for electric vehicles, public green, slow mobility, reduced consumption, renewables, and energy efficiency. This is the right definition of a smart city.

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