Hamburg’s desolate city: how does life finally come in here?

Hamburg’s desolate city: how does life finally come in here?

Online shopping, vacancies, the corona crisis – Hamburg’s city center is struggling to survive in many places. After the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, the CDU parliamentary group has now also presented its concept for the future of the city. She demands: The design of the inner city must become a top priority.

“Blocking a few streets for car traffic is not enough,” said CDU parliamentary group leader Dennis Thering when the concept was presented. The pandemic will further increase the pressure on the city center.

“We are calling for a city center officer,” said Anke Frieling, spokeswoman for urban development for the CDU parliamentary group. “It is also important that the city center and HafenCity grow closer together as soon as possible.”

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Hamburg’s inner city in crisis

The city center had its problems even before the pandemic. Beyond eating and shopping, there was hardly any life there. Then there is the competition from online retailers. At the same time, shop rents are increasing.

During the pandemic, Mönckebergstrasse now often looks deserted. The once major attractions of Karstadt Sports and Kaufhof are now just empty building shells. Some fear that HafenCity could soon overtake the inner city.

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The Elb-CDU worked on its concept for a year and discussed the situation in the city center with around 80 players. At the presentation on Monday, Thering and Frieling then resorted to the tried and tested in some cases. “What has already been discussed doesn’t have to be bad,” Thering said about MOPO.

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More green, more gastronomy, more enjoyment

The tunneling under Willy-Brand-Strasse has been a matter of debate for years. At the top there should be space for cyclists and pedestrians to stroll through a green park, while below the traffic flows.

The redesign of the Alster promenade – an idea from 2018 – is also part of the concept. More space is to be found for restaurants, moorings or a beach club, with longer jetties and additional pontoons on the east side.

Red-Green has already rejected proposals

The SPD and the Greens had already rejected both proposals years ago. The tunnel is too difficult to implement, the elements of the Alster promenade protrude too far onto the water surface and spoil the appearance.

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Market hall, concerts, living: concept for Hamburg’s inner city

On closer inspection, there are also a few new ideas.Mönckebergstrasse is to be upgraded with a band of green hedges and bushes in the middle.

On the vacant Karstadt sports grounds, the CDU proposes the construction of a concert hall, as is currently being planned at Diebsteich.

In the middle of the pandemic: who should pay for all of this?

New attractions for the city of Hamburg are all well and good, but who should pay for them – in the middle of the crisis? “First of all, we want to implement the measures that can be implemented quickly and are not so cost-intensive,” says Thering.

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In order to increase the attractiveness in the city center, you also have to take a little money into your hand. “That will work out again, as with the Elbphilharmonie. Of course, the federal government also has to help, ”says Thering. The CDU wants to introduce individual measures as motions in the citizenship in order to put the topic on the agenda again and again.

Hamburg Chamber of Commerce with its own concept

The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce is also concerned about the city center. She had already presented her own concept last week and proposes the establishment of a “Innenstadt GmbH” to implement it. In its concept, the city is divided into eleven quarters, with different focuses such as “going out and enjoying” or “art and culture”. Just catering and retail – that’s no longer enough.

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