MIPIM, Cannes, 12/03/2015 – As results of the recent Forsa survey brought to light on 10/03/2015, Hamburg has edged ahead of Berlin in the city vs. city runoff recording stronger local support in a poll (64% for Hamburg, 55% for Berlin). This percentage reflects the support of the citizens and represents one of the criteria for the ultimate choice of the german candidate city by the german olympic committee.
Moreover, the strong support was evidenced by the huge torchlight rally held around the Alster (the lake in the heart of the city) on February 20, 2015, which saw 20,000 people participate.
An extraordinary turnout for an extraordinary project: Hamburg is desperate to beat Berlin to the candidacy. To do so, Hamburg has a key idea underlying its bid: to hold the games on a compact site in the city centre and on the waterfront (Alster and the Elbe).
This would see the old “Kleinen Grasbrook” dock area, previously closed to the public, turned into a new district complete with park, just a few minutes from the city centre. The majority of venues would be located within ten kilometres of the Olympic park, and many would be within walking distance of the city centre.
3D sustainable development
Hamburg hopes that hosting the Olympic Games and Paralympics will not just be an opportunity for economic growth, but also a catalyst for social and green development.
Green because buildings and infrastructure will meet the strictest standards for environmental protection and energy efficiency, while constantly seeking to contain costs. Careful use of natural resources (such as the use of renewable energy and environmentally friendly construction materials), protection from noise pollution and sustainable waste management.
Social because the minimum wage will be enforced and working conditions will be fair. After the games, the Olympic village and accommodation for the international media will be turned into 3000 new homes, at least a third of which will be given over to social housing projects. Everything from sports venues, to the Olympic village and transport infrastructure will be designed to ensure access for all. Following the Olympic Games and Paralympics, Hamburg will have set new standards for access to public amenities, both for people with reduced mobility and the able-bodied.
Responsible because holding the games will not increase Hamburg’s public debt: Germany’s constitutional “debt brake” will be strictly applied with, furthermore, a formal commitment that the games will not be funded to the detriment of social or educational budgets, nor through privatisations. For the events, existing infrastructure will be used and modernised. Only five new sports venues will need to be built and these will be re-used after the games.
At Hamburg HafenCity reception on the Hamburg stand at MIPIM, Alexander Otto, CEO of the Hamburg-based shopping mall developer ECE and Olympics Embassador, emphasized the strong support of the citizens and many companies – especially from the real estate industry – in Hamburg:
“We’re very glad we made a big step ahead now towards Olympic games in Hamburg with 64% approval rate. I think the numbers show that there’s a very positive atmosphere towards the Olympic games here. What is special in our city is that so many companies support the idea of Olympic games; we have a lot of supporters especially from the real estate sector who were very generous and helpful. Plus, we have initiated a lot of activities to show the benefits of the Olympic games for the city. Now, the next couple of days will be decisive because this poll was just one criteria of Hamburg vs. Berlin; now comes a tough time for the Olympic committee in Germany that has to make a decision.”
For Guenther Oettinger, EU commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Hamburg is a city on the rise:
“In Europe, we need green, environmental-friendly cities and Hamburg is especially ambitious in this field since many years. Looking at the real estate sector, Hamburg is an impressive example of a smart development with many ambitious projects. It is a pleasure to see how Hamburg is developing as a growing metropole, as a green metropole, as a dynamic metropole, as a metropole of logictics, services, and maybe as a host the Olympic games.”
For Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, CEO of HafenCity Hamburg, smart urban development and the bid for the Olympics go hand in hand:
“At Baakenhafen area in HafenCity, we currently create an urban village – a diversified and socially mixed urban area. In 5 years, that area will be almost completed, including neighborhood shopping, schools, kindergartens etc. Developments like this provide the basis for a process which could continue south of the Elbe with an Olympic village. This village would be quite unique even on an international scale and allow a special interaction between the people and space which has not been achieved at the Olympics so far.”