Global Neighbourhood and World Commercial Park

Living and Working in the Neighbourhood

People from over 30 countries live in the Hamburg district of Wilhelmsburg. A local historic workers’ housing estate was to be upgraded without displacing the residents. In addition, their wishes were to be incorporated into the design. On this basis, IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung Hamburg developed the Weltquartier (Global Neighbourhood), a model project for intercultural living.

The Global Neighbourhood was built in the southern Reiherstieg quarter and was completed in 2015. The former worker’s estate from the 1930s was refurbished and modernised, converted and supplemented with new buildings. As early as 2007, an intercultural planning workshop involved the residents in the process. Multilingual “local researchers” went door to door asking the residents about their respective living situation and their ideas. The results were used as guidelines in an urban development architectural competition for the renewal of the estate. In total, over 750 residential units owned by the municipal housing association SAGA GWG were modified or newly built. Public-sector subsidies keep the rents affordable even in the long term to avoid displacement of established tenants.

In addition to the apartments, a previously rather inconspicuous commercial complex was modified and better integrated in the quarter, creating jobs in the district. Known as the Weltgewerbehof (World Commercial Park) today, it allowed new small and very small businesses to be launched in the district. Especially so in regard to local and migrant companies as well as start-ups. Public-sector subsidies also allow low rents to be offered here too. In addition to the economic and social importance, the project developers put emphasis on a sophisticated design. The World Commercial Park is connected to the local heat network, a photovoltaic system on the roof provides it with electricity. As for the Global Neighbourhood, a regenerative heat supply has been provided by the nearby energy bunker since 2013.

Further IBAIBA Internationale Bauausstellung