What makes the most flood-protected development in Europe also one of the “hottest” places to live and work?  In a word, water.  HafenCity in Hamburg, Germany is the reclamation of a former maritime industrial port.  Occupying an area the size of Boston’s Seaport District, this mixed-use development was planned to withstand tidal surges and sea level rise.  In June 2018, the CEO of HafenCity, Jurgen Bruns-Berentelg, traveled to Boston to keynote a Climate Adaptation Forum sponsored by the Environmental Business Council together with UMass Boston.  As Bruns-Berentelg’s remarks made clear, plentiful water views and public waterfront access were as intentionally designed as protections against floods and accommodations for surging flood water.  Two Boston delegations traveled to Hamburg in 2013.  Since then HafenCity has completed its 20-year built-out.  Is it time for another visit?

Ellen Watts

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