Seeking That Neighborly Feeling

The new HafenCity district under construction in Hamburg, Germany, is one of the largest urban developments underway today. Some worry that its newness and bigness aren't prime conditions for harboring neighborliness.
August 27, 2010, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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Though the project won't be fully complete until 2025, parts of it are open and occupied -- but not exactly exuding small-town charm.

"Strolling through HafenCity on an overcast, late-summer evening is enough to make anyone feel the weight of such questions. It remains difficult to get here with several roads blocked by construction sites and taxis a rarity. During the day, a never-ending stream of trucks cause noisy, dusty traffic jams. While some in Hamburg are optimistic, calling the development "Hamburg's most beautiful construction site," others are less kind, referring to it as an "architectural zoo." For the moment, both are accurate. Many of the new structures are certainly aesthetically pleasing, but HafenCity does not feel like a city center. In fact, apart from a couple of lit windows and one or two pedestrians out with their dogs, it feels like nothing so much as an oversized ghost town."

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Published on Thursday, August 26, 2010 in Der Spiegel
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