The strategic approach in urban regeneration: the Hamburg model

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Daniela Lepore
Alessandro Sgobbo
Federica Vingelli


After centuries of development, port cities are nowadays involved into the post-industrial revitalization of historical waterfronts and harbors aiming to fill the gaps originated by loosing of both economical activities and identity. In this context cruise tourism has been seen, in the global port cities competition perspective, as a possibility to diversify the port city economy and to attract international investments. Cruise industry has profited of such urban regeneration, exploiting the abandoned areas and the coastal structures for new cruise terminals and tourists related services but, often, in a merely aesthetic-design approach. After a review of literature on cruise tourism evolution and impacts, and passing through citizens' opposition actions, we examine in detail the Hamburg experience in its transformation, both in governance and physical aspect, from commercial port city to international cruise hub. In particular this experience was able to canalize the cruise tourism growing trend from a global economic phenomenon to a topic of the creative city's strategic choices and to implement them, in addition, by urban and strategic planning tools as well as city marketing. The Hamburg experience highlights the results' quality achievable with an approach that, overcoming the design dimension, brings into play a coordinated set of multiscalar actions aiming to expande the regenerative effects of change both in spatial, social and economic field.


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LeporeD., SgobboA., & VingelliF. (2017). The strategic approach in urban regeneration: the Hamburg model. UPLanD - Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design, 2(3), 185-218.


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