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Oberbillwerder – The Connected City

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Location: Germany / Type: Masterplan / Built: Unbuilt /
Show on Google Maps / Published on September 1, 2021

A lively and vibrant city of the future connects the cultural landscape and its inhabitants. Within the proposal ‘the Connected City’, Karres en Brands together with ADEPT and Transsolar are developing the masterplan for a 360ha area close to Hamburg City Center. Oberbillwerder is the largest one-off development in Germany since Hafen City. Fully built, the masterplan will include about 1.000.000 m² in a mix of housing (7000 houses), business (5000 workplaces), shopping, public buildings and recreational activities. With a location between meadows, cultivated farming landscape and suburban sprawl, Oberbillwerder – just a 15-minute ride from the center of Hamburg – has an enormous potential to become an attractive urban area.

Landscape as framework

A simple and clear framework forms the basis of the plan. It is defined by preserving existing qualities of the landscape, such as its linear structure, the abundance of water, as well as the contrasting meandering of the dike. Through this flexible framework, a mosaic of neighborhoods and qualities are formed. They draw their identities from the surrounding landscape to create a robust landscape living experience. Water retention and climate proofing is fundamentally embedded in each neighborhood and gives each its own identity. The characters of each neighborhood are in essence defined by its climate adaption: wide canals, large green rain beds and narrow blue streams or concave street profiles and thin linear trenches

The Green Loop is the main feature of the public space network. It connects the neighborhoods with all major social infrastructure through a green artery that merges water, sports, play and city. The Green Loop will be a new form of urban landscape infrastructure prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. Next to The Green Loop, a network of Neighborhood Squares offers intimate, small scale places for community life while bringing together new forms of mobility, local services, and culture.

Performative city of the future

In the Connected City mobility is greater than Infrastructure. It serves as an ecosystem. It combines its own unique mobility concept with flexible infrastructure and innovative technologies. The neighborhood will be an icon for the future of mobility. It anticipates the electrical and driverless revolution and puts forward a city that is ready to take back the streets. Mobility hubs that stimulate transfer between car, public transport, or bicycle are integrated in neighborhood centers as active elements of the city life. Such as small businesses, ateliers, warehouses, post etc. These buildings will be the batteries of the neighborhoods; producing and storing energy and, as car demand will decrease, they can evolve into new structures combining cultural programs, work, living, and parking for new modes of transport.

Oberbillwerder is the performative city of the future. It is the largest European development to be pre-certified with the DGNB Platinum certification. It does not see sustainability as simple energy production and saving but a complex ecosystem that intertwines energy with water, green, mobility and social life of the city. Each flow in the city is complemented by the other. Nothing is left to chance or wasted: streets and planting are oriented to ensure ideal climatic comfort, blocks are optimized to maximize solar orientation and PV efficiency, water and green become part of the DNA of the city while the mobility will generate and save energy instead of consuming. The city draws its unique ecosystem from the exchanges of flows. On top of that, The Connected City will showcase a state-of-the-art sustainability and innovation in pilot projects and become areas for experimentation.


Oberbillwerder – Hamburg, Germany



​mixed-use masterplan


360 ha / 124 ha / 1.000.000 GFA / 7000 houses, 5000 workplaces







Won competition

Masterplan under development


Hamburg Stadt, IBA Hamburg

In collaboration with

​ADEPT, Transsolar, Büro Happold, Kraft


WAF Award 2019 Overall Future Project of the Year

WAF Award 2019 Masterplanning – Future Projects

DGNB Platinum 2019 Europe’s most sustainable urban plan

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