Hamburg, Germany

Population: 1.7 Million

Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city and largest port, with direct access to the North Sea via the Elbe River. Hamburg not only has a rich maritime and trading history, but is also an educational and cultural hub, with several research institutions and the recently inaugurated Elbphilharmonie concert hall and its world-class acoustics.

Hamburg’s CLEVER Action Lab: Neugraben-Fischbek

Located in the South-West of Hamburg, Neugraben-Fischbek has a rich history: both Neugraben and Fischbek used to be independent villages and became part of Hamburg during the 1930s. Nowadays the area is growing even faster than the rest of city and new housing areas are under construction.


The CLEVER Action Lab reaches from central Neugraben, via the Fischbek public school and the Sandbek housing estate, towards new housing development areas in the West. Architecture in the area ranges from old village-style houses to the 1960s high-rises of Sandbek.


A green corridor

The aim is to have a pilot project on one part of the East-West walking/cycling path in order to use the experiences made when redesigning the rest of the path. Along the corridor, nature-based solutions will be implemented to increase biodiversity and connect nature with the city. A guiding tool will be developed telling the story of local history and identity through creative ways along the path.

Green roofs

New green roofs will be constructed to test their potential to retain rainwater, and also to serve as recreational green spaces, leading to reduced temperatures in summer and improved well-being of local residents.

School playgrounds/yards

School playgrounds will be redesigned using nature-based solutions to improve the rainwater retention (a key element throughout the CLEVER Action Lab) and the health of local school children. Later on in the project, urban school gardens will also be developed.

Latest news from Hamburg

Neighbourhood festival celebrates opening of Hamburg's CLEVER Parcours

9 November 2021


On 22 October, CLEVER City Hamburg held a neighbourhood festival at the Vogelkamp park to celebrate the opening of the CLEVER Parcours - a wayfinding system that connects numerous nature-based interventions in Hamburg’s Neugraben-Fischbek district.


Designed to indicate the way between different Nature-based interventions, the CLEVER Cities Parcours consists of miniature yellow houses holding different contents depending on their location and the interventions they correspond to.


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Hamburg signs Edinburgh Declaration in support of greater action to safeguard biodiversity

4 October 2021


In recent weeks, the Senate of Hamburg, one of CLEVER Cities’ Front-Runners, signed the “Edinburgh Declaration on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”, a statement of intent that paves the way for a strengthened role for subnational governments in global biodiversity action.


The declaration is the culmination of an extensive and comprehensive consultation of stakeholders, including CLEVER Cities, led by the Scottish government.


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Linking the city to nature: Hamburg kicks-off co-design process of wayfinding system

14 April 2021


To link the city to nature and emphasize nature within the city, the CLEVER Cities team in Hamburg is designing a new wayfinding system in the district of Neugraben-Fischbek that will provide information on place-specific nature-based interventions in the area, establish connections between them, offering orientation, while at the same time embedding them into existing paths.


In March 2021, the district office of Harburg kicked off a co-creation process to get residents and local stakeholders involved in designing the new system, which will link different elements of the new CLEVER corridor.


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New orchard in Hamburg gives shelter to rare and regional apple tree varieties

26 January 2021


Orchards play an important role in supporting biological diversity. Providing habitat to over 5.000 animal and plant species, traditional orchards belong to the most biodiverse ecosystems in Europe because they combine two different habitats in one single area: a sparse population of fruit trees above and meadows and grasslands below.


In the city of Hamburg, CLEVER Cities partners Steg Hamburg and the borough of Harburg, in collaboration with the Rüm Hart Foundation and the urban housing and development company SAGA, planted a new orchard in the Neugraben-Fischbek district.


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A garden project at the German Red Cross refugee accommodation “Am Röhricht”

2 November 2020


Next to the refugee accommodation “Am Röhricht”, maintained by the German Red Cross in Hamburg’s Neugraben-Fischbek district, there is an open space with boggy and uneven ground. A redesign is planned for 2027, when the accommodation will no longer exist in the same area.


In the meantime, CLEVER Cities partners and the head of the facility decided that the surrounding green spaces could not be left unused - together with locals, they are making the area suitable for leisure and entertainment activities to foster nature connectedness.


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Green roofs for CLEVER Cities: Remote sensing of green roof potential in Hamburg

2 September 2020

The journey to becoming a greener city has many steps, one of them being the implementation of effective instruments for environmental monitoring. In Hamburg, CLEVER Cities is conducting an assessment of how urban nature is changing in the Neugraben-Fischbek district, and evaluating different tools and methods to support local monitoring activities.


New green roofs will be constructed in the area to test their potential to retain rainwater and to provide more recreational green spaces to residents, leading to reduced temperatures in summer and improved well-being.


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Lessons from Germany and China on building liveable cities post-COVID pandemic

10 August 2020

How to build more liveable urban spaces in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic? Different approaches exist, but cities around the world should aim to create green spaces that foster resilience and social equality, concluded a group of Chinese and European municipalities who attended the seminar "Building Liveable Cities in Post COVID-19 Time". Co-hosted by the China Center for Urban Development, UN-Habitat, ICLEI and the Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, the event took place virtually on 8 July.


During the pandemic, it became clear that many cities are yet to meet important liveability criteria, said the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in China Gauden Galea.


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CLEVER Cities Hamburg team takes part in district festival ‘Neugraben Erleben’

8 October 2019

Neugraben Erleben

On 8th September 2019, the Neugraben Center in Hamburg hosted the district festival ‘Neugraben Erleben’ with approx. 5000 visitors. The festival, whose title means 'Experience Neugraben', is held every year and brings out the district’s wide range of clubs, institutions and associations. Around 40 local groups typically contribute to the event, representing themselves and their activities in the area, giving an insight into the cultural and eventful diversity of the district.

The Hamburg Partner Team presented their work as part of CLEVER Cities at a public stand throughout the day.

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The invisible industry of urban nature

25 March 2019

The invisible industry of urban nature

1.4m schoolchildren demonstrated across the world on Friday 15th March to call for systemic change to safeguard their future. The schoolchildren name extreme weather events, access to drinking water, health, air temperature, peaceful communities, biodiversity, clean air and jobs for the future among their worries. While no single measure can protect us from all of the threats triggered by climate change, one type of transformation does manage to tick a startling number of boxes: urban nature.

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Top marks for green cities

22 February 2019


How the CLEVER Cities team can tell whether our nature-based interventions are working


It is common knowledge that living near nature makes you healthier and happier. But is it possible to actually measure this? How can decision-makers make the case for investing in nature-based interventions?


The CLEVER Cities project team is working on coming up with a way to do exactly that through a combination of hard science, citizen science and flexibility. The CLEVER Monitor is designed to be robust enough to provide concrete data on the performance of the nature-based solutions, and is also adaptable enough to account for our learning over time and the differences between cities.

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Co-creation - the CLEVER Cities way

14 February 2019

London Launch

Between October and December 2018 the three front-runner cities of Hamburg, London and Milan took the first steps towards co-creating their CLEVER Cities Action Labs - the specific areas of these cities targeted for green regeneration within the CLEVER Cities project.


Inclusive urban development
But what does co-creation really mean? For the CLEVER Cities project it’s about opening local urban development to non-governmental organisations, foundations, civil society, research institutions and local citizens and businesses, ensuring all jointly design, implement, monitor and ultimately own the project.

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CLEVER Action Lab in Neugraben-Fischbek, Hamburg, kicks off

19 November 2018

CLEVER Action Lab in Neugraben-Fischbek, Hamburg, kicks off

On 29 October 2018 the citizens of Hamburg's CLEVER Action Lab, Neugraben-Fischbek, came together in the local community centre to start designing the green regeneration of their area.


This event, which was hosted by the city of Hamburg and its local partners, kicked off the five-year CLEVER Cities project for Hamburg, where the plan is to use nature-based solutions to improve living standards and make the area more climate-proof. Many citizens attended the event and gathered around the four thematic tables.

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