New 'Science City' to grow around MPSD

"Science will lead the development of a whole new urban quarter": Hamburg Senate reveals vast expansion plans for Bahrenfeld campus.

January 28, 2019
The area around the MPSD and the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) is to be transformed from an already thriving research campus into a ‘Science City’ under ambitious new plans from the Hamburg Senate. The new quarter, to be called ‘Science City Bahrenfeld’, will combine research with innovation, learning, commercial start-up spaces and apartments on a 125 hectare-site.

It includes the existing campus around the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) and a large site to the north of the Luruper Chaussee. The MPSD’s current home, the CFEL, and the new Institute building currently under construction are located near the center of the planned quarter.

The mayor of Hamburg, Peter Tschentscher, says: “Together with the University of Hamburg and DESY, we want to dedicate an entire part of the city to science. With the Science City Bahrenfeld we want to establish a center for fundamental research and applied science as well as an incubator for innovation and technology transfer.”

The University’s faculties of physics and chemistry and parts of the biology department are set to move from the city center to the campus, bringing around 5,000 students with them. As part of the expansion, DESY will further develop its PETRA IV X-ray source. Its director, Prof. Dr. Helmut Dosch, says: “With the Science City Bahrenfeld, we create a model for the research campus of the future, where we integrate pioneering science at world-class large research facilities, the education of the next generation of scientists and the transfer of science to the economy and society.”

A new Centre for Data and Computer Science (CDCS) will provide some of the world’s most powerful computing technology to researchers, while a Centre for Molecular Water Research is also included in the plans. An innovation park is to be built nearby, with a technology and start-up center for the life sciences, bio- and nanotechnology and new materials due to come on stream there in 2023.

The city intends to extend the metropolitan rail network to the Science City. Approximately 2,500 apartments will be built, as well as two new schools, shops, restaurants and other amenities. The planners highlight the neighboring Volkspark, one of Hamburg’s biggest green spaces, as an ideal space for leisure activities and additional express cycle routes are envisaged to connect the science quarter with the city center.

There is no specific date yet for the completion of the multi-billion Euro project, one of Hamburg’s biggest developments. The architectural competitions are due to start in 2020, according to the Senate.

The Senator for Science, Katharina Fegebank, says: “For the first time ever, science and research play the lead in the development of an urban quarter. We envisage that this will lead to even greater scientific excellence, innovation, quality of life and jobs for the future of Hamburg.”

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