Organising Local Economic Development

The Role of Development Agencies and Companies

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Development processes occur within a wider geographical area than local government, and in some cases encompass a broader scope than provincial or national governments. Thus substantial inter-governmental co-operation and public-private partnership are needed. This book identifies how development agencies and companies work, what they do and what constitutes success and value added. It explores international practices in a variety of locations and contexts, and defines both the success factors and the challenges associated with economic development agencies and companies.



HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

The area known as “HafenCity” is Europe’s largest inner city urban development zone (HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, 2009a). In 1998, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg entrusted HafenCity Hamburg GmbH (formerly GHS Gesellschaft für Hafenund Standortentwicklung mbH) with the development of HafenCity. Hamburg is one of very few German cities undertaking major urban redevelopment. Unlike many city development agencies who act at the city-wide or metropolitan scale, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH focuses only on a highly specific district – the old port area. HafenCity Hamburg GmbH has been tasked with leading the redevelopment through buying back land and buildings in the project area which are not owned by public authorities and relocating companies from the area to other areas in the city, as well as being responsible for developing the necessary physical infrastructure and required amenities so that new spaces (office, residential, shopping, restaurants, culture and leisure) are developed. It oversees the entire development of the area (Bruns-Berentelg, 2009).


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