The City of Hamburg, Germany is planning on building elevated public parks on sections of the to-be-expanded A7 (Highway 7), which is considered one of the most important north-south connectors in Germany.
According to officials, parts of A7 are 26 percent above capacity, with 152,000 motor vehicles travelling on the road every day. Some other parts, like the four-lane section between Hamburg-Stellingen and northwest Hamburg, are even more overloaded, officials say. This area also has a higher average rate of traffic crashes.
This is why officials are adamant about expanding the highway’s capacity by adding lanes. At the same time, to meet the noise regulations of the city, planners of the project are looking into building noise barriers and tunnels. In an effort to ease the burden and negative effects of an expanded highway, officials are looking into making good use of the surface area on top of the tunnels by converting them into public parks. The urban areas near the noise-calming sections of the highway will be developed into housing. There are three sections of the highway that will have these covers: Schnelsen, Stellingen and Bahrenfeld/Othmarschen.
The project’s costs will be split between the federal government and the city of Hamburg. Expansion and construction projects for federal roads, like the A7, are generally financed from the federal budget. The financing of associated projects, like noise protection, also come from the federal government. In this case, Hamburg will participate in the cost of the supplementary sections of the project that have urban functions. The entire project is estimated to cost around $1 billion. The urban portion is expected to cost around $200 million with about $23 million in cost planning.
The project is similar to New York City’s High Line project, which we’ve previously covered on this blog.
Although a new and exciting addition to Hamburg, the elevated parks are not replacing any part of the freeway, merely covering it to alleviate the negative side effects of additional vehicle traffic, as well as air and noise pollution. Hopefully, as it’s intentioned to serve, the green space will offset some of the pollution from the vehicles.
To watch a video of the planned project, click here.