In order to accommodate a variety of public interests, IBA Hamburg GmbH employs many different forms of citizen participation.  The aim is a good quality, sustainable and socially fair approach to neighbourhood development that allows citizens to have a say in its design through cooperative urban development processes which also include enterprises, landowners, policy-makers, interest groups, trade chambers and associations as well as future investors and people who want to build a house. Experience has shown that everyone benefits from the future-oriented development of a district.

During the International Building Exhibition from 2006 to 2013, IBA Hamburg employed a large range of formats designed to encourage the participation of specific groups, and tailored to specific projects.

For its current tasks, IBA Hamburg is returning to the tried and tested dialogue platforms such as “meet the citizens” events and is also developing new forms of participation.




The public design workshop heralded the start of a town and open space planning competition called “Wohnen für Alle – mitten in Wilhelmsburg” to develop a plan for the area between Rathauswettern canal and Dratelnstrasse. In close consultation with the District Office of Hamburg-Mitte and the Advisory Council for Urban Development, the participation platform “Perspektiven! Miteinander planen für die Elbinseln” (only German) polled various target groups in advance to ask their opinions. Moreover, the residents of Wilhelmsburg had the opportunity to express their wishes, expectations and demands for the new district at two public events.

In the transparent workshop the participating planning offices developed some initial ideas under the watchful eyes of the public. The findings from advance events were included at this stage. Throughout the duration of the three-day workshop, visitors were able to talk personally with the planners and it was possible to feed the citizens’ perspectives into the plans as work progressed. The results of the planning teams were presented to the public and discussed.

Project and citizen dialogues

At least once a year IBA Hamburg joins with government representatives to hold open talks with local residents. Apart from supplying information about the current status of planning, these events focus on discussing issues with the participants. The objective is to listen to their concerns, clarify points of fact and, where appropriate, to seek constructive solutions in cooperation with the residents.

Online Participation

An online participation tool developed by the Ministry for Urban Development and Housing was used for the first time in 2016 as part of the competition process for the Elbinselquartier (Elbe Island District) project area. The aim of the online participation process is to encourage target groups that cannot or do not want to takepart in public information sessions to get involved. This form of participation allows the user to manipulate a map featuring geographical data relating to the relevant area in order to find out about the project, create their own text annotations and add them to the map, allocate a theme to these entries (housing,working, environment, society, transport, etc.), and upload images, audio, or video content.


Stakeholder Participation

The discussions that IBA Hamburg holds with businesses, property-owners and tenants in the run-up to and throughout the process, during which they invite them to attend information events together with the appropriate authorities, associations, and local bodies, are an important element in the participation processes.There is also active exchange with policy-makers, initiatives, professional associations, and relevant organisations. This is done with the aim of informing all parties about the status of the planning, while also exploring their respective interests, with a view to incorporating these into future considerations, where possible.

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Transparent workshop


Opening event master plan Oberbillwerder


Project and citizen dialogues


Kick-off in Billbrook