In October 2005, Neuer Wall became Germany’s first downtown business improvement district. Following a complete redesign of the public spaces, extensive additional cleaning and service projects were carried out, and financing was provided for the annual Christmas lighting. Nearly 10 years later, BIDs are a common feature of Hamburg’s city centre. During the past 10 years, downtown BIDs have invested approximately EUR 20 million in the quality of public spaces and in service, cleaning, and marketing projects.

The new quality of Hamburg’s city centre is the reason why Hamburg’s visitor numbers are steadily rising, and it has become a destination for international shopping guests.

Making retail more attractive

Brick-and-mortar retail is currently facing growing competition from online retail – customers no longer need to visit a store in order to purchase something. Attractive online stores, free returns, and smooth, secure transaction services make online shopping more convenient than ever. All the more reason to make spending time in the city centre a positive experience for all visitors and office workers.

Therefore, once the individual BIDs have been given a visual upgrade, the task will be to attractively communicate and to stage the city centre in its entirety for each market segment. The upcoming development of the southern HafenCity, which includes the creation of a large shopping and entertainment centre, will likewise play a large role here.

The following work has been initiated:

Optimisation and modification of services

  • Through added security personnel at Christmastime and on long holiday weekends
  • Professionalisation of the parking space management

Redesign of christmas lighting

  • Energetic upgrading
  • Redesigning 

Intensification of marketing activities

  • Continuation of the Merry Shopping programme 
  • Initiation of summer events
  • Collaborations with neighbouring districts and international stakeholders
  • Redesign of the website and the social-media channels


  • Documentation of the location development 
  • Tenant surveys
  • Passersbyfrequency evaluation in weekly, monthly and quarterly periods