“The world’s major cities are not only the political and economic centres of nation states – they also have the power and the moral responsibility to find the right answers to the 21st century’s most urgent issues.”
– Mayor Peter Tschentscher
Dr Peter Tschentscher is Prime Minister and First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, one of Germany’s sixteen federal states. Before joining the Senate, he worked as a Senior Physician in laboratory medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. In 2011, Tschentscher was appointed Senator of Finance, heading Hamburg’s administration for financial budget, investments, real estate and tax. As First Mayor, Peter Tschentscher is committed to creating positive synergies between growth and increased quality of life for the people in Hamburg.
Hamburg’s approach to integrating migrants is that every person in society should be able to fully participate in all aspects of life. This goal and how it is implemented is laid down in the Hamburg integration concept ‘We, the city of Hamburg’. The concept is divided into seven areas of action such as education, professional success and living together. The core focus is to increase the intercultural openness of the state and to prohibit discrimination. The concept was developed following community engagement involving the participation of more than 1,000 citizens in online surveys and working groups. The Senate of Hamburg defines target values for each area of action, and these targets are controlled on a regular basis and the progress is reported to the Hamburg Parliament.
As part of this approach, Hamburg runs a welcome centre to assist migrants with the process of applying for residence permits, accessing education and training, recognition of overseas qualifications, job searches, and learning German.
The city launched the ‘Hello Hamburg’ App that provides easy access to information about the city’s libraries, childcare and adult education facilities in five languages. The app was developed by audioguideMe and the libraries, and answers questions about where to learn German, how to borrow books, and how to find childcare facilities in German, English, Arabic, Farsi and Russian. The app is compatible with a wide range of devices, including older smartphones, and after downloading the app and the preferred language pack, users don’t need an internet connection to access the information.
Hamburg Administration of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration (BASFI) works with local companies on Work and Integration for Refugees – a joint project that helps employable refugees aged 25 years and up to integrate into the job market as quickly and sustainably as possible. At contact points in St. Pauli, Bergedorf and Harburg, eligible refugees receive advice and practical support tailored to their personal situation, e.g. formal and informal working experience, health and legal status. In addition, the W.I.R. Business Service advises and assists companies that are interested in offering internships, training or jobs to refugees. W.I.R. services are available to refugees with a residence permit as well as to asylum seekers and those from unsafe countries aged 25 and over, who are new clients at the job centre, team.arbeit.hamburg, or the Hamburg Employment Agency. Applicants should have professional skills and/or an academic background that allows for skilled work, and generally be interested in developing their professional perspectives in Germany.
Hamburg’s port is the largest in Germany and the third largest in Europe. With the ITS Strategy Hamburg is expanding its role as a global innovation leader. The ITS strategy covers a great range of activities that will make transport and mobility safer, more efficient, more comfortable, and more sustainable. It involves partners in research and innovation, business and administration. For example, a public ride-pooling service accessible for people with mobility issues started operation in summer 2018 in two neighbourhoods of Hamburg. More than 80,000 people had made use of it by December of the same year. Automated and connected driving can be an innovation that helps those with disabilities moving in the city. Hamburg plans to construct a new 9 kilometre test track for automated and connected driving in the city centre, and complete a research and development project called “HEAT” with electric autonomous vehicles.
In 2021, Hamburg hosted the ITS World Congress, the most important international industry meeting in the field of Intelligent Transport Systems. The motto was “Experience Future Mobility Now”. Two of the main focus areas of the congress were “Automated and Connected Driving” and “Mobility as a Service”. Hamburg was proud to welcome the world’s experts of solutions for future mobility, willing to find the best ideas in using intelligent solutions to make mobility more accessible and sustainable.
The City of Hamburg is working with local stakeholders and the national government to build 100,000 new apartments to provide affordable housing for city residents. The Hamburg Senate and the construction industry of the Hanseatic city forged a new ‘Alliance for Housing’ with a target of building 10,000 new housing units every year. At the same time, the Alliance will raise the amount of money it contributes to subsidised housing, from 30% to 35%. The Alliance and its partners committed to creating: space efficient eco-friendly construction, new housing developments featuring or near green and open spaces, and affordability.
Hamburg is also committed to providing homeless people with accommodation and to encourage their social inclusion in society by ensuring placement in, and creation of housing, especially for young homeless people aged 18-25. The Young Adult programme (€1,3 billion in 2019) allocates them a temporary place in a special accommodation and provides them with advice and support through intensive socio-pedagogical counselling as well as encourages school education, apprenticeship or employment. The city also implements measures for preventing housing loss and for integration, and provides public shelters and assistance for homeless and socially disadvantaged people.
Hamburg is committed to enable all children resident in the city to access education and to improve their opportunities for development from an early age. The city built 100 additional day care centres in 2019 and 2020, and has increased the number of pedagogical staff, that is expected to grow by around 2 750 by 2024. Parents of young children are provided with advice and support before and after births, and short-term counselling sessions are provided to parents.