Venture Hamburg. A History of the Neo-liberal City

This research project looks at the radical social changes taking place in Hamburg from 1960 to 2008. It focuses on processes of transformation in the working world and urban space – the move from de-industrialization to a creative economy and from satellite towns and suburbanization to the gentrification of old neighborhoods near the city center.
The structural break that occurred will be analyzed from the perspective of two interrelated hypotheses. Firstly, the transformation in the world of work in Hamburg since the 1970s has been dominated by the transition from industrial production along Fordist lines to a service-based economy. While containerization and the death of the shipyards drastically reduced the number of employees in the harbor sector, new players such as creative industries began to drive economic development in the city. Secondly, changes in the world of work were closely related to transformations in urban space. The transition from industrial production to the provision of services correlates with the move from modern to post-modern architecture and city planning.

In order to fully appreciate the complexity of these transformations, this study will look at the harbor, the city, the satellite towns, the neighborhoods with single-family homes and the old neighborhoods near the city center.