Developing cultural infrastructure to accelerate city development

Creative industries and cultural tourism can become strategic assets for big cities. Globally, some of them are deliberately developing cultural zones. Examples include the Zorlu Center near Istanbul, Odaiba in Tokyo, West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, NDSM in Amsterdam and Stratford City Development in London. 

Zorlu Center, nine kilometers from the heart of Istanbul, includes not only a premium shopping mall (105,000 sqm) and hotels, but also a large cultural center (50,000 sqm) with two theaters and exhibition spaces. The inaugural season (2014–15) was to include 400 performances in front of 500,000 spectators. The Klimahaus Bremerhaven is another successful example for the regeneration of the former harbor city of Bremerhaven, Germany. The financing of the infrastructure for the so called “Havenwelten” by the public sector and the privately operated facilities by private investors was supplemented by the fact that the Klimahaus Bremerhaven and the German Emigration House are publicly financed, but the locations themselves are operated by the private sector.

By 2009, the state of Bremen and the city of Bremerhaven had invested around 350 million euros in a 2/3 : 1/3 ratio for the Havenwelten development area, including the new construction of the Zoo by the Sea. However, the Klimahaus can be described as the “tourist magnet” of the Havenwelten. On its 10th anniversary, the Klimahaus Bremerhaven welcomed more than 4 million visitors.