A city shows attitude
Sustainability does not stop at saving CO2
© Karsten Bergmann/pixabay
Sustainability at the social level requires attitude. It is sufficiently well known that Hamburg, as the “gateway to the world”, is a cosmopolitan port for all. The city is building on this. Social sustainability is one of the cornerstones of the city’s attitude. The city’s second mayor is also the Senator for Science, Research, Equality and Districts. This means that the topic of social sustainability is anchored almost at the top in Hamburg.
With the districts of St. Georg and St. Pauli, Hamburg has two districts that embody tolerance, diversity and equal opportunities in a way that not many cities in Germany do. Once a year, this is transported far and wide by what is perhaps the city’s most colourful and open festival, when Christopher Street Day parades through the city with its large parade and thousands of visitors.
© Mediaserver Hamburg / ThisIsJulia Photography
Football as a stage for attitude
Completely apart from the topic of meetings and tourism, this is also evident in sport. In which other city is there a football stadium with almost 30,000 seats in the middle of the city centre with “No one is illegal” emblazoned in huge letters on the stands? On the aforementioned stadium – the Millerntor-Stadion of FC St. Pauli – the rainbow flag flies visibly from afar to underline the city’s own attitude.
If you take a closer look at the club, it is about more than just football. FC St. Pauli is about attitude. This is expressed in a very active, diverse and open fan scene, but also in many campaigns and social projects that the club itself initiates. For example, the jerseys and training gear are produced by the club itself to ensure that they are produced fairly and transparently and that the people behind them are paid fairly – according to their own statement, this makes them “not perfect, but better”.
Bundled under the term “Kiezhelden” (neighbourhood heroes), social district work is carried out, but it can also go beyond the borders of Hamburg. It is about solidarity and joining forces to make the world – or at least the district – a little better. Is there a better and bigger stage than professional football to show attitude? We don’t think so.
© Viva Con Aqua
Water is the elixir of life for us all
From the cosmos of FC St. Pauli comes Viva con Agua. The non-profit company is perhaps known to many through the mineral water of the same name. Behind it is a project that campaigns for clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene around the world. The vision is “Water for all – all for water!”. With its commitment, Viva con Agua promotes holistic WASH projects and also actively works on such projects itself. WASH in this case stands for water, sanitation, hygiene.
Every purchase of a Viva con Agua bottle supports such projects. In addition, donations are collected and other projects are implemented to give people access to clean drinking water. Together with its partner organisations, Viva con Agua has so far been able to reach around 3.8 million people through WASH projects. A brand new project – and here we make the connection to tourism – is the “Villa Viva“. The “house that builds wells” is one of four social businesses from the Viva con Agua ecosystem. A guesthouse with 12 floors and 140 beds is being built in the centre of Hamburg. Every guest who stays there supports Viva con Agua’s WASH projects with a share of their room rate
Making the world a little better
© Steve Pb/Pixabay
In Hamburg, not all heroes wear capes. This is shown by numerous examples of which we would like to show three here that go to our hearts and make us proud of our city. We start with the Hamburger Tafel, which has made it its business to take responsibility for Hamburg’s needy. The Tafel collects surplus food from retailers and manufacturers and distributes it to 31 food distribution points in and around Hamburg.
GoBanyo is not about food, but about hygiene. Out of crowdfunding, a bus was converted into a mobile shower to give people living on the street the opportunity to wash themselves. People living on the streets in Hamburg also have a need for hygiene. Dominik, the founder of GoBanyo, was homeless himself for a long time. He says: “If you are always treated like dirt, you will eventually feel like dirt yourself. This is exactly where GoBanyo comes in, because no one should have to feel like that. In addition to a hot shower, care products and fresh underwear are provided. In December 2022, he was honoured for his commitment by the highest authority: the Federal Cross of Merit presented by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the Day of Volunteerism.
Another heroine for us is Mitra Kassai, who launched “Oll inklusiv“. Oll inklusiv is a non-profit initiative against loneliness and poverty in old age. And it’s really colourful! With the “half-board” format, people over 65 are invited to make the city’s clubs unsafe on Sunday afternoons. The focus here is not on the hot sole on the dance floor, but on getting together. Not only among themselves, but also between young and old. There are also excursions: the Oll inklusiv community has already been to hip-hop concerts, metal festivals, exhibitions and the cinema under the motto “out of the flat, into the city”. Oll inklusiv offers protected spaces, a good time and great moments. We think it’s simply beautiful.