After the keynote address by Robert E. Rubin, Former Secretary of the United States Treasury, in a room overflowing its several hundred person seating capacity and some dozen large video cameras and reporters from many countries, Dr. Michael Freytag talked about the present and future of Hamburg as part of a five-person panel.
Other members of the panel included Mayor Richard J. Daley, Chicago; Jaime Lerner, former Mayor of Curitiba, Brazil; Omar Maani, Mayor of Amman, Jordan; Kathryn L. Taylor, Mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Brent Warr, Mayor of Gulfport, Mississippi who presented a very dramatic film clip on the devastation of Gulfport by Hurricane Katrina.
This year´s topic of the Third Annual Richard J. Daley Forum hosted by Mayor Richard M. Daley, the City of Chicago, and the University of Illinois, Chicago, on 2 May, was Building the Future City. In his five minutes, Dr. Freytag spoke eloquently about the challenges facing Hamburg and how those challenges are being met. He spoke specifically to the planning and building of Hafen City, a topic found very interesting by the other mayors and the audience, which, after the presentations asked several questions. Of special interest were the environmental friendly buses.
After the session, Dr. Freytag had lunch with the panel members and took the opportunity to speak with Mayor Daley, urging him to come visit Hamburg.
That evening at North Pond, one of Chicago´s award winning restaurants by the side of a lagoon in Lincoln Park, chef Bruce Sherman served a splendid dinner hosted by the Hamburg and the Amman Sister Cities, and attended by
– Mayor and Mrs. Daley,
– Omar Maani, Mayor of Amman,
– Senator Dr. Michael Freytag,
– Sue Leonis, Co-Chair, Amman, Sister City Committee
– Robert Karr, Chair, Sister Cities Program
– Rolf Achilles, Chair, Hamburg Sister City Committee.
Over a three-hour dinner, Mayor Daley had several conversations with Dr. Freytag about Hafen City and the Hamburg green bus system and other environmental issues confronting both cities. Mayor Daley was also keen on learning more about Chicago Square and the involvement of Chicago based architects in its competition. Of course, Dr. Freytag filled him in all the details and other aspects of Hamburg´s leadership in things green. The next day Rolf Achilles delivered to the Mayors office various publications relating to Hafen City.