Nordhavn to become city’s newest ‘green’ district

Redevelopment plan for former industrial harbour is a vision of sustainable living in a post-industrial district complete with canals and sea-side boardwalks

One of CopenhagenÂ’s more miserable districts is to have a facelift after the City Council last week passed a regeneration plan for the disused harbour area.

The Ã…rhusgade development plan is hoped to create homes for 2,500 people and jobs for 7,000 in a new state-of-the-art and environmentally sound district.

Stressing that the district is not designed to be exclusive, Copenhagen deputy mayor Ayfer Baykal said the idea was to create a green and energy efficient district with affordable housing solutions.

“We have been given this unique opportunity to integrate environmental and social sustainability from the very beginning, and we have used that opportunity in every way”, Baykal wrote in a press release.

The Ã…rhugade area of Nordhavn harbour is a mostly abandoned industrial site, long past its heyday. Many of the old buildings will stand, however, and be integrated into the new development.

It is hoped that by the time redevelopment of all of Nordhavn is completed in 2050, as many as 40,000 people will be living there, and another 40,000 will go there to work each day

Drawings of the new district depict a residential environment with canals and boardwalks along the sea.

With Copenhagen in need of housing for the 100,000 people expected to flock to the city in the next ten years, mayor Frank Jensen wrote that redeveloping Nordhavn is a perfect opportunity to tackle the city’s human – and the country’s economic – growth.

“As the city grows, urban redevelopment is crucial, and will keep Copenhagen a strong growth engine for all of Denmark,” Jensen wrote. “And in Nordhavn, businesses, Copenhageners and people moving to the city will have the opportunity to invest, work or live in an attractive and sustainable district.”

While it sounds appealing, the Nordhavn harbour area is located on an area of reclaimed land jutting out into the sea. With only the S-trains at Nordhavn station providing a transport link, it may seem detached from the rest of the city.

But with the ongoing construction of the Metro City Ring line, it has been proposed that digging a  line out to the Nordhavn now might save 300 million kroner from the price of starting a new project after the current construction is completed in 2018.

The Nordhavn regeneration is one of the most ambitious housing plans since the construction of the Ørestad district in Amager a decade ago – a development which has yet to live up to the optimistic vision it set out to achieve.