Nordhavnen - international role model for sustainable urban development

Aerial photo of Nordhavnen, Copenhagen

Aerial photo of Nordhavnen, Copenhagen

With its unique positioning and an area covering the size of 625 football grounds, Nordhavnen (or Nordhavn) in Copenhagen, Denmark, is Scandinavia's largest and most ambitious city development project for the time being. The overriding vision for Nordhavnen is to become the sustainable city of the future and it is the only new urban district to receive DGNB’s highest gold certification for sustainability.

To promote liveability and sustainability, Nordhavn has been designed as a “5 minute city” making it possible to reach shops, institutions, work places, cultural facilities and public transport within 5 minutes’ walk from any point in the district.

Creating an attractive cityscape

"Nordhavnen gives the opportunity for 40,000 people in Copenhagen to have nature at their doorstep - right in the centre of the city. It is also an opportunity for creating a neighbourhood which drastically rethinks how ways of living can be combined with sustainable energy, environment, traffic and cityscape solutions", explains project manager Jacob Deichmann.

Promoting public transport and cycling

At Nordhavnen it will be easier to walk, cycle and use the metro than to use your car. The vision is to create a neighbourhood that places public transport and cycling on the world map and which is CO2 neutral. Commuting accounts for an increasing share of society's expenditure, whether measured in time, money or pollution.

During the next 50 years, Nordhavnen is to be extended to accommodate 40,000 inhabitants and 40,000 workplaces. The area will be serviced by an elevated metro track and a bicycle network which together create a green artery. The elevated track functions as a cover for the bicycle motorway, so that cyclists will be able to stay dry in all weathers around the year.

Ramboll is working with COBE architects and SLETH and Polyform on the project, which was won in competition with 179 proposals from around the world. Ramboll is consultant for the overall development and is undertaking urban development projects in the Aarhusgade and Sundmolen areas as well as the 3 km long road link ‘Nordhavnsvej’, the new road tunnel ‘Nordhavnstunnellen’, the Nordhavn Metro Extension, which will all connect the district to the wider city.

Video credit: By og Havn