Growing Smart Cities in Denmark

This report from Arup Smart Cities was commissioned by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was published in 2016. It makes important points that should be considered alongside a recent report on updating the Finger Plan and a major report on an initiative for the development of the Copenhagen region. Planning for future urban growth has to factor in new technology and the role of smart data.

Growing Smart Cities gives a brief overview of the approach to digital and smart technologies in the Danish cities of Copenhagen, Aarhus, Vejle, and Albertslund and, for context, brief assessments of developments in smart technologies in other countries.

The report identifies a growing number of companies undertaking research and developing projects but one aim of this report is to find ways for these to be scaled up and to find ways to ensure that they are carried forward.

The approach is two-fold, looking first at growing smart Cities in Denmark - so at digital technology for urban improvement and mentions several times the word liveability - but, for obvious reasons, looks at the financial and investment potential of developing these new technologies in Denmark.

There is encouragement for education to address a potential shortage of people with appropriate digital skills with a need to teach a new generation of students who will be qualified when research departments scale up projects - to take them forward - and to work with business who now have to assess long-term returns from what is often considerable investment.

The conclusion is that "Denmark has an opportunity to become a world leader in smart cities."

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SolarVille

 

 

This is a research project by SPACE10 about democratising access to clean energy … exploring ways to bring energy to 1.1 billion people who have little or no access to electricity. Neighbourhood generation could get around high investment costs for centralised energy networks where there is little incentive to innovate.

This miniature neighbourhood in wood has been built to a scale of 1:50 as a working prototype to show how some households could generate their own renewable energy using solar panels and some households would purchase excess electricity directly from the producer using block chain to make a self-sufficient community.

The scheme would include power storage to provide energy at night - now more feasible with the rapid development of batteries - and Blockchain technology could regulate the system for the sale of electricity and payments by verifying and recording transactions.


The project was a collaboration between SPACE10, Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration; WeMoveIdeas India and Blocktech with the model by Tempral and SachsNottveit.

 SolarVille can be seen at SPACE10 until 29 March
SolarVille
SPACE10 

 

SPACE10 have published a related online report
A Brighter Tomorrow


Lynetteholmen - a new island across the harbour

Included by ministers in the launch in January of their 52 point Capital Initiative was a major project for a large, new island to be constructed across the entrance to the harbour. Work could start in 2035.

Under a heading Room for Everyone it was, in fact, the first point of the 52 - but already the proposal seems to have generated a fair amount of criticism.

The island, to be called Lynetteholmen, could have housing for at least 35,000 people and eventually work for as many and would include coastal protection measures to stop surges of storm water entering the inner harbour but it would have a fundamental impact on the character of the inner harbour by closing off views out to the sound and would restrict the routes of access into the harbour for large and small vessels.

Although the new cruise ship terminal at Nordhavn is outside the proposed island, the drawing shows further quays for large ships on the seaward side of the new island so it is not clear if these would replace the present berths for cruise ships along Langelinie Kaj.

note:

Politiken published an article on the 3 March with comments from a workshops with architects and engineers and planners where it was suggested that the island, as shown in the drawing first presented by the Prime Minister in October, is too close to the Trekroner fortress and is too large with several critics suggesting that it should be broken down into a series of smaller islands. No further decisions can be made until tests of the sea bed are completed and until related projects are confirmed including the plan for a major road link across the east side of the city that would have to cross the harbour and the proposal for an extension of the metro through a tunnel between Refshaleøen and Nordhavn.

Lille Langebro

L1320924.jpg
 

Apparently the main sections for the new cycle and pedestrian bridge across the harbour will arrive in April. These have been manufactured in The Netherlands but delivery was delayed when a section was damaged beyond simple repair in an accident last summer as it was being loaded onto a barge to move it to Copenhagen.

The new bridge - Lille Langebro or Little Langebro Bridge - will cross from Langebrogadegade on the Christianshavn side of the harbour to Christians Brygge, immediately south of BLOX on the city side.

It makes every sense in terms of planning and will provide an important and safe new route for cyclists riding between Amager and the city which means that they will not, as now, have to go up and across the main bridge. On the city side there are traffic lights for crossing Christians Brygge and the bridge lines up with Vester Voldgade which runs up to the square in front of city hall and the new metro station there and should keep thousands of cyclists each day clear of HC Andersens Boulevard which is probably the road in the city with the heaviest road traffic so this is all good joined up planning.

But …..

But there is a part of me that regrets or do I mean mourns a further bit of chopping up the harbour … taming it …. domesticating it … making it look more and more like a river and less and less like one of the great and possibly the greatest ports of the Baltic.

This photograph was taken a few weeks ago and soon this view will be lost … or maybe I just mean different and maybe it’s simply indicating that I’ve lived in the city for long enough to be rattled by change.

earlier post on Lille Langebro

Orientkaj

The large building to the east of the new metro station at Orientkaj - on the north side of the dock - is the new Copenhagen International School designed by CF Møller and completed in 2017. The scheme for swimming and water sport facilities is also by CF Møller.

When the first stage of new metro line M4 out to Nordhavn opens then the trains will leave the circle line at Østerport and head out towards the harbour and, after a new station at Nordhavn, will climb up onto elevated track and a new station at Orientkaj.

Here, as the trains pull into the station, to the right, looking east towards the sound, there will be a view down one of the largest docks in this part of the harbour with a line of large brick and concrete warehouses along Orientkaj itself … most dating from the second half of the last century and most bonded warehouses. These face across the dock to the new Copenhagen International School designed by CF Møller and completed in 2017.

CF Møller have designed a scheme for the dock itself with a series of islands and boarded walkways in front of the school for swimming areas, an area for water sports, - including kayak polo - and changing rooms and a sauna with facilities to be used by the school but also by the local community.

The impressive scale of the dock will be broken and the area takes another step away from its immediate past with nearly all evidence for the container port - the very reason the dock is here - lost but, and again it is a big but, it is schemes like this that will bring at least some nature back down to the quay side and will make the water a strong part of life in this area rather than simply a dramatic backdrop.

 

“when we reside differently we behave differently”

 

 

When the Danish Architecture Centre moved into its new building last summer, their first major exhibition was called Welcome Home and looked at Danish housing. The first section to that exhibition was a timeline that gave an overview of the development of housing in Denmark through the century from 1900 and then the main part of the exhibition looked at recent housing … at how the planning and the building of homes is evolving and changing with new requirements for appropriate homes; new configurations of living space; new approaches to conservation and the use of new building materials and new construction methods.

Immediately after that time line - and really part of the introduction - there was an important section that looked at statistics for housing in Denmark … first at data that marks out some of the differences in lifestyle when people own their homes and  when people rent their homes and then at data that demonstrates that there are now many different types of household. And these different family dynamics seem to suggest that different people now need different types of home at different stages in their lives.

Particularly in Denmark, a well-established and strongly democratic country with less-obvious extremes between wealth and poverty than in may countries - it is easy to assume that change is now relatively slow and that a home is simply a home and most people live in much the same way. In fact, statistics show that society is changing quickly … or at least quickly when compared with the time needed for planners, architects and builders to respond by trying to build the homes people want in the places where people want to live.

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UN17 village overlooking Kalvebod Fælled

This view of Amager shows the area of Ørestad marked with a dotted white line and the plot for housing designed by Lendager at the south-west corner marked in orange and was produced simply to show the site and the context.

From the air - and, of course, on the ground - you can see how the proposed housing will be at a key point between the densely built up housing blocks of Ørestad and the open common of Kalvebod Fælled.

It also shows the extent of Ørestad for readers who have not been to Copenhagen or do not know this part of the city although, actually, the 8 building by Bjarke Ingels just to the east and also looking across the common is now a tourist attraction.

Copenhagen airport is obvious but what might not be so obvious is the odd small tongue in the sea in the centre of the east or right side. That is the end (or start) of the rail and motorway bridge linking Copenhagen and Malmö ... the road and rail links drop down into a tunnel between the shore and the bridge. The road and rail links run east west and straight through the centre of Ørestad which is why Ørestad City with a rail and metro interchange was planned as a major business centre.

At the centre, at the top of Amager, are the distinct lakes and 17th-century defences around Christianshavn and above that part of the historic centre of Copenhagen.

It is the first time I have produced a map of this part of the city for this blog and I realised that I have a slightly misplaced or distorted view of Ørestad. Over the last five years or so I have done the trip out to this part of the city at fairly regular intervals - partly because I like having a coffee in the lakeside restaurant in the 8 Building with a view out over the common - but mainly because I want to watch and to photograph the area as it develops. A standard trip is to get the metro out to the end of the line, have a coffee and then walk back to where I live in Christianshavn exploring and taking photos.

The metro emerges from its tunnel alongside the university area at the north end of Ørestad and then curves round past the distinctive blue cube of the Danish Radio concert hall before running the full length of Ørestad on an elevated concrete track.

The image I have is of a very large or rather a very long and densely built up development but flanked by the much older areas of small plots and gardens and individual houses to the east and open common land to the west and south. That much is true but somehow I had set in my mind that Ørestad was almost a sixth digit on the famous Copenhagen Finger Plan … even if that seems like a slightly perverse understanding of anatomy. But it's not a finger. The Fingers are much much larger, much longer and much more suburban in character, so a string of housing and centres for shopping and commerce and based along the lines of the suburban railway. I'm not sure how Ørestad fits in my mind map of the city now … maybe a name tag hung from the wrist.

Out of Office at DAC

Out of Office was established by the landscape architects Adam Roigart and Martin Hedevang Andersen who both trained in Copenhagen.

They work on urban landscapes on public streets and in courtyards in the city and use prototyping to test ideas and to understand and to explore user needs and the users are involved in the construction work to establish a strong sense of ownership.

Materials are recycled and for the urban garden in the staircase gallery at DAC (The Danish Architecture Centre) they are growing zucchini in bricklayers' buckets on recycled pallets. The plants will be cared for by local school children.

The Out of Office on-line site has photographs of their projects including courtyard gardens for apartment building on Jagtvej and Sjælør Boulevard in Copenhagen, a Winter Pavilion, and a street garden in Krusågade in Vesterbro.

The garden at DAC has been set up with the Klima 100 exhibition in the gallery at the next level down.

Out of Office

Dansk Arkitektur Center,
Bryghuspladsen 10,
1473 Copenhagen

Klimabyer / Climate Cities at the Danish Architecture Center

On the staircase at DAC (the Danish Architecture Center) there is currently a small but important exhibition that was initiated and funded by Realdania.

Eighty two of the 98 municipalities in Denmark submitted projects that tackle problems caused by climate change From those solutions 100 were chosen for publication in Klima 100 2018 and a selection are shown here in the exhibition.

These examples confront a range of problems caused by adverse effects from changes in the climate. The best solutions were implemented at a local level and involved local communities but these projects can be adapted or scaled up to be implemented more widely … locally, regionally or globally.

All the projects have been judged against the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

What can be seen here is not just an impact in the way these solutions mitigate potentially serious and destructive problems but, at the same time, they can be seen to improve our built environment and can make positive differences to the way people live.

For some of these problems there are relatively straightforward and obvious solutions - so, for instance, by planting more trees or replacing hard surfaces with grass to control the run off of surface water - and some solutions employ existing technology while others require imagination and ingenuity to reverse the impact of a man-made environment A good example of this is where former streams and water courses have been reinstated where they had been taken down into culverts and drains or where natural wetlands are restored to manage drainage.

There are gains where nature has been brought back into cities and particularly where children are encouraged to understand how food is produced and to develop a positive and more informed attitude to the natural environment.

Other solutions have focused on encouraging people to change their behaviour. Recycling should no longer been seen as optional or as a chore and one of the projects featured in the exhibition has focused on how we can up-cycle more by using new facilities at city waste centre that can help people repair rather than dump possessions that are broken. 

In all this, at so many different levels, applied design has a crucial role.

 
 

note:

Headings below are taken from the information panels at the exhibition but are also active links to a relevant page on the Global Opportunity Explorer Klima goexplorer site and the numbers refer to the page in the publication Klima 100 2018 where the project is described and illustrated.

 

Sustainable city center [26]

The new City Hall in Middelfart has set new standards for the proposed life-span of its building materials and for energy use and water consumption both through the construction work and now when the building is in use. Solutions here may now seem obvious - so offices and functions spread around the town have been pulled together into a single location; floors use recycled wood; the building has 700 square metres of solar panels on the roof; waste heat is transferred to the district heating system and waste food goes to make natural gas - and together they are clearly effective. But perhaps what is more important is that the appearance of the building is of a thoroughly modern construction where there is no compromise of modern aesthetics. To put that another way, this building shows that nailed on old planks and chunks of moss and weeds on the roof are fine if that is what you want but it is not obligatory to achieve the very best green standards.

 

Sustainable renovation [27]

This is an important project for Copenhagen where the city has a substantial number of well-built apartment blocks that date from the 19th and 20th centuries although these may not be arranged in the best way to provide an arrangement of accommodation that people now expect and almost-certainly do not come up to current standards for insulation or for good natural light or for energy use.

This block on Gammel Jernbanevej in Valby was constructed in 1899 as purpose-built apartments with shops on the ground floor. The location is good, close to a railway station and in a pleasant street, and the building materials are durable but the apartments are small, lack bathrooms and the indoor climate is not good.

The aim of the renovation is to preserve historic features but optimise natural daylight so a new glass façade will be constructed out from the courtyard side to form a climate screen that faces west. This will add 10 square metres to each apartment and, with triple-glazed folding screens and flexible glazed sliding screens, on the line of the present back wall, that space could be used like a large balcony in the summer but during the winter will be a warm and well-lit extension of the living space.

An extra floor will be added to the block - to generate financial returns - and solar panels will be added on the new roof.

This is a Living in Light project 

Fremtidig-snit.jpg
 

A sustainable village from the ground up [31]

This is a new-built residential neighbourhood in Lisbjerg about 7 kilometres north of the centre of  Aarhus. New buildings have been designed to reduce environmental impact and citizens have been involved. The area will develop over 60 years and the municipality has produced a long-term plan for sustainability and has produced “inspirational catalogues” to guide architects and builders working on the next phases.

Building density is high and commercial buildings - and with them employment - have been brought back into the residential areas to reduce distances to travel to work or school. Water is collected after downpours and is filtered through limestone for flushing toilets and washing clothes and that reduces the use of treated drinking water by 40%.

Projects like this show that we have reached an important turning point in our approach to climate change and sustainability. For many of the first solutions, the focus had to be on adapting to the problems - so retrofitting solutions - but for new buildings we can now be proactive.

 

A new concept for food and knowledge production [58]

Impact Farm is a two-storey greenhouse that was installed in Nørrebro in Copenhagen in 2016. Intense cultivation on the top floor can produce between two and four tons of leaf green a year that is sold to local restaurants and cafes and the ground-floor space can be used for work and recreation including education workshops and food festivals.

Rainwater is collected and recycled so growing food consumes 70-90% less water than a regular farm. Components are pre fabricated and the greenhouse is built around a shipping container and after 15 months it was packed up and moved on to a new site.

Schemes like this have a vital role in helping children in towns and cities understand and appreciate how their food is produced.

Human Habitat - Impact Farm

Impact-Farm-Abdellah-Ihadian-2898-800x600.jpg
 

Robust nature in the city [67]

A new area of park and extensive urban garden has been laid out around the Marselisborg Centre in Aarhus with a focus on biodiversity and with integrated wetlands that utilise rainwater both for nature and for children so they develop a positive understanding of the natural world through play and exploration. Schemes like this are changing radically our preconceptions of what urban landscaping should look like.

 
 

Courtyard garden project [75]

An imaginative scheme for a courtyard of 3200 square metres at the centre of an existing apartment building.

Many of these large courtyards in the city simply have grass or low maintenance hard surfaces but neither deals well with the heavy rainfall from storms. In this courtyard, a "climate wall" built with recycled concrete will create a temporary lake to hold back water when there is a storm - in a heavy storm in Copenhagen enough rain can fall over a few hours to flood the ground floor and cellars of buildings, flood streets and overwhelm and damage drains and sewers.

To control storm water by holding it back on the surface, rather than letting it surge immediately through storm drains, is now described as a "blue solution". Here the planting, described as "biomimicry", is closer to true or wild nature and, again, schemes like this are changing attitudes and expectations about planting in urban landscapes.

More information about Fremtidens Gårdhave / Courtyards of the future can be found on the site of the Lendager Group.

 

Ancient landscapes shapes new urban space [96]

In this landscape project in Vejle, Jutland, rain water is held back as it drains down into the fjord.

This is another good example where climate resilience, over a large area, not only creates an attractive new landscape but also creates popular and well-used space for physical activity.

 

Securing the coastline for the future [104]

Le Mur / the wall protects the harbour of Lemvig against rising sea levels and destructive high tides. The solution here has been to build a concrete wall in sections with steel gates to close gaps that normally give access to the water.

Hasløv & Kjærsgaard Arkitekter with the engineers COWI

 

Recycling and upcycling for the future [157]

A former paper factory - Maglemølle in Næstved - is now a centre for green companies that recycle and upcycle materials including the collection and sorting of glass by Reiling Glassrecycling that is then reused by Ardagh Glass Holmegaard.

 

Klimabyer / Climate City
5 December 2018 - 15 February 2019 

The Stair Gallery,
Dansk Arkitektur Center,
Bryghuspladsen 10, København K

 

Danish Architecture Center

Goexplorer.org/klima100