Copenhagen is planning to create the world’s first climate-adapted neighborhood. The project is set to transform Saint Kjeld’s Quarter in Copenhagen, adapting it to the changing climate, which has brought excessively heavy rainstorms to Denmark. The project, designed by Danish Architectural firm Tredje Natur, brings just a taste of what the future of city development may look like as the world’s climate changes.
Over the past few years, Denmark has experienced unusually heavy rains, which are caused by climate change and have cost Denmark over 5 billion DKK in damage. To combat this, the neighborhood will be changed to deal with the water more effectively. Bicycle paths that double as storm water channels, green roofs to absorb rainwater and canals to carry the water to the harbor will all be added to the neighborhood, in addition to urban gardens and water towers. The change will relieve overburdened sewer lines and add biological diversity to the area.
A giant ring will be added to the city main square, which will spray a cooling mist during the hottest days, and rainwater will be collected in parks and squares to create recreational areas. Additionally, 20% of the street area will be reclaimed – well over 500,000 square feet – to create new urban space development, transforming the city into a showcase for climate adaptation.
Construction is set to begin in 2013 with completion by 2015 or 2016. According to Tredje Natur partner Ole Schrøder, “By far the greatest challenges our society face lies in the existing city. The goal is to upgrade the city to residents’ expectations as to how the city must perform in terms of sustainable, social and health related issues. Our key concepts are driven by the notion that a coherent and natural design creates the most powerful strategy and solution for the neighborhood as a whole, but also comprise a sensitivity to individual spaces, places and the people in the area.”