Sustainable Cities™

Copenhagen: St. Kjelds Quarter - the first climate adabted neighborhood

The major limitation in the ongoing dialogue on climate change is that potential solutions often poorly integrate technical and social methods together. Regardless, these altered conditions of nature are forcing humans, and cities, to rethink their behavioral and organizational patterns.

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Visual Rendering of St. Kjelds Quarter

The major limitation in the ongoing dialogue on climate change is that potential solutions often poorly integrate technical and social methods together. Regardless, these altered conditions of nature are forcing humans, and cities, to rethink their behavioral and organizational patterns.

In recent years Copenhagen has experienced heavier and more frequent rain-storms that often maximize sewer-thresholds and flood-conditions. The city municipality plans to transform a seemingly unmanageable intersection, known as St. Kjeld's, into a place that exhibits how climate adaptation can upgrade urban spaces simultaneously through technology and aesthetics.

Pragmatic Solutions

The project at St. Kjeld's, designed by architectural firm TREDJE NATUR, will demonstrate how urban development can enhance existing functions while responding to extreme weather events. By utilizing natural systems the design optimizes the urban terrain by doubling the surface area. The added dimensional space mimics that of nature, opposed to a flat hard surface, and at the same time improves rain water management, creates an urban microclimate, and increases social well being.

Several additional strategies are being implemented and the main focus is to reclaim 20%, or 50,000 square meters, of the street surface that is currently used for parking or car traffic. Every element has a dual purpose, from bicycle paths that act as storm water channels, water towers, green roofs, and canals that carry water out from the neighborhood to the harbor.

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( View of St. Kjelds Quarter in proximity to coastline)

To no surprise water plays a crucial role in the project. When the new urban microclimates are flooded, the water remains in the urban spaces a bit longer than going immediately down the drain. This relieves the sewer systems, and in dual fashion transforms the experience and recreational use of the urban spaces.

Upgrade citizen expectations

Residents surrounding St. Kjeld's play an important role to the project's success, as they are the main benefactors of overall sustainability, social and health related issues. The design can only be coherent and natural if it is also sensitive of the users' individual needs. The website klimakvarter.dk is both an information portal and platform for citizen communication. Residents can sign up for events on urban farming, green roofs and other climate-friendly measures that will in turn shape the project. Public meetings are held with the intent that participation in the decision-making will truly ensure a flexible and sustainable neighborhood.

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(Visual Renderings by TREDJE NATUR)

Read More:

Climate Change Adaptation

Nicky Gavron: We Need Systemic Change

 


Friday, May 03, 2013 / By George Peter Surovov

Last updated Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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