The Copenhagen neighbourhood at the cutting edge of sustainability


The Copenhagen neighbourhood of Nordhavn aims to house up to 40,000 residents by 2050. Photo: AFP

Formerly home to shipyards, Nordhavn is a district of Copenhagen that's now at the cutting edge of sustainability. In fact, the neighbourhood has become a veritable open-air laboratory in terms of urban planning, transportation and quality of urban life.

In fact, this neighbourhood, which is about three kilometers long, is now a hotspot for prime examples of green design and construction. Many cities could take inspiration from this project in the future to develop their own perfectly carbon-neutral districts.

Once an austere industrial zone, the Nordhavn district is now more modern and dynamic than ever. Its renovation, which began in 2009, is scheduled to create housing for some 40,000 residents and workspace for just as many, by 2050.

It's a project that incorporates all the latest technologies in terms of sustainable development and environmental preservation.Through their design, each building has a role to play in reducing the district's overall carbon footprint.

In addition to solar energy, other technologies are favoured, such as the recovery and use of rainwater or seawater for air conditioning systems, for example.

This district is also built on the concept of the "five-minute city", requiring all services and institutions to be quickly accessible to residents.

The idea is to make the neighbourhood into a real city within the city, with its own stores, restaurants, theatres and park, all built with recycled materials.

The transportation infrastructure is exclusively electric. Among the latest works is the arrival of a new subway line that connects the neighbourhood to downtown Copenhagen.

Plus, perhaps not surprisingly, Nordhavn is crossed by more bicycle paths and footpaths than any other neighbourhood in the city.

Eventually, one of the objectives of this major project will also be to collect real-time information on wind and solar energy, how this is consumed and its overall cost, in order to better manage these renewable energies in the neighbourhood, as well as elsewhere in the city.

However, such infrastructure comes at a price, and Nordhavn is now the most expensive district in the city (over US$9,000 (RM37,415) per square meter, on average).

In the long term, it could even become a tourist attraction, especially since the neighbourhood is now a pioneering model in its field, not only in Europe, but also worldwide. – AFP Relaxnews

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