This Copenhagen eco-district is rising to an unprecedented challenge


The UN17 Village project in Copenhagen will offer different types of apartments at affordable prices to promote the diversity of residents in terms of age, gender, family size and employment. Photo: AFP

Imagine a city where gender equality is respected, where everything is designed to avoid wasting the planet's natural resources, where bicycles and public transportation make cars obsolete and where every material is sorted and recycled to avoid waste as much as possible.

While this vision still seems largely utopian, it could soon become reality in one part of Copenhagen.

The Danish capital is launching the ambitious "UN17 Village" project, which plans to build an entire eco-district meeting the 17 sustainable development goals set by the United Nations in 2015, and adopted by 193 countries.

Five Danish architectural agencies are at the origin of this project.

"This approach to future construction challenges the status quo in a holistic project that meets the highest standards within social, environmental and economic sustainability. We have thus laid the foundation for an open laboratory to create and disseminate sustainable building solutions of the future based on the UN Global Goals," reads the project website.

The UN17 Village will be located on Amager Island in the Orestad area, south of downtown Copenhagen. It will offer different types of apartments at affordable prices to promote the diversity of residents in terms of age, gender, family size and employment.

It will also feature upcycled building materials, green roofs, common rooms for sharing meals, co-working spaces, and more. The project will also seek to "safeguard a number of parameters within universal design that create equality and inclusion for people with physical and mental disabilities," the project designers say.

And Copenhagen already has plenty of experience in this field. Indeed, the Danish capital stands out for its many urban and ecological projects, including those aimed at encouraging bicycle use.

The Nordhavn district, located in the north of the city, also remains a standout project. With its exclusively electric modes of transport, its buildings powered by solar energy and air-conditioned thanks to the recovery of sea or rain water, this futuristic district is at the cutting edge of sustainability, and could serve as an example for other cities seeking to develop carbon-neutral districts.

The only drawback is that, with a price per square meter of over €8,000 (RM36,954), Nordhavn is also one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in the city. – AFP Relaxnews

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