The development plan


Based on the strategy as a part of the local plan proposal for the Århusgade quarter, a development plan was prepared based on the neighbourhood's current structure and dividing the new neighbourhood into independent islets.

As a distinctive feature of the development plan, a number of existing buildings and local environments that positively contribute to a distinctive identity for the Århusgade quarter will be preserved and maintained.

It is also intended that the existing buildings will support some clear references to the harbour's history and cultural heritage and highlight the area's uniqueness. Through opportunities for extensions and add-ons, the existing buildings will offer new opportunities for expansion.

Varied range of urban spaces

The development plan is designed with a special focus on urban spaces. The plan includes a network of squares, parks, promenades and street spaces, each of which offers something unique. The urban spaces are connected through a process whereby activities at street level help to strengthen urban life.

The urban spaces have different characteristics and importance - from the regional urban space that attracts residents from neighbourhoods throughout the region, to local urban spaces and gardens, intended for the local environment, and which contains facilities for relaxation, play and exercise. The regional urban space is the south-facing Sandkaj and "Silo Plads", with a recreational and cultural programme, and the tip of the Redmolen pier, with services for the public and views of the harbour entrance.

The neighbourhood spaces are "Lommevandrummet", with a range of activities and experiences by the water, the thoroughfare Århusgade, which connects the neighbourhood to Østerbro and ends in "Århus Torv". Read more on Urban spaces and recreational areas.

The neighbourhood spaces offer opportunities for exercise, relaxation, commerce and meeting places forresicents of the district and neighbouring areas. The local spaces and gardens have facilities for relaxation, play and exercise that are intended primarily for residents and users of the neighbourhood.

The intention is to establish public functions at the main corners and along certain streets. This is in order to ensure that the district has both a lively retail environment and areas for relaxation and recreation. By also preserving existing buildings and features, a fertile environment can be created for a complex urban life. 

Compact and staggered development

The development plan has a dense urban structure and contains relatively small building plots. The majority of the buildings have 3-6 storeys, with only a few large buildings. The relatively small and fragmented building plots provide the neighbourhood with a diverse character and will promote a city with a 'human scale'. The dense urban structure has been designed with staggered buildings to provide varied spaces and good micro-climatic conditions.

Varied combination of different building sizes and types

The varied commercial buildings that are preserved shall, together with the large silos and new building zones of various sizes, give the neighbourhood a more varied composition than is typical in other neighbourhoods in COpenhagen. It is intended that the buildings shall appear as a complex and 'scale-down' neighbourhood.

A vibrant waterfront neighbourhood

The development plan includes promenades with public access along all the quays and the possibility to construct a habour swimming pool, marina and facilities for e.g. rowing and kayaking. By placing both residential and commercial buildings next to the quays, one of the key assets of the City of Copenhagen is utilised by bringing the city down to the water.

Effecient and environmentally friendly transportation solutions that accommodate pedestrians and cyclist

In large parts of the Århusgade quarter, vehicle traffic is arranged so that priority is given to vulnerable road-users. Nordhavn is planned as a neighbourhood with a traffic distribution of at least 1/3 cyclist, at least 1/3 public transport and a maximum of 1/3 by car. Nordhavn is also planned to be developed as a "5-minute neighbourhood". This means that there must be no more than a 5-minute walk to public transport. The layout of the traffic structure is designed so that pedestrians, cyclist and public transport can move about as quickly and easily as possible, by making their routes shorter than for the cars.

A high-quality public transport route through the western part

The main public transport servicce for Nordhavn will eventually be provided by establishing a combined, high-quality public transport link (since the adoption of the locan plan, it has been decided to build two metro stations in Inner Nordhavn, connected to the upcoming circle line) and super bicycle paths. The Århusgade quarter is also served by local train at Nordhavn station and by buses. The bus service is planned to primaily operate along a bus corridor located in 'the green loop'. There will also be bus services in some other streets, such as Århusgade and Lüdersvej. It is planned that the harbour bus lines will eventually be able to stop at Sandkaj or Nordhavnskaj. 

The planned road network in Nordhavn is located along the existing routes. The staggered street grid will be further developed, which will give the cars a naturally low speed. The traffic on the individual islands, except in the streets on the islets, must occur on terms favouring vulnerable road-users and according to the principles for play and relaxation on the streets. 

Parking spaces should preferably be placed in the central carpark, while a smaller portion can be located on the ground. Promenades will be established along the edges of all quays and will be accessible by everyone. THe promenades will accommodate all types of traffic and can contain both 'flexible zones' and areas for relaxation. The public spaces in the Århusgade quarter have a range of different functions and are therefore planned on the basis of various traffic needs. 

Good walking and cycling connections

The development of Nordhavn focuses on ensuring that everyone is a pedestrian for at least a part of the journey. Car traffic in the Århusgade quarter is primarily arranged in a manner that favours vulnerable road-users. The plan is to ensure possible conditions for pedestrians and those with disabilities in terms of safety, security and accessibility. 

The promenades will accommodate all types of traffic and can contain both 'flexile zones' and areas for relaxation beside the water. The public spaces have a range of different functions and are therefore planned on the basis of various traffic needs. 

The start of 'the green loop' will serve as a common bicycle, pedestrian and public transport link for the entire Nordhavn area. The loop starts in the Århusgade quarter and will be further developed in future phases. A 'super bicycle path' will be established in 'the green loop' to provide cyclists with optimal accessibility and in the early stages of the development in will run parallel to the bus lanes. 

The majority of cyclist will use the intersection at Århusgade/Kalkbrænderihavnsgadew as their gateway to and from Nordhavn. It is therefore important that special attention is paid to cyclists' safety, security and accessibility in the intersection. The option to cycle is provided on every street and bicycle lanes will be established on most of Lüdersvej.

The Århusgade quarter has a connecting function for bicycle traffic for the inner and outer part of Nordhavn and towards the Østerbro and the rest of the city. Bicycle parking spaces will be placed near homes, workplaces and public functions.

Central parking facility

Traffic forecasst have shown that there will be relatively many car trips in Nordhavn during the early stages of development, compared to what would be possible for all types of traffic except cars, so that car traffic will experience higher levels of detours. Parking in Århusgade quarter will therefore primarily occur in the central carpark facility.

There is a planned option to drive close to the individual properties, but parking in the islet streets will only be allowed as short-term parking or handicap parking, or for shared cars and electric cars. The parking standard has been calculated for the C2* area - Inner Nordhavn South (Århugade quarter Sundmolen)

An option has been provided in sub-area I for ground-level parking corresponding to the number of spaces that will eventually be provided through construction. When a supplement to the local plan has to be prepared for sub-area I, it will be considered whether parking should be established as underground parking in connection with the individual buildings.

Get the local plan for Århusgade quarter

The local plan for the Århusgade quarter was adopted by Copenhagen's City Council on December 15th 2011. 


The plan for the Århusgade quarter is based on the following values:

  • Interpretation of the harbour's existing buildings and structures in order to create identity.

  • Uniqueness created by contrasts.

  • A vibrant city with activities on the water.

  • Varied combination of different building sizes and building types.

  • Green neighbourhood with urban gardens and green roofts.

  • Dense and mixed urban area with compact and staggered buildings.

  • Varied range of urban spaces for relaxation and activities.

  • Green traffic that accommodates vulnerable road users. 

Download the book 'From concept to project'

Click on the image to download th 88-page publication.

Published August 2012. 'From concept to project' provides an outline of the completed process and contains a catalogue of the most important project themes and focuspoints in Inner Nordhavn.

The book was prepared by CPH City & Port Development in cooperation with COBE, SLETH, Polyform and Rambøll.

The same team has published the six-page flyer wuth the main themes - 'From strategy to project' in 2011. 

Download it here.