The upcoming UN conference on the environment, to be held in the Danish capital, will consider energy sustainability and harmful emission reduction. Long-term strategies will be set against immediately achievable ways to offset climate change, curb resource consumption and lower our reliance on conventional energy sources that in turn contribute to green house-gas release into the atmosphere.
In December 2009, Copenhagen will be the capital of the future, the place where hope for a liveable world will be rekindled by reasoned, inventive measures to defend the Earth and its inhabitants.
Copenhagen itself sets a fine example. With its over-arching programme HopenhagenLive, inhabitants, visitors, experts and administrators will get an in-depth understanding of the city’s high environmental standards that concern all aspects of daily living. In terms of sustainability, Copenhagen aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2015, and become the first carbon neutral capital by 2025. Fossil fuels will be replaced by renewable energy sources - solar and wind energy. Widespread rationalisation will reduce waste and energy needs.Architectural transformation and regeneration programmes for whole neighbourhoods have placed the sustainability issue on a broader scale. Yet an urban strategy can only be deployed if each single building of a renewed urban fabric is involved. Buildings must stop producing carbon dioxide, take innovative eco sustainable measures like being correctly oriented, use passive heating and cooling systems and directly tap renewable energy sources.
Copenhagen’s new quarters have been designed along new architectural lines. They will rise where once there were factories and shipping ports. During the industrial manufacturing period, Copenhagen was compacted around its canals and port. The new neighbourhoods are an example of a city growing from within. They will be mixed neighbourhoods combining residential, office, commercial, administration and entertainment activities.
As examples, the plan for Ørestad Downtown along the canal is by Libeskind, the Concert Hall by Jean Nouvel; the group of residential buildings is by BIG and the schools by 3XN. Bryhusprojectet overlooks the canal and is designed by OMA. Nordhavn faces the sea, a former industrial brownsite turned into a complex urban neighbourhood built to sustainability standards with an extensive network of pedestrian walkways and cycle paths.
The new neighbourhoods mark the birth of a new type of city whose planners have taken a fresh look at architecture, at how we live in an urban setting, and how to meet the very human need to be part of a community.