Why Has Scandinavia’s Biggest Development Project Abandoned its Master Plan? – Design – The Atlantic Cities


Short answer? It was a bad plan.

Henry Grabar brings another post, this time on development in Ørestad, a district in Copenhagen. This section of the city was supposed to be the most recent finger of development in the city. They built the Øresund Bridge connecting to Malmö, Sweden, and a new metro line extending south, and brought in starchitect Daniel Libeskind, master of the building that wants to stab you, to design a master plan for the area. The plan included a number of large-scale features that all had to be built at once, such as large underground parking garages, and would cost a lot. This was in 2006. Then 2008 happened, and anything large-scale came to a grinding halt. So while Ørestad has already had a lot of development, including a lot of major works from Bjarke Ingels and other well-known architects, they are surrounded by vacant lots.

8Tallet (8House) by BIG, center right, under construction. From archdaily.com.

So Copenhagen, in response to economic conditions, ditched the starchitect’s all-at-once plan for a new master plan by COBE Architects. The new plan, while still mixed use and very walkable, can be implemented piecemeal, as funds become available. This allows more adaptable urbanism, as demand and funding change. A much better plan.

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About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

One Response to Why Has Scandinavia’s Biggest Development Project Abandoned its Master Plan? – Design – The Atlantic Cities

  1. Lars Edvalson says:

    Doesn’t the picture of 8Tallet remind you of the Chinese “ghost cities” of your earlier post?

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