Urban Renewal We Can Relate To

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We like the sound of it:

In Denmark, Brewery’s Departure Offers a Chance to Go Green

By

Copenhgn3.jpgCOPENHAGEN — Perched in his centrally located office, Laust Joen Jakobsen looks out onto a small plaza, a rooftop basketball court and a grass bed that will be lush with flowers by the summer.

Just months ago, Mr. Jakobsen, the rector of University College Copenhagen, was sitting in a suburban campus between parking lots and a residential neighborhood. “We are happier here when we look out the windows,” he said.

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His college, with its 11,000 faculty members and students, is one of the first occupants of Carlsberg Byen, or Carlsberg Town, a $2 billion redevelopment that is central to Copenhagen’s ambitious plan to be the world’s first carbon-neutral capital city within a decade.

Named after the brewery that was here until recently, Carlsberg Byen is trying to bring a green spin to the usual mix of retail, office and residential space. Developers are aiming to conserve rainwater, generate solar energy and reuse building materials. They envision visitors cycling past shops, homes and galleries.

In effect, the project is designed to blend the environmental with the economic.

“One may smile at green rooftops, but they send a signal that this building isn’t just a block of concrete,” Mr. Jakobsen said.

When Carlsberg said in 2006 that it was moving out, developers sought to reimagine an industrial plant with a smell of hops that lay near a working-class neighborhood notorious for prostitution and drug dealing. They wanted to build 6.45 million square feet of space, in one of Denmark’s largest-ever private building projects. When it is finished, it will be the first time that an entire Danish neighborhood will meet strict local standards on energy efficiency.

It makes for a major difference from its previous existence.

Carlsberg occupied the site from 1847 until its departure in 2008. At its peak, the brewery produced 105 million gallons of beer annually and employed 8,000 people.

The brewer aimed to save $18.5 million a year by consolidating its locations and moving to cheaper land west of Copenhagen. It took a 25 percent stake in the redevelopment project, with three Danish pension funds investing the rest.

In all, they are looking to build nine high-rise residential blocks, along with low-rise buildings and townhouses, with space for 3,100 apartments (600 of which are low-cost housing or accommodations for students). Along with University College Copenhagen, the neighborhood will be home to cultural institutions, a primary school and four combined nurseries and kindergartens. There will also be several bars, restaurants and cafes.

The area will be littered with small squares and narrow alleys, bearing greater resemblance to the Danish capital’s medieval center than its more recent experiments with wide boulevards and large open spaces.

The project is part of plans to turn Copenhagen into the world’s greenest capital city, which local officials say will be the first ever to be carbon-neutral…

Read the whole story here.

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