The Soul of Nørrebro

Location: Hans Tavsens Park and Korsgade, Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark
Team: SLA, Rambøll, Gadeidræt, Aydin Soei, Social Action
Client: The Municipality of Copenhagen
Type: Citizen Involvement, Urban Design
Role: Citizen Involvement and Consulting
Status: Ongoing

This was the winning proposal for the Nordic Built Cities Challenge under the Nordic Innovation: CLOUDBURST AND CULTURE. The competition offered a two-sided challenge, addressing both climate adaptation and social and cultural renewal. A distinct nordic take on this transition towards a more sustainable society is to ensure that dialogue between citizens, project managers, the municipality and other stakeholders is kept at the core of each project and throughout the whole process.

The Soul of Nørrebro proposal addresses the problems that Copenhagen has experienced in recent years with severe rainstorms. Copenhagen has a strong focus on developing smarter solutions for managing the increasing amounts of water, and Hans Tavsens Park and Korsgade play a crucial role in the city’s plan. The park will be used to collect rainwater, which will then be directed through Hans Tavsensgade and Korsgade into Peblinge Lake. The program addresses innovative and sustainable climate adaptation with multifunctional facilities for a livable urban space.

The proposal was made in a strong collaboration of different firms. Here arki_lab contributed with our experience of designing learning spaces and schoolyards with pupils. This was an important part as there are several educational institutions linked to area around Hans Tavsens Park. We supplied crucial know-how about how to involve different parties, both institutions, pupils and other interested. Our experience is that user involvement helps to root a project to it’s local surroundings.

Temporality has been a significant element in our designs. When designing masterplans we have found it rewarding to include temporality as part of the design – to blur the line between temporary and permanent elements. In “The Soul of Nørrebro” we left blank spaces in the design to invite people using the space to take ownership and define these spaces. These blank spaces are areas in which content and function is not yet decided upon but left open-ended for citizens, institutions and other stakeholders to collaboratively co-create in a following phase. This decentralizes the design process and empowers citizens or other involved parties. It is an important way to entrench the project in the existing daily life and ensure the social sustainability.

As part of addressing both climate adaption and social and cultural renewal “The Soul of Nørrebro” revolve around three different aspects: the hydrologic cycle, the biological cycle and the social cycle. These three cycles will support each other to create a strong and living environment. An important contribution in linking the biological and social cycles is the “FABLAB for city nature”. This will be a physical location set up as a laboratory for citizens and institutions to engage in the biological development of the area. It will secure the biological cycle to thrive while bringing people together and empower local involvement.

The FABLAB has another crucial function – to ensure and enhance dialogue with and between citizens. Dialogue is deeply embedded in the distinct nordic way of promoting sustainable living. To keep the dialogue going throughout the whole process does not only entrench a project but create an improved awareness about sustainability. This is the essence in the nordic model of sustainable development.

We, at arki_lab, are thrilled to have been part of such a strong team, and are looking forward to the next step of the collaboration where we will involve citizens in the design of several key points in the plan, and bring a sense of local ownership to the project.

Read more about the winning proposal here:

Soul of Nørrebro: Proposal

Check out press about the winning proposal here:






global goals for sustainable development FNS 17 verdensmålTHE GLOBAL GOALS
We strive to use the Global Goals as a structuring framework for our projects. Here we show how this project contribute to a sustainable future.

Global Goals quality education fns 17 verdensmål kvalitetsuddannelse

In the design of outdoor classrooms we involved and engaged kids from local schools to promote education about sustainable development.

global goals industry innovation and infrastructure FNs verdensmål industri innovation og infrastruktur

The soul of Nørrebro shows that through design and landscape architecture we can create innovative solutions that improve cities and communities. 

global goals sustainable cities and communities FNs verdensmål bæredygtige byer og lokalsamfund

When completed, the new Hans Tavsens Park will significantly reduce the adverse effects of heavy cloudbursts in Copenhagen.

global goals climate action FNs verdensmål klimaindsats

Through outdoor teaching in Hans Tavsens Park the pupils of the nearby schools are given an insight into the climate challenges faced by the local and global society.

global goals life on land FNs verdensmål livet på land

Considering water as a resource and protecting the local biodiversity was two of the main strategies in the deign of the new park.

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