Copenhagen's Climate-Resilient Block – Urban Renewal of the Future

Copenhagen’s Climate-Resilient Block is to be a flagship project, showing how a block in the older housing stock with an outdated courtyard can be renovated and climate-proofed with innovative and sustainable solutions.

With a holistic approach, the project is to create energy-sound solutions and ensure that the increased volume of rainwater can be managed, at the same time as the residential quality of life of residents is enhanced by bright and healthy homes with a green and recreational courtyard.

The aim is to create scalable and profitable solutions that can be used as a source of inspiration for the older housing stock in Copenhagen and as a showcase and source of inspiration for other large cities in Denmark and abroad. In brief, an ambitious project that will showcase sustainable urban renewal in the 21st century.

Technical details
Fortorvet på Kildevældsgade
Kildevældsgade sommeren 2015
Baggård ved Landskronagade sommeren 2015
Hjørnet af Kildevældsgade ogThomas Laubs Gade sommeren 2015
Hjørnet af Kildevældsgade ogThomas Laubs Gade sommeren 2015

Integrated approach results in sustainability and green growth

Integration is the watchword for the project. With the Climate Resilient Block, solutions are to be developed and trialled that will meet the climate challenges of the future and demonstrate how urban renewal can be used as a catalyst for a sustainable shift and green growth.

The project will work on building renovation on the basis of a holistic approach, and the innovative solutions are to minimise energy consumption in the buildings, improve the indoor climate and quality of life of residents and, at the same time, preserve the existing classical architecture.

Combining the effort in a block makes it possible to develop solutions that run across both courtyard and buildings. The link creates the possibility of a climate change adaptation solution that manages all the rainwater that falls on the land belonging to the block. This rainwater management takes place through delaying and evaporation, collection and re-use. The collected rainwater is used for washing laundry and as reclaimed water, but also to water and embellish the recreational areas of the courtyard.

Illustration gård

The results of the project are to be measured in reduced energy and water consumption, management of rainwater and environmentally sound management of solid waste, good architecture and improved quality of life for the residents.

Development takes place in cooperation between the City of Copenhagen and the chosen lead consultant team consisting of Henning Larsen Architects, Henrik Larsen Rådgivende Ingeniørfirma, V!GØR and TagTomat and with the close involvement of residents and producers.

Course of the project

The project with the climate-resilient square began in 2013, when more than 100 Copenhagen residents presented their block as a candidate. The final selection of a block was made in 2014. There then followed a preliminary project, in which the wishes and dreams of the residents were identified and innovative producers made their bids for solutions to achieve sustainable urban renewal. The selected team of consultants has worked on the development of specific solutions for both the courtyard and the buildings and has now delivered an outline design.

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Sketch byHenning Larsen Architects

It is important in the Copenhagen Climate Resilient Block that the residents are motivated and take ownership of the project. There has therefore been close involvement of residents from the block throughout the project period. This has taken place through interviews, questionnaires, planting events, residents’ dinners, meetings and in many other ways. In the next phase the building owners are to decide what building renewal projects they wish to implement, and the lead consultant team is to continue working on specifying a project proposal for the courtyard which is expected to be sent out for comment during the spring of 2017.

KlimaCafé 8.5.2015 017

Climate Café May 2015 

Back Technical details

Plan drawing

Management of rainwater

The target is for 100% of all the rainwater on the plots of land in the block to be disconnected from the sewer system. This can be done in the following three ways:

  • Collection and re-use of rainwater from the courtyard for toilet flushing and from the roof for washing laundry.
  • Collection, evaluation and delaying in a ‘stream’ in the courtyard.
  • Absorption and percolation in beds and ‘green’ pavements.



Regnvand opsamling og brug

Strengths: 100% disconnection of rainwater from the sewer system will reduce the load imposed on the system in heavy and torrential rain. By re-using the water for toilet flushing and for washing laundry, great savings can be made in water, to the residents’ financial benefit and to the benefit of Copenhagen’s limited drinking water resources.


Weaknesses: Additional introduction of pipes for the rainwater