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Copenhagen Car free(dom)

20. February 2023

Solution provider

JAJA Architects

JAJA is an award-winning Danish architecture and urban planning studio that works both practically and theoretically with projects that contribute to the creation of a better future.

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Despite numerous efforts, CO2 emissions from the mobility sector are increasing in the EU. Simultaneously, we see an increasing number of people moving to cities which demands a change in the city districts to create more space.


The overall goal of the Copenhagen Car Free(dom) project is to create increased housing quality and quality of life in Copenhagen while forming the basis for sustainable urban development.

Inspired by and based on Copenhagen’s ‘Finger Plan’ from 1947, this project introduces a paradigm shift in traditional mobility planning. The project shows what our streets and neighborhoods can look like if we prioritize green and shared modes of transportation to a much higher degree, such as bicycles, electrical scooters, shared cars, and public transportation. The project’s strategies and recommendations are relatively simple to incorporate across municipal boundaries.

The idea behind ’The Finger Plan’, where Copenhagen is the palm connected with surrounding municipalities like fingers, gives us an effective tool to achieve coherence across areas. We propose that the car free zone is placed in the ‘palm’ combined with several strategic mobility hubs located next to major access roads, light rails, and S-trains. The development of such hubs is already being developed in areas like Ny Ellebjerg, Buddinge, Herlev, Lyngby, Glostrup etc.


By stopping through traffic in the city center, several new, attractive squares and urban spaces are created, but the project also provides an opportunity to re-establish Copenhagen’s original fortification as one green, continuous park that surrounds the Inner City. Several fantastic, but, for now, incoherent green facilities and park spaces can finally be re-established as a unity, where historical layers, traffic planning and sustainable urban development are united in a single movement.

The access roads branch out into the island streets that surround small neighborhood islands, which work in the same way as we know it from the Super Blocks project from Barcelona. The island streets act as loops with fewer connections to the access roads as a result. That way, it simplifies the entire street system.

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Copenhagen car free(dom)

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