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Bio-based circular solutions


Climate change adaptation


Køge Nord Sustainable Site Development with Climate Adaptation and Biodiversity as Tools

9. April 2024

Solution provider


Schønherr is an architectural firm whose primary areas of expertise lie within urban and landscape architecture, strategic and physical planning, infrastructure, climate architecture, and cultural heritage. The firm's approach is that the cultural and natural values ​​of the city and landscape are tools for addressing the major societal challenges of our time.

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The new, urban area Køge Nord will develop into one of Greater Copenhagen’s new sustainable neighborhoods with a strong green identity. The 130-hectare area will evolve over the coming years into a diverse district with office buildings near the station, housing, and innovative businesses.

The project illustrates a holistic approach based on the landscape and with minimal terrain manipulation as the basis for urban development, rainwater management, green connections, and future recreational areas and activities.

The project is a pioneering project—both in terms of its technical solutions and considering its size.

Connected recreational green/blue pathways with consistent vegetation and rainwater management are linked through new pathway networks. They support new recreational spaces, enhance accessibility in the landscape, and create new species-diverse urban and peri-urban nature.

The project includes both naturally adapted solutions in the open countryside and more urban-designed solutions in densely built urban spaces. The solutions are integrated into a landscape with significant inherent potential and many conservation values in the form of both cultural heritage and nature-protected sub-areas.


The area’s specific environmental requirements concerning groundwater management and Natura2000 have led to the development of new solutions with high retention and purification effects, as well as local soil management, material selection, and operational reliability have been paramount. The rainwater solutions are integrated into the landscape and serve as recreational, green, and multifunctional open spaces that contribute to climate-proofing the area and regeneration of natural values.


The project demonstrates how planning work based on DGNB principles has created construction and infrastructure projects that are more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable compared to other urban development projects in the municipality. The project is a concrete example of how climate plans can be implemented in practice. The rainwater solutions set a new standard in terms of purification efficiency, protect the city from flash floods, and contribute to a good microclimate and greater biodiversity.

The CO2 emissions during the construction phase were measurably reduced by focusing on local soil balance. From 2019 to 2021, approximately 10,000 cubic meters of new gravel pit materials were sourced for the project, which were used to build gravel roads or as filter material in the purification basins. Only 5,000 cubic meters of soil were initially transported to external landfills at the start of the project. In comparison, a total of more than 100,000 cubic meters of soil were redistributed and incorporated within the project area.