New Century Cities
Case Studies - Crossroads Copenhagen
Location: Ørestad Nord district
of Copenhagen, Denmark
Size: 110 acres (45 hectares)
Dates of Planning and Development: 1999 to the present
Developers: Ørestad Development Corporation
Vision: To "develop Ørestad Nord into an international center of research and development of new technology in the fields of culture and media."1
A new community of students, workers, and residents has been formed in the Ørestad Nord district of Copenhagen, providing a control group for the study of new technology applications in society. Crossroads Copenhagen is a partnership between the University of Copenhagen, the Danish Consumer Agency, the Royal Library, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and the IT University of Copenhagen, all located in Ørestad.
A residential and working community of over 20,000 people now occupies this formerly vacant waterfront site, which is linked to central Copenhagen by a transit line and to Sweden by a bridge crossing the Øresund. Parks and canals within the site integrate water and open space.
The above-mentioned parties and Ørestad residents initially came together six years ago to discuss practical issues facing the community. Subsequent to that early meeting they developed a collective vision of how collaborative technology research could be applied to everyday life. The City of Copenhagen and the Danish Ministry of Transport provided the initial planning, infrastructure, and financial support. They also designated new buildings for the IT University of Copenhagen and DR, among others. The transportation infrastructure, including the Øresund bridge and transit line extension, was nationally funded. As development proceeded, however, the power for planning and organizing shifted to the founding groups.
Crossroads Copenhagen's focus on research, experimentation, and testing has created a university-like environment, even for the non-academic population. Many residents are involved in testing and feedback for area projects through a "Living Lab" program. Membership in the Living Lab is optional and structured so that participants can work with new technology applications and act as market test subjects as they see fit.
Crossroads Copenhagen's research projects are collaborative initiatives involving several partners. For example, Nokia, Hewlett Packard, and the Copenhagen Business School are involved in the Mobiconomy project, which studies the profitability of added services (such as Internet, gaming, and GPS capability) for mobile phone users. Another mobile e-learning project has used PDAs and Danish Broadcasting Corporation clips to improve the Danish skills of non-native speakers. Cultural events and exhibits have also been used in an effort to involve the Copenhagen community outside of Ørestad.
- Crossroads Copenhagen. About Crossroads Copenhagen. http://www.crossroadscopenhagen.com/