Team SLA/Vandkunsten wins competition for Odense Inner Harbor

We are thrilled to share that Team SLA/Vandkunsten has won the planning competition for Odense Inner Harbor with the proposal ‘Odense Harbor City – The Greenest Harbor in Denmark.’

With our winning proposal, Odense’s 185.000 m2 former industrial harbor will become a new mixed-use neighborhood with a wide variety of water spaces, public life functions, and an unprecedentedly high amount of new nature – above and below water.


Denmark’s Greenest Harbor will emerge as the sum of the built, the grown, and the lived, tied into the harbor’s existing cultural environment and industrial heritage. New and old will meet in different scales and qualities, and the existing ‘lighthouses’ of the Inner Harbor will be used to shape the identity and special experiences of each quarter.

The proposal suggests a phased development of seven quarters, all with distinct qualities, city nature, and ways of meeting the water. In order to create the most synergy between the various activities, the public life strategy suggests concentrating functions that generate community and public life in the urban spaces of two quarters; Byens Ø and Siloøen.

A look towards 'Byens Ø' from Bryggen. The Inner Harbor will be an area with pedestrians and cyclists at the top of the mobility hierarchy and will, at large, be car-free.
'Byens Ø'

The proposal aims to transform the inner harbor into ’Denmark’s Greenest Harbor’ by significantly enhancing the crown and vegetation cover. Currently, the harbor has a mere 2% crown cover, but our plan will increase it to an average 20% for the neighborhood. In addition, we aim to plant extensively on the terrain, covering at least 37% of the area (56% when including green roofs). This exceeds the current 23% coverage in the extended city center and approaches the 40% coverage found in the surrounding residential areas. These measures ensure an average bio factor of 0.64.

The Inner Harbor will not just have a lot of nature – the city nature is an integral part of the way the new neighborhood ‘works’. Not only does it create habitats for local species, it also creates the framework for a good everyday life with nature experiences close to home, spaces rich in experiences, and a pleasant microclimate.

“Odense's Inner Harbor is flanked by Næsbyhoved Forest to the north and Ålykke Forest to the west, providing optimal conditions for creating rich nature experiences for future residents and visitors – as well as critical habitats for plants and animals. During a recent fieldwork in Odense, one of SLA's biologists witnessed a peewit, a once common wading bird now classified as vulnerable, unexpectedly landing on the quayside. Our vision is to transform Odense's Inner Harbor into Denmark's greenest harbor, a vibrant place that fosters the coexistence of all living beings – and we look forward to bringing this vision to life in collaboration with A. Enggaard and the entire design team.”

— Mette Skjold, CEO and Partner in SLA

The partnership behind the development of Odense’s Inner Harbor consists of contractors and urban developers A. Enggaard, Odense Municipality, and Odense Havn.

We look forward to developing the final urban development plan together with our clients, the citizens of Odense, and our great team Vandkunsten, Cushman & Wakefield/RED, Mogens A. Morgen, EKJ Rådgivende Ingeniører, and Valentin Trafikplanlægning.

Find more information about the development here.

Contact us to know more

Julie Linke Bank

Project Director, Landscape Architect MDL, CMLI, Urban Planner


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