Green spaces are one of the most important indicators of successful urban development. And with fast urbanization and the growing threat of climate change, urban planners are now increasingly preoccupied with finding creative ways to assimilate nature within cities, particularly with limited space available.
In Copenhagen, a recent design project offers a glimpse into exactly how such innovative urban designs can take place. A group of architects has recently unveiled plans for a new type of public space in the heart of the Danish capital — a “parkipelago” of floating islands. Dubbed the Copenhagen Islands, this non-profit initiative follows the success of the first prototype island that launched in 2018 and was anchored in various parts of the city harbor.
Mobile, floating, and free for public use, the Copenhagen Islands concept was created as a way to revitalize the forgotten parts of the city’s old harbor while introducing green space for the benefit of local residents, fauna, and flora. Each island will resemble the prototype, which was a 20-square-meter timber platform with a linden tree in the middle of it, and will be constructed by hand using traditional techniques in the boat-building yards in one of the city’s harbors.
The islands will serve as platforms for different activities ranging from swim zones and floating saunas to gardens and a sail-in cafe. Endemic plants, trees, and grasses will grow atop the island to provide habitat for birds and insects, while the space below each island is ideal for seaweed, fish, and mollusks.
Copenhagen Islands plans to launch three more such floating mini-parks in 2020, with more planned in the future.