Combined growth policy and climate policy
Aarhus City Council has decided that, over the next 15 years, the city must grow by 50,000 inhabitants and 30,000 jobs and study places. At the same time, Aarhus must be carbon-neutral by 2030.
All in all, this places heavy demands on the ambitious urban development plans in which the Department of Urban Development, Construction and Environment plays a central role.
Like other major European cities, Aarhus is engaged in extensive restructuring. Run-down industrial estates are disappearing and being replaced by housing and knowledge-intensive businesses. A number of areas in Aarhus are currently undergoing major changes: Large parts of the port area are being converted into buildings for residential, knowledge-based business, cultural and educational purposes.
In the future, the disused rail freight terminal will house the Aarhus School of Architecture and other educational institutions as well as youth and student accommodation. Today, ‘Godsbanen’ is driving the development of the former freight yard area into a cultural production centre for the performing arts, visual arts and literature, with a focus on youth culture.
Another major development project is the conversion of the non-profit housing estate Gellerupparken, which will be converted into a more diverse urban neighbourhood with a new high street, new types of housing, shops and workplaces. Finally, the Aarhus City Council has adopted a high-rise policy for Aarhus, so that new high-rise buildings form part of the city’s identity in future.
Rural areas are being transformed into new suburbs in an ambitious project in Lisbjerg, the first of several new suburban areas around Aarhus. While suburbs in Denmark are usually dominated by single-family houses scattered over a large area, thus preventing the efficient utilisation of intensive public transport, Lisbjerg will be a densely built-up urban area linked to Aarhus city centre via a light railway.
The new sustainable urban areas must be densely built-up: The light railway is a huge investment which requires a large number of passengers to replace private car use in an economically viable manner. In addition, the transition to more public transport is one of the preconditions for reaching the ambitious climate goals.
Fewer and more densely built-up urban areas also have a positive impact on the groundwater and make Aarhus a more liveable city.
The Department of Urban Development, Construction and Environment is working on a number of major projects: Aarhus Docklands, Lisbjerg, The Freight Yard Area, The County Hospital (Tage Hansens Gade) among others.