New Bicycle Parking Innovations from Copenhagen

 
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As one of the world leaders in bicycle infrastructure, Copenhagen’s public and private developments show that the bicycle is a high priority in urban mobility. From university’s to district development, new ways of integrating the bicycle seamlessly into the built environment show up everyday. Below we look at three new innovative projects that aim to encourage bicycle use and make bicycle parking easy and aesthetically pleasing.


Residential Parking in Nordhavn

Nordhavn’s expansion and development into a new Copenhagen district is set to provide housing for 40,000 new residents and another 40,000 jobs. In the last three years the residential population has grown by over 2,000, from a mere 230 people in 2016 to 2,500 in 2019. Along with apartment buildings and offices come new bicycle parking designs -- ones reflective of the different housing typologies. Both on-street and courtyard designs are made to exemplify the importance of the bicycle in the planning of these new neighborhoods. Within the courtyards, circular butterfly parking is available as well as underground parking and plenty of room alongside ground floor private terraces. On the street level, parking spaces for cars are minimal and instead bike parking spaces are available.

Karen Blixen Plads

Building has recently finished on the urban plaza designed by COBE at Karen Blixen Plads, in the heart of the University of Copenhagen’s Amager campus. Seen from satellite imagery during construction the site looked more like craters on Mars' surface than a campus public meeting place. At 20,000 meters squared, the site is one of Copenhagen’s biggest plazas in a part of town where the Amager Fælled nature reserve abuts the relatively new university buildings. 

COBE describes the urban space as a transition from built to natural form, making it a “hybrid of both park and square in one.” The design is “arranged as a superimposed surface of hills and valleys with room for 2,100 bicycle parking spaces under the hills.” Three “hills” create framed pathways between the three main entrances of the university buildings. On the hills, seating has been cut out to create an outdoor amphitheater -- a public hangout and meeting place for students. The bicycle parking is central in the design and what once littered the plaza in a visually chaotic way is now housed inside the hills themselves. The cast cement domes are punctured by holes of varying sizes to let in natural light. In addition, sunken bicycle parking islands, similar to those found at Nørreport Station (another COBE project) provide additional outdoor facilities.

The Maersk Tower

Opened in 2017, the Maersk Tower, one of the University of Copenhagen’s buildings in Nørrebro boasts 950 bicycle parking spots in its underground dedicated garage. Access to the garage is through a descending path bordered with stepped greenery. Once at the bottom, sensor automated doors open to allow the cyclist direct, efficient and easy entry. Once inside, a path winds its way between pockets of two-tiered bicycle parking racks. A window cut into the building allows a view to the users above and from those inside to the bicycles and users below. Access to locker rooms and showers are an added amenity to encourage students and professors to cycle from near and far.