Floating Cities | Copenhagen Will “Grow” Nine New Islands by 2040

The Danish Government and Mayors of Greater Copenhagen announces the plans for 3 million sqm land reclamation. The vision, designed by URBAN POWER architecture & planning, deals with urgent environmental and commercial challenges of the metropolitan area.

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The nine Islands, called Holmene (the Islets), located just 10 km south of Copenhagen, is the largest land reclamation project in Scandinavia in the years to come. They address several needs in the area: A growing demand for sites for knowledge intensive industry, fossil-free energy production and a flood barrier to secure both existing and future areas. Furthermore it adds an enormous public accessible natural area for sports, recreation and improved biodiversity.

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Fossil free energy from Copenhageners waste

An essential part of the land reclamation, URBAN POWER designed an area reserved for green technologies and the biggest waste-to-energy plant in Northern Europe. Bio waste and waste water from the regions 1.5 million citizens, is handled here and turned into clean water, resources and biogas. Together with heat storage, wind mills and other green technologies, an annual reduction of at least 70.000 tons CO2 and production of more than 300.000 MWh fossil free energy: Equivalent to the electricity consumption of 10% of the population of Greater Copenhagen. An important step towards the green transition.

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Resilient green delta

The high level of ambitions lead to the involvement of URBAN POWER. Their strategic design introduced a group of islands rather than a traditional massive land reclamation.

“The strategy has several advantages: It can be developed stepwise without leaving the impression of an unfinished project, if a new economic recession appear. Furthermore the islands can be thematically developed, leaving the best conditions for the innovative industry and research within green tech, bio tech, life science and future yet unknown sectors”, says Arne Cermak Nielsen, partner of URBAN POWER. He adds: “The quality of being by the water should not be underestimated, and the shores of the islands and the delta that emerge between them has a unique potential”.


As a result each island will have a green belt of nature, that ensures attractive transitions between land and water. The diverse landscape invite for sports and activities in some areas and recreation in others. There’s even several small islets and reefs inaccessible for humans, to provide the best conditions for nature and wildlife at land as well as in the water.

Surplus soil is the backbone of the land fill. It finance the construction of the islands and solves an urgent challenge of surplus soil from the regions subway and building projects. The soil will additionally be used to create a natural protective landscape along the existing coastline: It makes the landscape resilient towards future floodings and provides an improved network of 18 km bike routes in green surroundings.



URBAN POWER architecture & planning has developed the strategic design of Holmene.

It’s the largest and most ambitious land reclamation area of Scandinavia in the years to come.

The environmental impact assessment starts in 2022

Construction starts in 2022

Project is expected to be completed in 2040

COWI is the consulting engineer on construction, cost, environmental impact etc.

Additional advising by DHI-group, MOE, Aglaja and Rambøll


9 islands with industry and accessible natural areal for sports and recreation

Several inaccessible islets and reefs for untouched nature

2,3 million square meter industrial area (apx 24 mio sqf)

0,7 million square meter natural areas

Constructed by 26 million cubic meter of surplus soil


Income from surplus soil and sale of plots, 480-540 million euro

Construction cost, expected 425 million euro

Estimated 380 new businesses and 12000 jobs

GDP growth, up to 7 billion euro

Fossil free energy production

Expected annual production of 322.000 MW fossil free energy

Expected 74.000 t of annual CO2 reduction compared with danish energy-mix

Expected 278.000 t of annual CO2 reduction compared with energy from coal


URBAN POWER architecture & planning www.urbanpower.dk

DANISH GOVERNMENT, statemnet on official site  www.regeringen.dk

HOLMENE official project site www.holmene.com


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