Wood initiatives in Denmark from a City Architect’s perspective

31/07/2020 Emmilie Hansen

As opening speakers at Build in Wood 25-26 August, City Architects Camilla van Deurs and Stephen Willacy in Copenhagen and Aarhus respectively will kick-off the event talking about wood initiatives in Denmark.

Hear e.g. about Copenhagen’s strategy to accommodate more than 10.000 new citizens every year and simultaneously being CO2 neutral in 2025, and about Aarhus’ innovative approaches to reach CO2 neutrality in 2030. In this post, you can read a small statement from the City Architects about their perspective on wood and timber constructions.


“As the City Architect to Copenhagen I am very interested in understanding the possibilities for promoting more sustainability within the building industry. Copenhagen has an ambitious goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2025 and one of the main challenges lies within the built environment. Building in wood can potentially be a tool in terms of reaching these goals, therefore I am curious to learn more about how we as a municipality can help to promote wood constructions as a part of the green transition.

One of the challenges I see is that most of the wood projects right now are in prefabricated elements, and these often create a quite generic architecture where the building modules are very visible. This can create an esthetic challenge when building in the existing city in the adaptation to the architectural qualities of the project.”

Camilla van Deurs, City Architect of Copenhagen


“We have in Aarhus built some milestone timber housing schemes in recent years and we are keen to continue this work in different sectors. There have several innovative timber tall building projects in the pipeline which are pushing us all to think in new ways, which is very healthy. We know the building industry is a major source of CO2 emissions, so the desire to build in wood coincides naturally with the City of Aarhus’ ambitious plans to become CO2 neutral city by 2030. When that is said, we are faced with challenges for example in relationship to building above four stories here in Denmark.

Similarly, procurement routes in connection with public sector work makes it difficult suggest preferences. Whilst our close neighbors in Sweden, Norway and Germany seem to have met these challenges, we are struggling. We have the know-how; architects, engineers, specialists, investors/developers and education and research institutions who are at the forefront and are working successfully in these neighboring countries – so let’s make the most of this here in our home market.”

Stephen Willacy, City Architect of Aarhus


Do you want to hear more from the City Architects?

Join us at Build in Wood at Docken on 25-26 August and hear the opening speech about wood initiatives in Copenhagen and Aarhus.

Sign up here!

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