Waterfront Transformation Canal district

Transformation of a maritime-industrial area in to a lively canal district

The Kanalbyen Masterplan is a development strategy for a 21 ha brownfield site at the seafront of Fredericia, which will expand the inner city by 25 percent. It sets out a framework of qualitative public spaces and the conditions for a mixed urban program of 260.000 m2. The project will create a new destination in the region, establish new connections in the city and add a unique inner-city district with an attractive maritime environment. It has high ambitions on sustainability and is planned to be CO2-neutral.

Fredericia is one of the cities in the prosperous ‘Triangle’ region, in the centre of Denmark. It was founded by the Danish king in 1650 on a natural cape to defend the entrance to the Lillebelt...

  • FredericiaC (partnership of Local Authority of Fredericia and Realdania By (former Realdania Urban Development))
  • 2011 - Ongoing
  • Under Construction
  • 21 ha Masterplan for 126.000 m2 residential, 82.000 m2 offices and workspaces, 22.000 m2 culture and education, 15.000 m2 retail, 15.000 m2 hotel, restaurants and cafés
  • Masterplan
  • Finance: Fakton
  • Sustainability, mobility: Ramboll
  • Co-architect: Vandkunsten
  • Landscape architecture, temporary landscape: SLA
  • Sustainable behaviour, urban farming: ARUP
  • Soil remediation: Grontmij
  • Energy: Esbensen
  • Excellence on the Waterfront (2012)
  • In 2008 the site was acquired by FredericiaC P/S, a public-private partnership set up between the Local Authority of Fredericia and Realdania Urban Development. They are in charge of developing the new town district. In a first step, a shared vision was developed, involving the community through workshops. The site was cleared from derelict and contaminated buildings and made accessible by an inviting temporary landscape, designed by landscape architects SLA. The landscape greatly improves the perception and use of the area and boosted civic pride. It provides access to the waterfront, stimulates community events and bottom-up initiatives by the users. Parts of the site deal with contamination, which was partly removed and partly treated locally with experimental, purifying vegetation.

    In 2010, FredericiaC launched a two-stage parallel competition which was won by KCAP in collaboration with financial advisor Fakton and sustainability and traffic engineers of Ramboll. For the elaboration of the winning scheme, the multi-disciplinary team was expanded with the Danish architects Vandkunsten, energy consultant Esbensen and advisors on urban farming of Arup. The resulting development plan document was delivered and approved mid-2012.

    The plan sets out a flexible phasing strategy with short term interventions and temporary events to promote the site. A financial strategy with detailed estimates on costs and revenues guarantees the feasibility of the project in every stage.
  • With respect to the city’s scale and history, the development strategy sets out a robust framework, with a sensitive network of public space. The existing seafront will be enriched by a network of canals, offering a strong presence of water into the city. The canals were previously envisioned in historic designs for the garrison town but were never realised. They set conditions for an intensive interaction between the existing city, the new buildings and the water and offer an appealing overarching maritime character. The public enjoyment of the existing old harbour and the new canals is stimulated. They are made accessible by pubic quays, stairs, boardwalks and moorings.

  • Five unity elements: Harbour and waterfront, Gammel havn and canals, grid and open blocks, ramparts, food driver

    An all-embracing urban planning concept combines the character of the inner city with the harbor identity in a coherent urban ensemble. The scale of buildings respects the existing city. Its planning principles dictate a varied mix of different uses, urban typologies and architectures. Within these principles, the urban development is highly adaptable to any future changes that might affect the development process.

    The development plan invites different stakeholders to take initiative. The most prominent place at the water is reserved for a cultural quarter with theatre and school for the nationally renowned Musical Academy. It contributes to the overall cultural richness of the community and attracts national visitors. Also other specialised educational programs will be attracted. The military identity of the town will be represented in a new exhibition centre, which also supports war veterans and their family.

  • The new area seamlessly connects to the existing city by continuing the characteristic street layout. It offers both a direct physical and visual connection of the centre to the sea. A central, pedestrianized spine extends the centre’s retail area into the site. In the new quarter, walking and cycling are promoted over car use by proximity of facilities like a school and a network of pedestrian and shared space streets. 

    The main streets have cycle lanes and a dedicated cycle lane connects directly to the nearby train station. Car use is discouraged by introducing paid parking. Only a limited amount of cars park in public space, along the streets. Most parking is integrated in building basements, out of sight. Double use is taken into account to reduce the total amount of built parking. Car sharing and electrical cars are facilitated.

  • Public space on the site and ground floors are raised about 1 m, in anticipation to sea level changes. Local soil from digging the canals is used to raise the site. The raising of the site also decks off existing soil pollution
  • Future users of the area are encouraged to behave sustainable. Throughout the plan, initiatives for urban agriculture, like community gardens, glasshouses, fish and shellfish farms are located. It is a community building tool, providing awareness about locally produced, healthy food. Micro-squares and open collective courtyards with communal allotments provide intimate meeting spaces, strengthening the social coherence.

    The landscape also invites to exercise, not only on the water, but in the central green park as well. The park restores the historic position of the demolished southern rampart and reconnects both ends of the vaults which nowadays are used as a recreational park area with sport pitches. A new school will use the park as its playground.