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  • Can We Imagine a City Free From Freeways?

    Car-centered urban planning has left many cities with outdated and obtrusive infrastructure, like freeways bisecting the urban fabric. But what role will yesterday’s motorways play in tomorrow’s cities? To complement the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Henning Larsen brought citizens and stakeholders together to discuss how aging infrastructure can prompt new growth.

  • In the 1960s, cars symbolized freedom. City planners catered to cars, as major motorways and urban grids sprouted to accommodate a surging generation of eager motorists. But in today’s world of diversified transit, the future of large-scale, car-centric infrastructure seems uncertain. Copenhagen has Bispeengbuen, a six-lane elevated expressway – Built as a motorist’s gateway to the city, the project no longer holds the same appeal and utility that it once did. Can we turn a structure like this into a more livable, sustainable solution? Yesterday, we gathered architects, urban designers, mobility experts and politicians to discuss these massive infrastructures.

    Hosted at the Danish Architecture Center as part of Henning Larsen’s 60th anniversary SKALA event series, the discussion focused on how cities can repurpose existing infrastructure to put people, not cars, at the center of our cities. Copenhagen’s own Bispeengbuen served as a case study, as a breadth of industry and academia expertise came together to explore possible and preferable futures for the project.

    Eight short, sharp talks introduced different perspectives for the participants to take inspiration from. Speakers included Camilla Van Deurs, Copenhagen’s City Architect; Paul Welander, Senior Vice President at Volvo Cars; Mike Layton, City Councilor for the City of Toronto; Søren Hansen, Project Director for Mobility and Traffic Planning at Rambøll; Anders Jørn Jensen, Founder of the citizen’s initiative Åbn Åen; and Ole B. Jensen, professor at Aalborg University.

    Part of SKALA talks

    In 1985, Henning Larsen launched SKALA, an architectural journal, and Copenhagen gallery. For nearly a decade, SKALA served to foster discussions of Scandinavian design, reflecting and amplifying voices within the world of architecture.

    In 2019, we recognize that design does not exist in a vacuum. 

    As a celebratory gesture to our 60th anniversary, SKALA returns as a series of talks and design events. Across the globe, we want to spark conversations on the role of architecture and urban design of the present and future. Therefore, Henning Larsen four global SKALA events – in Copenhagen, New York, Hong Kong, and Munich.

    The event was hosted in collaboration with Rambøll and DAC. It took place on October 9th, 2019 as part of this year's C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen.