Gellerupparken: From deprived area to attractive urban district


Lotte Svane

Lotte Svane

Head of department, Client Consultancy
T: +45 5161 7600

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A complex transformation project is underway in the neighbourhoods of Gellerupparken and Toveshøj, on the outskirts of Aarhus in Denmark, where a run down area is being developed into an attractive urban district.

The project is unique in both a Danish and international context and will provide new recreational areas, better infrastructure and will help boost employment and education.

The task involves demolition, building new residential housing, a city park and the development of three so-called 'plus zones': including a sports and cultural campus, a wedge-shaped retail area and a business district near the ring road in Aarhus.

Divided into sub-areas

The political steering committee, which comprises the mayor and councillors, representatives from Aarhus City Council and Brabrand Housing Association, has initiated this masterplanning project that involves investment of DKK 350 million in new roads, facilities for young people, a commercial area, residential housing, and the creation of public sector jobs.

The plan is to divide Gellerup into sub-areas in order to establish growth centres in the district. Land will be sold for development as the sub-areas experiences growth and the creation of new jobs.

Multidisciplinary expertise

Brabrand Housing Association has chosen Ramboll as client advisor on the masterplan for Gellerupparken and Toveshøj in Aarhus. Ramboll will accordingly assist Brabrand Housing Association in delivering the agreed projects for this DKK 1.3 billion initiative.

During the tender phase, Ramboll already completed a development project, where all disciplines ranging from technical expertise within urban design, management, communication, strategy and organisation developed a new innovative platform as a basis for solving the specific task.

Ramboll formed a developer and development consultancy team with Pluskontoret Arkitekter, which specialises in architecture and user involvement, as well as design studio, Transform, which works with urban space. In addition, communication consultants Jøp, Ove & Myrthu provided input during the tender phase.

The master plan includes three 'plus zones':

1) A retail wedge in the southern part of the area that links to the West City district following the sale of municipal buildings at the centre and to the south of the main street. A light rail connection to the area will have stops at the wedge.

2) A sports and cultural campus in the middle of the area. This includes sports facilities with a football field as well as a resident's house, a community centre, activities for residents, concerts, family parties and an indoor swimming pool.

3) A green business area – A 100,000 m2 newly built commercial district located on land towards the ring road. This is a green, sustainable area with strong environmental, energy and social responsibility credentials. This provides an economically attractive opportunity for investors and businesses with access to the city's best logistics and will also act as a springboard for employment and training.


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