Vollsmose Å – a natural part of the city

District plan for the Vollsmose of tomorrow

The district plan for the "Vollsmose of tomorrow” sets the stage for a thorough transformation of Denmark’s largest deprived residential area, which involves developing 400,000 m² of new plots. The intention is to create a “mixed city” which links to the rest of Odense both physically and psychologically.
  • Odense Municipality
  • Hele Landet
    Collaborating Architects
  • COWI
  • Location
    Vollsmose, Odense
  • Year
    2022 - 2030
  • Size
    125 ha (incl. 40 ha of development sites)
  • Certification
  • Architect
  • Landscape

The purpose behind the transformation of Vollsmose is to reimagine the area with an eye to the big picture, turning Vollsmose into an integral part of the city of Odense. This entails changes in both social and physical structures. Vollsmose should be a district in which it feels safe to live, visit and travel around, and which is attractive to new residents as well as people already living there. A district which promotes a sense of community and supports a stimulating life for individuals, families, associations, institutions, businesses etc. Based on the statutory development plan for “the Vollsmose of tomorrow” from 2019, the intention is to develop a mixed and sustainable district with a share of public housing which is to be reduced to no more than 40% by 2030.

Arkitema Vollsmose Gårdrum view web
The transformation of Vollsmose will focus on the future, not least with regard to environmental sustainability.

Vollsmose is currently ringed by five major roads, which enclose the area like an island turned in on itself. The district plan proposes far-reaching changes to the road layout around Vollsmose, which will tie together new and existing developments and ways in and out of the district. Existing roads will be removed or downgraded and a more fine-meshed network of roads and paths will be established, to create more of the sort of urban structure that we know from other parts of Odense, with streets and squares where people can move around, spend time and come together.

The plan defines a positive conception which relates to the Odense river rather than the five surrounding roads, with Vollsmose organised into four new quarters instead of the existing six parks which are closed in on themselves. Within the individual quarters there will be small urban spaces and meeting places, which residents can refer to and where they can come together. An extensive system of paths, streets and a new promenade alongside the light rail line will link the quarters together, and the primary urban spaces will be established along these arteries or at the intersections between them.

The transformation of Vollsmose will focus on the future, not least with regard to environmental sustainability. Both the district itself and the individual buildings will be DGNB-certified, there will be space for natural diversity, and rainwater will be treated as a valuable resource to be collected and used.

Arkitema, COWI and Hele Landet have worked with AP Ejendomme to develop the “District plan for the Vollsmose of tomorrow” in close consultation with the City of Odense and the Civica and Fab housing associations. It was very important to arrive at a district plan that was both visionary and realistic, and this called for detailed coordination with other planning being done in Vollsmose. It will be implemented under the auspices of the area development corporation made up of the City of Odense, AP Ejendomme, Civica and Fab.

Arkitema Vollsmose Future Birdeye web