The urban living room vol. 1

What happens to the sense of community when the lines between private and public are more blurred?

The recent years has seen a rise in the idea of urban space as an extension of the living room. But how does an outdoor living room anno 2020 look like? How can it be co-created together by neighbours? And what happens to the sense of community when the lines between private and public are more blurred? We have set out to explore these questions together with our villagers. In this mini series we share the practicalities and learnings of our work.


A central street where cars are substituted with flowers

Village 1 is built around the idea of a central street that connects all homes. The street is made narrow with distances between buildings varying from 9,2 meters down to 5 meters. Homes are grouped in 4 units that houses 8 persons. small passages are created between each block making up for a space where 8 people interact and negotiate use of space on a daily basis.


Siteplan by Vandkunsten Architects


Created for people, by people?

In well-to-do cities such as Copenhagen, the urban space is by and large created by professionals and facilitated by national and local authorities. For private residents, the responsibility of developing the urban space most often stop at their front door. But lending from the idea of the traditional living room, could local residents take a more active part in creating and maintaining the urban space in immediate proximity to their homes?


In the Summer 2018, we started testing this idea at CPH Village 1 on Refshaleøen. We designed, prototyped and ordered materials for a set of simplistic urban space modules that can be combined into plant boxes, benches and tables.

Using these simple tools and a budget of 15.000 kr. a team of 30 residents were able to convert a desolate asphalt street into the beginnings of a green urban living room… created for people by people.

We will be following up with learnings of usage, maintenance and ideas for improved designs for how to create an urban living room


Want to learn more about life in the village?