010 cobe jernbanebyen arches render 0.625
A creative, livable
city district

Year: First prize in competition 2021, on-going

Client: DSB Ejendomsudvikling and Freja Ejendomme

Program: Masterplan for a new partially car-free city district at former industrial railroad yard

Size: 550,000 m²

Jernbanebyen (The Railway District) is one of the last undeveloped industrial sites of central Copenhagen. The master plan introduces car free neighborhoods where traditional streets are replaced with green urban spaces for cyclists and pedestrians. As a continuation of the site’s former function as an industrial production facility for the Danish national rail company DSB, the project aims to be a city of production. Products will be developed, produced and sold locally. The unique, heritage listed production buildings will be transformed into workshops for creative businesses and startup companies. Filled with contrasts and with creativity, the transformed historical industrial buildings and train tracks will be located side by side with green urban spaces, housing, institutions, shops, eateries, communal facilities, and cultural offerings. This new neighborhood will be the framework for a healthy urban everyday life in cities.

020 cobe jernbanebyen dsb workshop

Photo: Unknown / VISDA

030 cobe jernbanebyen 1940s aerial
041 cobe jernbanebyen historic allotment gardens

Photo: Mogens Falk-Sørensen, Stadsarkivets fotografiske Atelier

Jernbanebyen will form the framework for a new urban development where past and present merge, providing 4,500 new homes and workplaces for 8,000 people. Jernbanebyen will be a dense city district with more than 11 hectares of green areas and 8 hectares of green streets.

050 cobe jernbanebyen aerial 2020 credit luftfotodanmark

In the future, many of DSB’s facilities will move out of the area, making room for a vibrant city district.
Photo: Luftfotodanmark

Traditional streets are
replaced with
green urban spaces
060 cobe jernbanebyen aerial render

At Jernbanebyen, a network of car-free streets intertwine with the urban structure. Pedestrians and cyclists will be given pride of place, and trees and greenery will be close to all homes and workplaces.

070 cobe jernbanebyen the green mesh diagram

The green network extends into the surrounding context and branches off as a delta of landscaped urban spaces and connections.

080 cobe jernbanebyen master plan

The development of Jernbanebyen will be guided by five robust strategies, each supporting the district’s overall plan and ensuring that its main structure and basic qualities will be maintained.

090 cobe jernbanebyen green spaces diagram

The Green Voids

A network of green urban spaces creates an overall structure and adds to its quality of life.

100 cobe jernbanebyen green mesh diagram

The Network

The network weaves landscape into the overall urban development

110 cobe jernbanebyen string of pearls diagram

The Pearl Necklace

Noise management is designed as a pearl necklace of local solutions, creating a varied and eventful edge round the site.

120 cobe jernbanebyen neighbourhoods diagram

The Everyday City

Jernbanebyen is divided into distinct smaller urban quarters, each with its own character, using the specific qualities and challenges of each place as a starting point.

130 cobe jernbanebyen workshops diagram

The City of Production

The legacy of the area’s past as an industrial production facility is carried on into the future, and its rich building heritage is preserved and transformed.

10 ha park creates
the spine of the
090 cobe jernbanebyen green spaces diagram

The green voids define a network of landscaped urban spaces that connect and lend structure to the organization of Jernbanebyen. A new city district in the middle of Copenhagen with large parks and unique urban squares.

140 cobe jernbanebyen green space render

At Jernbanebyen, nature will be divided into four different types: Cultural Nature, Railway Nature, Local Nature and Infra-Nature.

150 cobe jernbanebyen culture nature diagram

Cultural Nature

Three large parks make up the Cultural Nature and connect Jernbanebyen from north to south with the surrounding green urban structures.

160 cobe jernbanebyen railway nature diagram

Railway Nature

The urban spaces along the railroad are called Railway Nature, creating a coherent connection from east to west.

170 cobe jernbanebyen local nature diagram

Local Nature

Jernbanebyen has several unique urban spaces - all in relation to the former industrial buildings. These urban spaces will be staged and used as anchorage points in the development, giving each individual quarter a meeting place with a unique character.

180 cobe jernbanebyen infra nature diagram

Infra Nature

Jernbanebyen is an urban city district, where all residents live in close proximity to nature. It is a partially car free neighborhood where all streets are lush common areas.

9 ha green
leads the way
180 cobe jernbanebyen infra nature diagram

The fabric creates a Copenhagen neighborhood where all residents live in close proximity to nature. The ambition is to develop a partially car free district, contributing to an active city life, local meeting places and social communities.

190 cobe jernbanebyen new forms of transportation

At Jernbanebyen streets will be transformed into space for communities.
Photo: Chris Yarzab (flickr), Tony Webster (flickr)

200 cobe jernbanebyen green road space render

The car free streets will open up space for urban nature and reduce traditional street area by up to 50%. The streets will become vegetated corridors contributing with a lush urban nature and attractive micro-climate. This creates added value for people, a pleasant city climate, and will support and enhance existing biodiversity along the railway tracks.

210 cobe jernbanebyen green road space diagram

Roadways are reduced to only 5m in width, creating more space for life and urban nature.

220 cobe jernbanebyen neighbourhood plaza plan

An existing custom hall will be transformed into a covered urban space, housing an orangery and a locally managed café functioning as a promoter for urban life.

The landscape fabric binds the area together and creates social and green urban spaces with room for informal meeting places. The transformation of an existing hall becomes a covered urban space.

230 cobe jernbanebyen transportation network

The primary green connections are also the main connections for cyclists and pedestrians. Driver-less buses connect Jernbanebyen with Copenhagen’s public transport system.

235 cobe jernbanebyen car free city diagram

Cars will be parked in parking garages located along the periphery of the site.

How can noise handling
become an attraction?

Jernbanebyen is located in between heavy arterial roads and railroads. It is essential that the development of the area handles the traffic noise in order to create a good living environment.

110 cobe jernbanebyen string of pearls diagram

The pearl necklace absorbs the noise and becomes an attraction and a positive contribution to Jernbanebyen. The pearl necklace is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but a robust and varied approach to noise management.

240 cobe jernbanebyen green noise barrier

The noise management is a varied and eventful collection of different functions, creating a distinctive edge along the periphery of the site.

250 cobe jernbanebyen green noise barrier residental


A communal balcony will connect 4-6 apartments and create a local community and a noise screen with vegetation.

260 cobe jernbanebyen green noise barrier parking house

Parking garage with green facades

The parking garages buffer the area from noise, and the walls create space for vegetation.

280 cobe jernbanebyen green noise barrier vertical park

Vertical parks

Vertical parks create an attraction for the neighboring areas.

275 cobe jernbanebyen green noise barrier string of pearls

The pearl necklace consists of local solutions and espaliers of green facades, housing developments with noise protecting balconies, strategically located parking garages, and industrial and commercial buildings.

A diverse city district
with strong local
120 cobe jernbanebyen neighbourhoods diagram

Jernbanebyen is organized into different neighborhoods defined by the green voids. The neighborhoods will be developed area by area, each with its own distinctive character, together creating a varied vivid city district.

290 cobe jernbanebyen entrance render
300 cobe jernbanebyen entrance render

The different neighborhoods ensure a variation of possibilities for attracting different types of residents and to form new communities. Each neighborhood will be differentiated with a focus on each area’s distinctive character.

320 cobe jernbanebyen railway station neighbourhood

The Railway Station Neighborhood

The railway station neighborhood has room for the crooked and the self-made. The area will have small building plots available for small and medium-sized developers and cohabitation.

310 cobe jernbanebyen central workshop

The Central Workshop Neighborhood

The central workshop neighborhood is the heart of Jernbanebyen. The architectural uniqueness is based on the rich history and heritage found in the area. The neighborhood is organized according to the existing workshop buildings, and the heart of the area has staggered streets where losing your orientation becomes a positive result.

330 cobe jernbanebyen build neighbourhood

The Production Neighborhood

When arriving to Jernbanebyen from the west, you will be met by the production neighborhood. The existing workshop building is one of the most worthy of preservation in Jernbanebyen and will over time be transformed into new production facilities, located next to creative businesses, distinct housing typologies and institutions.

340 cobe jernbanebyen southwest passage

The South-west Passage

Copenhagen will get a new bicycle path, connecting Jernbanebyen with the surrounding city. The bicycle path will be connected with active urban spaces, outdoor fitness areas and active training on the top of the parking garages.

350 cobe jernbanebyen the wedge

The Wedge

The wedge is centrally located in Jernbanebyen. The mixed-use neighborhood opens up toward two inner green urban spaces, creating the framework for a unique sense of community.

360 cobe jernbanebyen the track neighbourhood

The Track Neighborhood

The streets will be the main attraction in the track neighborhood. They will show the way for a completely new way of living in the city. The entire neighborhood is characterized by sweeping streets with space for living, play and movement. In the middle of the city district, the existing building structure will create the framework for a new covered urban space, which all year round can accommodate events for both the local community and for the whole of Copenhagen.

370 cobe jernbanebyen neighbourhood plaza render
Conservation is not only
about the physical
spaces but also about the
functional spaces
090 cobe jernbanebyen green spaces diagram

The production neighborhood ushers the legacy of the area’s working past into the future. The rich building heritage will be preserved and transformed, and new workshops create the breeding ground for a new growth segment of startups, creative business and culture in general.

380 cobe jernbanebyen productive city

As a continuation of the site’s former function as an industrial production facility, the project aims to be a city of production.

Jernbanebyen is a city of production, creating an ideal and inspiring framework for entrepreneurs and creative businesses to thrive in and around the existing cultural heritage. The ground floor facilities will house new workshops, ensuring a vivid city district.

390 cobe jernbanebyen workshops in refurbished halls diagram

Workshops in transformed industrial halls.

400 cobe jernbanebyen new flexible workshops diagram

New flexible workshops and halls.

410 cobe jernbanebyen small workshops and ground floor spaces diagram

Small workshops on the groundfloor.

420 cobe jernbanebyen active ground floor diagram

Creative businesses in the workshops.

430 cobe jernbanebyen refurbished building render

Existing buildings will be transformed respectfully, creating new life in the cultural heritage surroundings.

440 cobe jernbanebyen refurbished buildings diagram

From workshop to library and culture house

450 cobe jernbanebyen refurbished buildings diagram

From engine workshop to small businesses

460 cobe jernbanebyen refurbished buildings diagram

From workshop to offices and studios

470 cobe jernbanebyen refurbished buildings diagram

From offices to arena to public space

490 cobe jernbanebyen turntable 480 cobe jernbanebyen transformed green socal space

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark, On-going masterplan process

Client: DSB Ejendomsudvikling and Freja Ejendomme

Program: Masterplan for a new partially car-free city district at former industrial railroad yard

Size: 550,000 m²

Year: First prize in competition 2021, on-going

Collaborators: Arcgency, Urban Creators, EKJ, 103, Metropolitan Metaculture, Mark Vacher, Sandra Lori Petersen

Team: Aleksandra Rønning, Alexander Ejsing, Caroline Richardt Beck, Casper Borg, Christian Schmidt, Dan Stubbergaard, David Boss Jessen, Francisco Tirado, Io Maria Schønherr, Jonathan Udemezue, Karoline Liedtke-Sørensen, Koen Meijman, Lauren Catterson, Lærke Kramer, Mads Birgens Kristensen, Max Neumeister, Nora Seipel, Romila Strub, Rune Boserup, Victor Carlsen

Image credits: Please note that we had used a small number of images for which the copyright holders could not be identified. In these cases it has been our assumption that such images belong to the public domain. If you claim ownership of any of the images presented and have not been properly identified, please notify Cobe and we will make a formal acknowledgement.