New temporary urban space by SLA for the COP15 arrival area


When thousands of COP15 delegates arrive at the climate summit in the Bella Center, they will not be bored in the queue. SLA has staged the arrival area with a temporary urban space that provides food for thought.

With the project White Balance it is SLA’s intention to put focus on the factors in our cities related to the climate issues pivotal to COP15.


Bright surfaces reflect the sunlight, thus restricting the city’s overheating and CO2 imprint. The reflection also means that you can reduce the energy used by the street lighting. To draw attention to this, the surface of the arrival area is replaced with a giant circle of white limestone.

The limestone also tells another story: Rainwater that is acidified by the CO2-levels in the atmosphere is neutralized by the limestone. The circle will slowly disappear as long as there is an unnatural level of CO2 in the rainwater.


Trees and plants absorb water and CO2. They increase evaporation, provide shade and shelter, creating a comfortable microclimate – all things that will reduce the impact of the CO2 emission. The trees in the arrival area are a reminder of these beneficial effects. The nature will in future cities be integrated in everything we do, if they are to be sustainable.


The changing climate’s violent rainfalls coupled with the cities’ sealed surfaces often result in flooding. One solution is to use local seepage and establish delay pools, that also are beautiful and recreational oases in the cities. The arrival area contains 3 water mirrors, each with its own theme. One water mirror contains lime, and a slight bluish tone is visible similarly to the sea below famed Moens Cliff in Denmark. Another water mirror contains bio waste, which slowly will decompose – nature’s way of recycling its own resources. A third is surrounded by water jets, emitting a water cloud every two minutes. During COP15 the pulse daily consumes the same volume of clean water as used by the average Dane.

Stig L. Andersson: The city is an ecosystem where each part is interdependent. Nature and city are not opposites, but merely different systems, that as a whole must be in balance. COP15 will affect the possibility for a future balance between human urbanization and Earths ressources. The arrival area at COP15 will hopefully inspire to this thinking.

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