At the beginning of 2010, Realdania and the Danish Foundation for Culture and Sport Facilities (Lokale- og Anlægsfonden) introduced a development project entitled “A Good Detour” (En god omvej). The intent of the competition was to encourage innovative design and planning concepts that would create better conditions for healthier and more active lifestyles, especially within the everyday spaces we inhabit. Ultimately, the winning projects will be used as examples that other cities and communities can emulate.
Out of the 59 municipalities who submitted proposals, only 9 were selected to develop and build their ideas. In collaboration with Solrød Municipality, a suburb of Copenhagen, ACT submitted a proposal to establish an activity park along the embankment of a highway noise barrier. The site is, as most noise highway barriers are, a vast 1.4 kilometer strip of land, directly adjacent to a large residential area and void of any desirable function.
In a country where vertical topography is a rarity, the proposed activity park will take advantage of the site’s ”hill” landscape, integrating a series of new experiences for local citizens, including walking and climbing paths and a sledding area during the winter.
The design concept calls for the establishment of four activity zones and a disc golf course along the entire site. Each of the activity areas is designed with a specific function and user group in mind. For example one area creates a new public performance space, while another is considered to be a “big kids” playground, catering to all ages. The design proposal also takes advantage of the existing site characteristics, utilizing a grove of trees, for example, to add intimacy to the performance space.
Apart from the proposed local improvements to the site, the activity park will also become a part of the municipality’s greater plan for a 4 kilometer long activity route through the center of the town.
ACTIVE CITY TRANSFORMATION IS A COMPLETELY NEW TYPE OF DESIGN PRACTICE.
ACT is not a traditional architecture, urban planning or landscape firm. Their interest lies in the development of projects that better integrate motion and activities into our daily experiences. We focus on the parameters and elements that create more active city spaces, neighborhoods and lifestyles, regardless of a project’s typology. We believe that there are numerous under-utilized or over-looked opportunities to be exploited in the spaces we inhabit.