A new village is under construction in Copenhagen, and it is uniquely designed to meet all 17 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The eco-village will focus on health and well-being to poverty and zero hunger.

Source: United Nations/YouTube

The project, called UN17, will soon develop five buildings that will house 1,100 residents. The buildings are being constructed on the last piece of vacant city-owned land in a new neighborhood called Ørestad, south of the city center.

“We wanted to put forward something that was comprehensive, challenging, and, importantly, that hadn’t ever been done before,” said Martin Schultz Nielsen, investment director at NREP, the company behind the project.

The paths traveled between the buildings and over rooftops are designed to get residents to walk more. The community gardens will be a place to grow healthy food while also meeting and socializing with neighbors. The dining hall will offer healthy cooking classes. There will be an onsite health center and gym. The indoor spaces will be ventilated for increased air quality and natural light and will even minimize noise.

The neighborhood is also located right next to a 550-acre natural preserve, and the courtyard will be filled with similar plants to help residents feel connected to nature. Some of the building’s roofs will even be covered in plants.

“We know that biodiversity has a huge impact on the health and well-being of the asset’s users, so even if there is a lot of nature close by the building, we wanted to invite it in,” Nielsen says. “When residents and guests are in the UN17 Village, we want it to feel like being ‘in nature’, rather than simply in close proximity to it.”

Regarding environmental goals, the project cut down on materials and chose low-carbon options, including wood and low-carbon cement, as much as possible. Solar panels will provide some power to residents, while the roofs and courtyards will collect rainwater that can be reused for irrigation.

The first stage of construction is set to finish this fall, with the first set of residents to move in next summer. The team hopes that this success will set the tone for the rest of the world and other cities will begin to join in.

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