The daylighting earned national and international accolades as an excellent example of sustainable urban planning and sparked interest in Copenhagen, where local groups advocate for the uncovering of the Ladegårdsåen, a piped canal underneath one of the busiest roads of the Danish capital. Thanks to the daylighting of its river, Aarhus revamped a ‘blue-green’ infrastructure right in the heart of its historical center, gained recreational spaces for pedestrians as well as a brand new stretch of lively restaurants and cafes that became very popular among locals and tourists.

According to Phillip Fangel, these are only the most visible benefits of the newfound river: “Besides less cars, more green and a renewed allure, the urban regeneration linked to the river brought us also a modern and effective water management system that is fully integrated into our cultural heritage.

With two artificial lakes, a couple of large underground reservoirs for wastewater and a sluice system at the mouth of its river, Aarhus is now better protected against floods and more climate resilient

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Cover photo by Stephan Mahlke on Unsplash and article photos by Aarhus Arkivet and Phillip Fangel.