Exploring Copenhagen’s Radiant Future

Could you influence the future of your city by creating a constructive website with your ideas pinned on a Google map? This is what the guys behind Radiant Copenhagen must have asked themselves. If so, that would be a demonstration of how user-generated or open source planning could work.

Radiant Copenhagen is a website which maps the future of Copenhagen through the eyes of artists Anders Bojen, Kristoffer Ørum, Kasper Bonnén and writer Rune Graulund. Their combination of Google Maps and wikis provides an inspiring, utopian and even somewhat psychedelic vision for how the Danish capital should look and feel in the 21st century.

Radiant Copenhagen

The initiators worked with a team of architects, artists, designers, journalists, engineers and musicians to create a new vision for Copenhagen, an imaginary future as a reaction to the present day.

“All contributors share an interest in alternative realities and how these, through the internet and other media, play an increasing important role in our common understanding of the world.”

Radiant Copenhagen: Vanløse Underground Amusement Park

One of the 129 presented ideas is a new underground amusement park (see picture above) at the place of the current Vanløse subway station, that will be built after the predicted ‘Fall of Public Transport’ between 2060 and 2100.

“Visitors enter a small cable car and is led on a tour of electronic music, colorful light beams, waving puppets and suddenly disappearing movie screens. (…) Vanløse Metro Station indoor theme park is one of the largest indoor amusement parks in the world, ranked seventh worldwide in attendance according to the 2102 census. Opened on July 12, 2089, it receives about 80 million visitors every year.”

Other ‘former’ subway stations in Copenhagen will be turned into an underground whale basin and restaurants.

Radiant Copenhagen: Bubble Architecture

Another idea refers to the ‘bubbletecture’ of the roaring seventies and proposes the use of soap as a building material.

“Researchers at The Royal Danish Academy of Arts and the School of Architecture have developed a special soap solution capable of supporting a 5 mm thick soap film for up to 20 years, as long as its inhabitants perform the proper maintenance.”

In March, Radiant Copenhagen presented its visions with an exhibition at the Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art. Free bus tours were organised to show the predicted ‘hotspots’ of future Copenhagen. In 2109 I’ll write again about this project and we’ll see if the idea makers were right.