Among the various initiatives, dedicated underground basins have been introduced that retain wastewater so that in the event of excessive rainfall, it is not discharged into the port, but is retained so that it can later be discharged into the sewers. The basins can hold 260,000 m3 of wastewater, which is equivalent to 111 Olympic-sized swimming pools (50m).
The water in the port of Copenhagen has become so clean that it is suitable for swimming. Bathing takes place in the three wooden port pools called harbour baths by the Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group in six confined areas delimited by buoys called “swimming zones”, and at an urban beach, all extremely popular with local residents and tourists. The first harbour bath was designed by PLOT, a studio that included the now-famous Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.
This new condition of the old industrial harbour has led to the birth of new initiatives and ecosystems, which have turned the harbour into a new lively urban space designed for life. For instance, the floating student residences Urban Rigger, placed in the water to solve the lack of space for new student housing, kayak rentals and clubs, stand-up paddling, cliff-diving competitions from the Opera house’s rooftop, solar-energy powered boats to explore the canals, wakeboard, and jacuzzi powered by seawater overlooking the city. It is no coincidence that Copenhagen was declared the best bathing city in the world by CNN in 2019.