Development Plan

The attractive location of The Canal City between the historical fortress town of Fredericia and the ocean makes the area unique for modern urban development. This is underpinned by Fredericia's central location at the heart of the Triangle Area – one of Denmark's key growth centres.

The development plan describes how the development of Kanalbyen is to be completed over the next 20-25 years, and the plan is based on the results of an international parallel competition held in 2011.

Vision of Kanalbyen
The vision of Kanalbyen is to create an attractive and modern urban district, opening Fredericia up to the Little Belt, while at the same time respecting the unique history of Fredericia.

The vision is embedded in five underlying vision points for the development of the area:

  • History, modern urban construction and architecture meet and lead to innovative thinking.
  • Urban and life quality and development potential go hand in hand.
  • Town citizens and players take active part in urban development
  • Fredericia will be the catalyst for developing the Triangle Area in competition with the metropolitan area.
  • Sustainability in economic, environmental, social and health aspects forms part of planning and solutions.

Development Plan
The development plan applies its concept to translate the five vision points into a coherent physical structure for the urban district, which connects the new urban district and the unique fortress town of Fredericia – by continuing the existing grid structure, respecting the town scale and interpreting its architecture again and by connecting the urban district to the town and regional infrastructures.

The physical concept consists of establishing canals that open the area to the Little Belt and brings the water all the way into town – as was the idea of the historical town plan from 1677 – and this alone will make Kanalbyen a regional attraction. Moreover, the concept of the development plan comprises a number of strategies to support the implementation and realisation of the development plan and the visions underlying the plan.

Physical plan

  • provides the framework for a modern and varied urban district to become a natural extension of the existing town with respect for the history of Fredericia, for instance by maintaining the sight lines towards the magnificent view of the Little Belt,
  • lays out three canals and streets in a straight block structure in the area east of Gl. Havn, features a retail shopping area along the eastern side of Gl. Havn, with a connection to J.B. Nielsens Plads and the existing retail outlets in the town centre,
  • extends the area west of Gl. Havn with buildings which - in terms of both extent and design - fit into the urban environment and the maritime atmosphere with jetties, slipway facilities and the surrounding harbour area,
  • works with a variation of urban spaces that provide inspiration for activity and recreation and an attractive, dynamic and diverse urban life,
  • has broad, publicly accessible waterfronts and a green loop running through the area east of Gl. Havn - called Karolinelunden,
  • allows room for public and cultural purposes, such as a school, a musical theatre, a military visitors’ centre, etc.,
  • operates with traffic solutions on three levels that give priority to pedestrians and cyclists, outline roads and parking spaces for passenger cars and facilitate transportation of goods and public transport.

Strategic Plan

The realisation of the physical extension project is supported through strategies for:

  • urban and life quality
  • active participation in urban development
  • co-ownerships
  • catalysts
  • temporary activities

The strategy for urban and life quality accentuates the importance of designing urban spaces in a way to stimulate movement and social relations. A suitable building density and a mix of housing types, retail outlets, cultural offerings, etc. will support the creation of an attractive and dynamic urban life, while people’s inclination to be in the urban spaces is stimulated through an appropriate micro climate and pleasant lighting. Existing as well as new temporary activities are integrated in the area throughout the urban development process. A quality programme will be one of the tools to be employed to maintain and control quality.

With the strategy for active participation in urban development, FredericiaC will endeavour to open up space and possibilities for everyone to participate actively in the urban development. That applies both to future residents who seek a home without having to commit themselves to social interaction and to residents who want to interact and experiment with new housing types and activities in the new urban district. Moreover, it applies to businesses that would like to move into the area and which may have a chance to participate early in development planning and take advantage of the framework of business networks and facilities in the area.

The strategy for co-ownerships is rooted in a desire to test and offer citizens and companies the possibility of participating in the operation and development of the urban district and its activities through various types of co-ownership. A broad spectrum of housing options are available, including owner-occupied homes, cooperative homes as well as private and social rental housing.

Businesses are offered new forms of cooperation with residents and interaction on communal activities, such as meeting facilities, staff canteens and restaurants. FredericiaC will work to develop an association concept for land owners and the residents and businesses in the urban district that is capable of supplementing the traditional tasks of a homeowners’ association with broader activities like culture, sports, etc.

Kanalbyen will also explore to what extent it will be possible to establish new forms of energy communities for the future residents and businesses in the area with a view to generating and utilising the energy produced in the area.

The strategy for catalysts implies a study of viable strategic projects that have the potential to become catalysts for the development of Kanalbyen .At the moment, attention is being paid to four strategic projects:

  • Food strategy
  • Military experience centre
  • Musical academy/theatre
  • Mini academies

The strategy for temporary activities builds on the initiatives already taken in the area to attract life and interest from town citizens and others. The areas are laid out to be accessible to everyone, and parts of the district accommodate a range of activities planned and built in partnership with interest groups, for instance a skating rink.

Work is undertaken in four focus areas:

  • Lifestyle and food
  • Sport and movement
  • Culture and performance
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship


The development plan is based on a fundamental principle that the development of Kanalbyen must be sustainable in the broadest sense of the word, i.e. in relation to the environment, energy and climate, health and social issues as well as financially. And the ambition is to set new standards for urban development in Denmark within all these three main areas:

Kanalbyen will take steps to create a carbon-free urban district and will therefore demand low-energy buildings and supply of alternative energy sources, such as surplus heat and photovoltaic cells.

A mix of housing types, retail outlets, cultural offerings, etc. will contribute to creating a diverse and inclusive urban district with room for everyone. At the same time, the urban district will encourage play and movement and, in that fashion, contribute to improving health.

The development of Kanalbyen must naturally also be financially viable and, in addition, the project must meet an imperative requirement of high quality.