0284 Blåvand Bymidte

From asphalt to green and safe urban space

Year: 2020
Location: Blåvand, Denmark
Size: 25.000 m2
Status: 2020 (Masterplan). Construction project ongoing
Collaborators: Skaarup Landskab, Urban Creators, FULDENDT, Lars Bernhard (Masterplan). Skaarup Landskab, FULDENDT, Trafikplan, COAST (Construction project)
Visualisations: SLETH
Photos: SLETH

SLETH has in collaboration with Urban Creators, FULDENDT, Skaarup Landskab and Lars Bernhard developed a Masterplan with associated Design Manual for Blåvand City Center. The project has been initiated by Varde Municipality, Realdania and Foreningen Blåvand Udvikling, all of which have been active participants in the entire process.

Blåvand is not just Denmark’s westernmost destination. It is also one of Denmark’s most valuable coastal and nature tourism destinations. Already today, there are significant signals that the pressure from tourism is leaving its mark on the traffic load and the quality of the urban environment, which has not been able to keep up with the growth in tourism. There is a need for an overall plan for the development of Blåvand, which aims to secure the city’s future on a sustainable basis.

Through a potential study of the city center and the region, we have developed a strategy that will make Blåvand City Center greener, safer, and more attractive for both visitors, residents, and the already very active business life. The masterplan’s primary focus is a rerouting of traffic through the city center, including rerouting of parking lanes and optimization of parking spaces. This creates a safer city center for pedestrians and bicyclists, reduces car particles, and creates easier access and better signage to parking spaces. All of which leaves space for a beautification of the city center with a closer connection to nature. Blåvand, which today has the character of a fully paved and gravel-covered surface in a beautiful dune landscape, becomes an integral part of nature in which it sits.

The process behind the Masterplan is distinguished by its high degree of commitment and involvement of the local population, the municipality, and Realdania. All initiatives are created in private-public collaborations. SLETH, together with Varde Municipality, has facilitated the extensive involvement process with workshops, exhibitions, and working groups among residents, business owners, and the municipality.

A team led by SLETH has been named the winner of the EU tender, which will fulfill the visions from the Masterplan for a vibrant city center with a natural atmosphere in Blåvand. The Blue Square will kick-start a comprehensive revitalization of Blåvand. The Blue Square creates a new central square with a focus on community and landscape. It contains all the parameters for the further work on the other roads and squares in the coastal city, including search paths, new pavements, and focus on the local, suburban fauna.

At the same time, a coherent expression will be created in the city center via urban furniture, pavements, and planting / plant beds in accordance with the design manual.