Vester Voldgade and the square at Vartov, the Metropole Zone

Vester Voldgade is located in the centre of Copenhagen and is included in the so-called Metropole Zone. The Metropole Zone designates a large-scale development project launched by the City of Copenhagen in 2007 to enhance the section of inner Copenhagen extending from Kalvebod Brygge to Skt. Jørgens Lake and from Copenhagen Central Station across Town Hall Square to Vester Voldgade.


Customer/contact: City of Copenhagen

Lead consultant, Vartov: Hackett Hall McKnight, Ireland

Sub-consultants: COBE (Vester Voldgade) and GBH Landscape Architects

Period: 2009–2012


The area has suffered from a lack of overall planning for several years. Accordingly, the goal of the Metropole Zone is to gather the wide variety of initiatives within the zone and develop them cohesively with synergy in mind. The goal for the Vester Voldgade project is to liven up the area with recreational options, highlight its connection to the waterfront and make Vester Voldgade friendlier to cyclist and pedestrian traffic. 

The vision for the conversion of Vester Voldgade was: “to give the street’s functions – in the form of dwellings, businesses and institutions – more space and better opportunities for thriving. The street must be beautified so it will be more attractive to residents, visitors and tourists moving between Jarmers Plads, Town Hall Square and the waterfront. At the same time, it should be a street with space for everyday ‘urban activities’, for play, meetings places, businesses and cultural life. The street must develop its own unique identity based on the functions, history and potential of Vester Voldgade.”

The traffic calming of Vester Voldgade includes reducing the roadway area to one driving lane in each direction, supplemented by a turning lane in intersections and one lane with kerbside parking on the west side of the street. Vehicular traffic is now one-way along two street sections (Ny Kongensgade–Rysenstensgade to the south and Ny Kongensgade–Stormgade to the north), where the roadway area is further reduced to a single driving lane, supplemented by kerbside parking.

Two large squares are created in front of the school Den Classenske Legatskole and Dantes Plads respectively, designed as raised areas where the square surfacing spans the street. Cycling tracks are established on both sides of the street along its entire length, and a wide common and promenade area with newly planted rows of trees is established along the east side of the street.