Can we design some Danish ‘hygge’ into our housing?

Petra marko of marko and placemakers

The housing crisis is not just about numbers. Petra Marko finds inspiration as she cycles round Copenhagen

Last week I spent a day cycling around Copenhagen with my VeloCity colleagues Annalie Riches, of Mikhail Riches, and Sarah Featherstone, of Featherstone Young. We were there to look at high-density housing, public spaces and cycling infrastructure. Despite freezing temperatures it was a very convenient and enjoyable way to cover a lot of ground in the very short time we had.

Our purpose was to find inspiration for housing typologies we could embrace back in the UK, in particular in rural areas. The premise of our VeloCity idea (which won the National Infrastructure Commission’s competition for growth and placemaking along the Oxford-Cambridge corridor) is that high-density mixed-tenure affordable housing built tightly around historic village cores could attract a broader demographic. With a critical mass of inhabitants some of the services villages lost over time could be reinvigorated, while more open space can remain free for shared communal life to spill out beyond the buildings.

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