Kalundborg Circular Campus - Transformation through symbiotic relationships

The city is clearly ready for a cultural change; people are excited about the great potential and optimistic about how.

When young people leave the elementary schools and the high school in the Kalundborg areas located 100 km west of Copenhagen, many want to stay in the region instead of moving to bigger cities to attend higher education. That is a problem for the city with its thriving industrial ‘Symbiosis’ connecting more than 20 different streams of water, energy, and materials. Biotech companies such as Novo Nordisk and Novozymes need highly educated young people.

But if things go as hoped, the city will be lifted in terms of knowledge in the coming years, because higher education will move to the area. In September, 30 students begin a new bachelor education run by the Copenhagen-based Royal Danish Academy, which is closely tied to Kalundborg.

Related to Desire the partners are working on the establishment of a campus for a new architectural education in Kalundborg, Denmark. A few locations are in the pipeline and, where possible, Desire will test the sites by setting up temporary classes in empty rooms and allowing students to work here as part of their education.‍

In the process, they will examine which solutions are most sustainable based on parameters such as study environment, urban development, economy, resources, accessibility and energy consumption.

The Royal Danish Academy and Knowledge Hub Zealand hope to contribute with knowledge on how and why it pays off to allow time for research and experimentation with different stakeholders before major decisions are made.

We visited Kalundborg on a sunny day in April. The city is clearly ready for a cultural change; people are excited about the great potential and optimistic about how to engage citizens - young and older - in the transformation. Not only to attract students, but also to develop cultural life in the city, so that it appears more inviting to families, so that they want to move to the region.

Learn more in this poster - and see a few photos below

The town of Kalundborg consists of an old district with a church as a unique centre, situated high with a view of the harbour and the extensive industrial symbiosis.

Our partner Knowledge Hub Zealand (with Project Manager Pernille Bech a left) had organised the visit. The day after the partners hold a workshop.

One of the Desire experts connected to the work in Kalundborg is Jennifer Andersson from The Really Regenerative Centre, CIC. She collects insights and learnings to bring to the benefit of other (European) sites.