By Ariel Schwartz
How do you deal with an influx of young people into your city? If you want to make them really happy, create a city within a city just for them. By 2025, Copenhagen will have 90,000 new residents, with 33,000 between 18 and 29 and 22,000 between 0 and 17 years of age. Instead of waiting to handle the growing population, Copenhagen Municipality challenged architects to come up with ideas for nurturing the city's youngest residents.
First place in the competition went to the Prinsessegade Kindergarden and Youth Club, a so-called "kids city" containing homes, parks, a restaurant, a stadium, a factory (hopefully not employing the kids), a city hall, and many of the other amenities that a regular city has--except it's all for children and their parents.
Prinsessegade is technically just a daycare and youth center--intended for 618 kids up to age 18--spread out over many buildings. But the designers (COBE, NORD architects, PK3, Grontmij) make it sound like kid heaven:
The size and diversity of the Kids' City means that everybody--children and young people as well as their parents--will feel at home. There's room for the wild kids, the quiet kids, for the kids who like to draw and paint, the roleplayers, the ones who play in the sandbox, the ones that race down the mountain in mooncars and those who like to bake cookies in the kitchen. There's room for the ones performing a musical in the city hall, the ones tinkering with their mopeds, the ones playing street basket in the cage and the ones kissing behind the bike shed.
Prinsessegade will be open at the end of 2014. Kids: Start saving up for your plane tickets now.
Copyright 2012 by Fast Company. Reprinted with permission.