Flags flying high in front of Ramboll head office at the occasion of the visit by 75 French mayors, deputy mayors, developers and managers from municipalities around Paris on Thursday October 5.
By Michael Rothenborg
“Très original. Très chic. Très intelligent”.
Several members of a large French delegation who visited Copenhagen and Ramboll yesterday expressed that the Danish company’s collaborations with world known architects BIG were very original and smart. Not only the architecture but also the cloudburst protection system with water collection pools that leads to savings underground on the sewer system.
The delegation, consisting of 75 mayors, deputy mayors, municipality urban planners and private developers from the greater Paris region, were on a three day sustainable development inspirational tour.
They visited The Mountain and The 8 House residencies in Ørestad – the latter named World’s Best Residential Building at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona 2011 - before hearing presentations at Ramboll’s headquarters.
Two main challenges
There were presentations from Copenhagen Municipality, SLA Landscape Architects and Ramboll experts. Ramboll’s Group Director for Sustainability Neel Strøbæk pointed out that there are two main challenges for urban planners:
Urbanisation – with 70% of the world’s population living in cities by 2050, according to the UN and several other forecasts.
Climate change - where increased temperatures and heavier rainfalls in cities creates challenges but also an opportunity to create more liveability and green growth.
“We perform holistic analyses of the challenges at hand, and provide the multi-disciplinary solutions needed to solve these in the most beneficiary way,” explained Neel Strøbæk. “We have a powerful tool in combining our technical consultancy with socio-economic analyses and process knowledge”.
Leans more than the tower of Pisa
One of the examples of what Strøbæk called “world-class technical expertise” was also included on the trip around Ørestad.
Leaning at a gravity-defying 15 degree angle, the Bella Sky Hotel offers a sight never seen before - two towers leaning in opposite directions at an angle almost four times that of the leaning tower of Pisa – and thus the world’s most leaning concrete building.
A fact that also impressed the delegation.
In France, Ramboll has offices in Aix-en-Provence, Lyon and Paris with 90 environmental and chemical engineers, geologists, hydrogeologists, toxicologists, biodiversity specialists. The clients are mostly private and there are both national and international projects.