Denmark loves bike lanes so much, it’s building one on top of a skyscraper.
Copenhagen Gate is a spectacular plan to link disparate parts of the Danish capital’s harbor, using a suspension bridge designed especially for cyclists and pedestrians. It’s the bridge’s supports that make it groundbreaking. The span will hang between a pair of mixed residential and office towers located on opposite piers at the harbor mouth.
Designed along with the towers by American architect Steven Holl, the bridge will cross between the towers not at water level, but at a height of 65 meters (213 feet). This elevation will provide spectacular views of the city and create a new visual gateway to Copenhagen for passengers arriving at the city’s cruise-ship terminal. After winning a competition 2008, Holl’s twin towers and bridge are finally due to start construction in 2016.
When finished, Copenhagen Gate should easily be the most spectacular piece of cycling infrastructure in the world. But could it also be the silliest?
To use the bridge, cyclists will need to pack their bikes into elevators on either side. That’s surely going to be a time-consuming, unwieldy process that, after the initial wow factor fades, might encourage riders just to pedal around the harbor at ground level. And even when the harbor is fully rebuilt, this peripheral site in its northern section will never be one of the most vital links in the city.