Visiting Circular Economy Cities in Denmark

Kalundborg, Denmark


Kalundborg Symbiosis is a circular economy collaboration project between the City of Kalundborg, Denmark, and a number of private companies in the area.

These companies benefit from the residuals from their collaboration partners. One partner’s waste becomes another partner’s resource. This model was developed more than 40 years ago and was founded with economic interests in mind, and it was not until later that the environmental benefits of the symbiosis were recognized. In Kalundborg, the wastewater from the industry is used for biogas production, heat pumps for district heating, and they are looking into phosphorus and nitrogen removal and production.

News Oresund
Kalundborg Symbosis, 2015

VCS Denmark


VCS Denmark – known in Danish as VandCenter Syd – is the third largest water and wastewater utility in Denmark, and its history as an enterprise dates back more than 160 years.

VCS Denmark’s main operational activities include catchment management, treatment and distribution of potable water, and transport, treatment and disposal of wastewater. In recent years, its activities have increasingly incorporated climate adaptation. VCS Denmark contributes to the protection and improvement of the aquatic environment and the development of green urban living. In all activities, consideration for the environment is a key factor.

VCS Denmark is a limited company owned by the municipalities of Odense and Nordfyn. This enables a special position where VCS Denmark is able to enter agreements and operate both on private company terms and as a publicly owned utility.

© City of Odense | From City to Road to City
© City of Odense | Glisholm Lake



As part of the Climate Laboratory Strategy, a number of large-scale innovative climate adaptation projects are presently being developed in the Danish city of Middelfart. “The Climate City” is considered one of the most beautiful climate adaptation projects in Denmark.

Through the strategic approach ‘Urban Development by Climate Adaptation,’ the city of Middelfart considers climate adaptation to be both the main driving force behind and an important source of funding of future urban development. The objective of “The Climate City” project is – through a process design based on an architecturally-focused approach – to generate innovative solutions that integrate climate adaptation with urban development through focusing on multifunctional design of urban spaces and structures. Strategically, rainwater on the ground can be used as a supplement to pipes underground – thus developing a city that is both greener, healthier and more fun. A prerequisite is to consider rainwater and seawater a resource.

The vision for the project is that both the overall process design, with an underlying DNA of co-creation and multiple value creation, as well as the concrete solutions and the principles behind it will be a source of inspiration – both nationally and internationally – in developing resilient cultural heritage cities.

M. Prinke
© City of Middefart | City Adaptation Vision