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UN City opens in Copenhagen

On July 4, a new and modern UN City was opened on the harbour front of Copenhagen – a city that is meant to join all UN departments based in the capital of Denmark under one roof and thus promote unity, collaboration and dialogue within the UN.

""                                                          Image: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at opening ceremony on July 4 2013 (UN)

Towering on the harbour of Nordhavn in Copenhagen, you will see an impressive complex shaped like a star pointing to every corner of the world. This is the new UN City commenced in the Spring of 2010 and comprising a 45000 m2 office complex (Campus 1) and a 20000 m2 warehouse (Campus 2).

On July 4 2013 this city was officially opened and taken into use when Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark together with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Villy Søvndal and Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Christian Friis Bach attended a ceremony at Campus 1.

In more than 50 years WHO (World Health Organization) has had its regional office of Europe in Copenhagen and today Copenhagen is the world’s sixth largest UN city in the western world. Approximately 1250 UN staff members work in 8 UN organisations, affiliated agencies and international organisations in Denmark and an ambition to join these departments under one star-shaped roof is now a reality with the new UN City.

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Image: The UN City from above, Copenhagen (Adam Mørk)

The reasons why UN has chosen to construct this complex in Copenhagen are many: the highly educated workforce, the infrastructure, the well-functioning society, the high level of security, as well as the location in a “central” time zone, enabling the organisations not only to work in parallel with the UN’s activities in Africa and the Middle East, but also to reach colleagues in Asia and America within the same working day.

The UN City, designed by the Danish company 3XN and funded by the Danish government, aspires to become one of Denmark’s most energy efficient buildings with an annual energy consumption of less than 50 KwH per m2 (Danish Energy Class 1). More than 1,400 solar panels are lining the roof of the building to support the goal of generating renewable energy onsite and the structure of the city is designed to limit the use of chemicals and pollutants.

The new UN City combines innovative technology with spectacular and sustainable design embracing collaboration, communication and creativity and thus represents not only the green ambitions of the city in which it is built, but also the identity of the UN.

Click here to watch a video presentation of the UN City

For more information about the UN City, please click here