Case #1: Activation of Kolding creek – Business Group Kolding

Area development and unifying city life.


Through Kolding town runs a 2km long stream. Formally used as a dumping ground, its banks are closed off by the backs of bordering buildings. In order to develop the potential of the stream, Kolding has established 15 public spaces, enabling the town’s citizens to gather. The public spaces have different shapes and functions, from nature sites to seating, yet citizens are still not attracted to the area.

Key issues

Case # 1 of Sprout Talent Week identifies what actions are needed to entice the citizens of Kolding to the stream, all year round. Kolding town centre is home to many students, whilst the town’s outlying areas host primarily larger family houses. The stream, as a focal point for the town’s citizens, should therefore appeal to a broad audience. How can the stream’s function be renewed, to become a favourite place for all citizens? There’s a wish for a solution that both supports physical coherence and the diversity of the town.

Desired outcome

  • Physical coherence because the current public spaces along the stream seem isolated, leaving a fragmented overall picture. The challenge is therefore: how to create a natural and coherent connection between the public spaces?
  • Diversity of the town because the solution should have a wide appeal, welcoming all of the town’s citizens to enjoy the public spaces. The challenge is therefore, how can the stream become a life nerve for all of Kolding’s citizens?

Key words: Recreational space, coherence, urban life, nature, branding, multi-users, sustainability

Lab Facilitator

This year, the Innovation Labs will be lead by four international professional facilitators from the Institute without Boundaries (IwB), based in Toronto. The IwB employs and trains professionals and postgraduate students from various disciplines. As a top design training and research centre, the IwB is committed to collaborative and interdisciplinary design practice, in order to create innovative local solutions to 21st century global challenges.

Elise Hudson, Chair, School of Design, George Brown College

As Chair of the School of Design at George Brown College, Elise oversees nine programs related to graphic, interaction and game design, as well as design management and strategy. She has Master’s degrees in museum studies from the University of Toronto, and design history and material culture from the Bard Graduate Center in New York. She is writing a PhD about contemporary product design and issues of globalization, mapping the production, circulation and consumption of everyday consumer goods to reveal complex design processes and the division of creative labour. Elise has been engaged in design and education for over 15 years through her work in museums, colleges and universities. She was Director of Exhibitions and Associate Curator at the Design Exchange, Canada’s national design museum for eight years. At the Institute without Boundaries, Elise was Program Coordinator and faculty for the Interdisciplinary Design Strategy post-graduate program, and later organized exhibitions and events. This included charrettes in Dublin, New York and Milan, as well as a multi-year project on sustainable transportation resulting in a 200-person charrette and 8,000 square-foot multi-media exhibition. Elise is collaborating with Interaction Design students and faculty on a three-year project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to co-create a digital application with youth-at-risk on the topic of holistic crisis planning.

Advisory Board

Based on relevant academic or practice-based experiences, an interdisciplinary group of experts is connected to each lab, with the purpose of guiding and inspiring the focus and work of the participants. Advisors will join the lab on-site during 1-3 sessions, where they will give direct feedback on ideas and work in progress, presented by participants.

Søren Nielsen

Søren Nielsen

Owner, Tegnestuen Mejeriet and Member of Business Group Kolding
Thit Juul Madsen

Thit Juul Madsen

CEO, Design to innovate (D2i)
Tommy Toft

Tommy Toft

Owner & Director at Form3
Thomas Thinghuus

Thomas Thinghuus

Landscape architect, Kolding Municipality
Torben Gade

Torben Gade

Project Manager, Kolding Municipality

Martin Haselbach

Vice Head of Unit SDU Civil and Architectural Engineering

Case Partners