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Mapping circular businesses for a circular transition


About the pilot area


Rentemestervej, one of the roads running across the Bispebjerg neighborhood in Copenhagen, has been an important industrial and manufacturing center of the city for more than 100 years. Prior to a period of industrial decline in the 1970s, Rentemestervej was a hotspot for the heavily polluting production of toys, enamel, bakelite and other plastic products and chemicals. While the companies have disappeared, they left behind a legacy of factory buildings that still showcase the original architectural style of their time, like the Tekno Fabrikken, built in 1934, located at  Rentemestervej 14. Today, these spaces have been repurposed into offices and studios, representing just one example of the rapid transformation of available spaces in the neighborhood. Ownership of these previously industrial sites, which hold heritage status, is divided amongst small businesses. 

Even though the quarter around Rentemestervej is predominantly industrial, the surrounding Bispebjerg area offers 19.7% of green space share,with a population density of 7,427 people per square kilometer. The neighborhood is now considered a hotspot of gentrification in the city, characterized by escalating rental prices and lack of access to affordable work spaces leading to an outflow of both inhabitants and businesses


The CENTRINNO team in Copenhagen, led by the City of Copenhagen, has used the CENTRINNO Cartography to map and analyze affordability and availability of space resources, such as production facilities, office spaces and storefronts. Using the creative hub of Rentemestervej in Nordvest as a case study, our team then mapped local businesses to identify opportunities and resources for a space-sharing economy.



Copenhagen's challenges

  • Waste generation: Copenhagen’s annual per capita waste generation is with 410 kg per year higher than the EU average

  • Housing: Highest housing overburden cost in Europe! In 2020, above 50% of income was spend on rent

Zooming into Nordvest’s challenges

  • Gentrification: Slow displacement of middle and low income groups with high-income earners

  • Water pollution: Polluted waters in local lake

  • Unemployment: Highest employment of all neighbourhoods in the city

Which insights have been gathered by our local context detectives?

Read through our gallery of local anecdotes, research findings and in-depth analysis 

Material Flow Analysis



Copenhagen, Denmark - Every year, the inhabitants of Copenhagen generate 410 kg of municipal waste . From this 410 kg, only a share of 34.6% is separately collected. The rest is collected as mixed waste. From what is recycled, not a lot gets recycled locally but instead mostly sent for export to be recycled in Germany or other places abroad. Plastics from recycled waste are sent to three different plants in Germany or also often rejected and incinerated right away.

With this considerable amount of garbage, the city's inhabitants fare worse than many other places in Europe. And what is worse, this number does not even include all the wastes from businesses, industry and construction which are not counted in the municipal waste.

Parallel to Amsterdam’s efforts to understand city and neighbourhood-wide urban challenges, the team has embarked on a journey to get to know the local maker community, their resources and concerns.

Who was mapped

Creative agents

Small food industries



Housing corporations

Vocational schools


  • To start building an active network of local institutions and creative businesses which are involved in a sharing economy of shared workspaces

How was it useful for the Copenhagen pilot team?

  • Mapping helped to great a visual overview of the pilot area

  • Provided the pilot with a framework for categorising different creative businesses. This made it easier to see where synergies between similar businesses can emerge

The mapping of makers in Poblenou was done by a dedicated team member who used an interview guide in informal conversations with makers.

What local resources were mapped?

Facilities available for sharing

Existing community relationships between businesses

What else was asked?

  • Benefits & disadvantages to running business in the neighbourhood

  • Businesses’ thoughts about the future of the neighbourhood

How was data collected?

  • In-person interviews with key stakeholders

Lessons learned

  • For long-term adoption of the mapping platform, it is important to find a local organization that can maintain and update the map. The Copenhagen pilot is working on transferring the map to the local business network. They will establish a process in which local businesses can directly sign up to the platform if they are interested in sharing resources, such as space, tools and infrastructure

Which circular opportunities were identified or explored for further research?

  • Space sharing - developing a network of partners, such as libraries, open workshops and makerspaces which, together work on a sharing model for open workplaces.


Neighbourhood Types Copenhagen
Green spaces in Copenhagen Nordvest
Availability of workshop and production spaces
Share of creative businesses
Distribution of creative businesses
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