Copenhagen's reclaimed land and what it is used for

Copenhagen’s geography has undergone constant development since Christian IV undertook the first significant expansion, which included Christianshavn.

Lynetteholm’s reclaimed land and storm-surge protection will thus become a new chapter in a long tradition.

How much of Copenhagen is actually reclaimed land? And how many of us live and work in areas that were once under water?

By piecing together a number of hand-drawn historical maps, which together show the geography of Copenhagen before the time of Christian IV, and comparing a present-day map with Lynetteholm drawn in, you can find the answers – although the inaccuracy of the historical maps naturally introduces a little uncertainty.


  • Around 654,000 people live in Copenhagen, 73,500 or 11% of them on reclaimed land
  • 11% of the city’s housing is built in reclaimed areas. That corresponds to about 37,800 homes
  • 29% of Copenhagen is reclaimed land. That amounts to more than 26 square kilometres
  • 24% of the city’s workplaces are in reclaimed areas
  • The figures also show that 29% of Copenhagen’s surface area is available to the general public for recreational purposes. 41% of these areas is on reclaimed land. All in all, that makes 11 square kilometres of recreational space in reclaimed areas


The above figures all exclude Lynetteholm’s 2.75 square kilometres, which will further underline how much Copenhagen depends on reclaimed land.