Urban Rigger

Let’s solve the urgent need for student housing!


On Tuesday the 28th of July, 94,604 applicants to the country’s higher educations were notified about what education they are enrolled in and in which city they are going to study. That leaves the students with just 30 days to find a place to live, before the first semester begins. 

This year, all young people in Denmark have been encouraged by the Minister of Education and Research, Ms. Ane Harboe-Jørgensen (S), to apply broadly geographically and academically. Compared to last year, the number of applications for higher education has increased by 7%. Despite the call to apply in different cities, the majority of hopeful future students have applied for educations in Copenhagen.

While Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg offer students a housing guarantee, there is no such guarantee if you study in the Danish capital. Last year the organization Dansk Byggeri estimated that Copenhagen lacked 8,400 student residences. This year the number is even higher. On Monday the 17th of August, the Copenhagen Municipality decided to build 500 temporary student residences. They are supposed to be ready by the month of September next year. In our humble opinion that is not very ambitious. 

Basement and books

At URBAN RIGGER our 72 floating apartments on Refshaleøen are occupied at the moment, and the waiting list for our sustainable floating community is rapidly growing.

The Riggers provide the residents with bright rooms, their own kitchens, bathrooms and an ocean view. They have a large, shared rooftop terrace, a courtyard, laundry facility, a private storage room, a common TV room and a large communal kitchen in the basement. The residents can catch fish from the balcony, go for a swim or jump in their kayak from the courtyard. 

Both the Danish and the many international students enjoy the island life and the strong communities that arise spontaneously, which URBAN RIGGER encourage and support. Many residents have chosen to live at URBAN RIGGER because they are interested in communities, sustainability, architecture and design, and appreciate exploring and developing the communities of the future. We listen to their dreams, experiences and new ideas for how floating housing communities can become a common form of housing for even more people, and not necessarily just for students.

View into Rigger
Rigger kitchen and view

There is a great interest in the floating villages from a lot of big cities around the world, who are looking for a mobile, flexible and sustainable form of housing that can be adapted to many different needs, and placed wherever mooring is possible. As heavy industry moves from suburban ports, and former industrial ports are transformed into residential neighborhoods, there are many obvious places to place the URBAN RIGGERs. The Riggers can always be moved when and if the area is to be used for something else.

It seems quite obvious that if we get more URBAN RIGGERs in Copenhagen, we can solve at least a part of the urgent need for more student residences.

Firstly, the need for smaller housing is clear, not only for students but also for singles and couples who want to live small and well.

Secondly, there is plenty of free berth space in the city, and we will get even more of that in the coming years.

In addition, the Corona quarantine period has clearly demonstrated the importance of access to outdoor areas and small local communities.

Finally, research clearly shows that the most important factor for success in green transition and sustainable behaviour and consumption is participation in sustainable communities. So in relation to fulfilling Copenhagen’s ambitions to combine growth, development and increased quality of life with a CO2 reduction by 2025, URBAN RIGGER is an obvious answer to the question of how to achieve this goal.

URBAN RIGGER is waiting for a green light to place floating villages along the quay in Copenhagen, and assist in reducing the lack of student housing. 

Urban Rigger from the ocean

You can watch the Danish TV2 Lorry interview with Mette Annelie Rasmussen from Radikale Venstre here.