Aarhus is one of the EU’s small giants. With a population of 340,000, it is the size of city in which the majority of EU residents live. Aarhus is growing faster than any other Danish city and change can be seen everywhere. But with these changes come challenges: How to maintain the strong social cohesion that characterises Aarhus? How to preserve neighborhoods’ identities and history? How will Aarhus continue to be a green city? And how to create jobs and attract talent from all over the world?

Aarhus takes a proactive approach to the changes and challenges: An enormous harbour renovation project is creating new homes and will preempt the effects of climate change in Aarhus. Public transportation projects are coming to life to ensure a smarter, more liveable city. An abandoned central railroad depot has blossomed into a grassroots cultural and creative entrepreneurial hub. The city’s most notorious ghetto is being reclaimed through citizen involvement, and successful years as Europe’s Capital of Culture 2017 and Volunteering Capital 2018 have challenged the city to “Rethink” city development and innovation.

Aarhus boasts all the spoils of a big, lively city. It is located between kilometers of sandy beaches and pristine, natural forest. It is a university town, a trade hub and a regional growth centre. Maintaining all of these qualities, while embracing change, is the biggest challenge of all.

To help guide Aarhus’ development, the City has defined The Aarhus Goals. These goals ensure that Aarhus’ innovation efforts – whether they be in governing, city planning, new technology or citizen involvement – remain focused on improving the lives of all citizens. The Aarhus Goals help guide decision making, where the ultimate goal is not innovation for innovation’s sake, but creating a City for Everyone, the kind of place where the distance between people gets smaller even as Aarhus continues to expand.


Aarhus – a growing city

340,400 inhabitants
388,000 expected inhabitants in 2028
450,000 expected inhabitants in 2050

16.7 % Non-Danish citizens
9.1 % are foreign nationals
4.7 % are unemployed
17.6 % are students

9 educational institutions, offering 229 different educations
Aarhus University – a top 100 university in the world
App. 40,000 companies
The Innovation District Aarhus: ICT, Food, Health, CleanTech, Creativity (Fashion, Film, Design, Architecture, Sound), Research.

1,800,000 sqm port – a global top 100 port and the biggest in Denmark
3,200,000 sqm port in 2060 – an expansion of 77,8 %

8 km light rail system opened in 2017
110 km light rail system in 2025

337 new small homes every year from 2018 to 2029
500 new family homes every year from 2018 to 2029

190,000 jobs
250,000 jobs in 2050