Landskab nr. 8 2016


Published by Helene Helligsøe on Saturday Dec 17, 2016 at 17:45

The landscape architecture associations in Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have arranged nordic congresses since the 1930’s. Nordisk kongres 2016, which took place in September, is reported here in LANDSKAB 8-2016 with summaries of lectures and tours, short presentations of Kvæsthusmolen pier, Sankt Annæ Plads and Nordhavnen together with comments and photos from the participants.


Nordisk kongres 2016, p. 207, Susanne Renée Grunkin

Two thousand years ago the area was a natural harbor – the only waters along the Øresund strait that lay protected by the surrounding landscape and had a natural depth that allowed ships to sail in and anchor. At that time the place was known only as The Harbor. About 1,000 years later, Absalon built the first stronghold and underscored the importance of the place. The city was now known as Købmændenes Havn or the Merchants Harbor. In 1826 H.C. Andersen published his first novel, A Walking Tour from the Holmen Canal to the Eastern Point of Amager, in which he described his impression of the city. In the years that followed the harbor underwent major developments and 100 years after his walking tour, Copenhagen harbor had become a modern large-scale harbor with steamship traffic to all parts of the world. Fifty years later, after the second world war, the scene again changed. Sea traffic had been challenged by land transport due to the new trucks, trains and airplanes. Activity dropped in large areas of the harbor. 

The development of the harbor is a common challenge – both in the many Danish municipalities and in the other Nordic country capitals: Oslo, Stockholm, Reykjavik and Helsinki. Also in many, smaller Scandinavian cities one is experiencing similar transformation processes, where ‘industry harbors’ are becoming ‘urban harbors’.


Cities for people – is the harbor for you? p. 208, Camilla Richter-Friis van Deurs

 Just as most other cities throughout the world in recent years, Copenhagen is in the process of reestablishing its contact to the harbor, after the industrialized areas and railroad yards in the harbor are no longer in use. 

In the beginning of this millennium, the first part of the harbor development was characterized by large companies and hotels, that deprived the people of Copenhagen the possibility to enjoy life by the water. In both the north and south harbors many housing schemes were realized, but they seldom were related to their context on the water other than with an amenity value by way of the view from the large windswept balconies. Often these housing areas result in privatization. The best use of the harbor front can be experienced on Islands Brygge and the Havneparken.


The recreational development of Copenhagen’s Harbor, p. 212, Lars Anker Angantyr

In 2014, Copenhagen Municipality approved the visionary concept, A harbor of opportunities in order to promote a good urban life in and around the harbor area. Improved access to and from the water implies that at more places along the harbor, better access to water should be established. There should be a varied choice of places where one can settle down by the water. This could be large active places like the Havneparken on Islands Brygge and the harbor swimming area, but there is also a need for smaller, peaceful places. One should be able to move freely along the entire harborfront and there should be good pedestrian and bicycle connections between the city and the waterfront. The harbor has an exceptionally good recreational water quality. In 2015 the Technical and Environmental Administration approved a development plan, which suggests places with a potential for the development of activities by the water, new recreational areas and the improvement of promenades and urban spaces around the harbor. 


Havneringen, p. 214, Lars Anker Angantyr

In 2016, Copenhagen Municipality opened a new bicycle, pedestrian and jogging path, the Havneringen (harbor ring). It is a 13-kilometer experience route around the harbor, along which one can experience twelve, quite different city quarters. The route runs, for example, through the old mediaeval city quarter with many cultural attractions or down through Nokken and the area near the Sluice, where one can find an entirely different green and peaceful Copenhagen. 


Copenhagen Municipality’s climate adaption plan, p. 218, Jan Gottfred Rasmussen

In July 2011, Copenhagen was hit by a cloudburst, which both in intensity, duration and extent broke all records. The damages after the cloudburst were assessed at being more than six billion kroner, and gave rise to demands from political fronts for immediate action to ensure the city from future recurrences. Seen from socio-economic considerations the best solution is to establish measures that can deal with large amounts of water while still offering a function that can have a daily benefit for the city. For example, this could be new green and blue areas that can transport and contain rainwater from a heavy downpour, while on a daily basis serving as recreational areas. The city was divided up in seven water containment areas, and for each, a proposal was produced for concrete solutions. 


Down by the harbor, p. 220

Ulla Tofte

We should maintain the harbor as a workplace, and hopefully a place where craftsmanship is welcome. Where there is room for disorder, noise and chaos. Where it is permitted to get up early and go home late. Where machines can be noisy and where half-finished ‘projects’ can lie under tarpaulins without the ‘neatness police’ ordering them removed. Then we will use the obvious advantages inherent in the harbor’s often somewhat remote location instead of forcing it to comply with all the trivial settings that constrict life in a normal suburban quarter. 


Kvæsthusmolen, p. 226, Julie Kirkegaard and Lene Tranberg

The Kvæsthusmolen pier, orchestrates the dense city’s meeting with the water – in a long, gliding slope that opens toward the horizon, heaven and sea. The entire surface of the pier is stretched via a series of pavilions, which are terminated by a freestanding tower. From here the pier slopes gradually down to the water surface, the space opens and one experiences a place where one can be in unison with the elements – in a crowd or alone. The 16,000 m2 area is an open urban space, stretching from Nyhavn to the south out to the pier’s northern tip. Throughout the entire scheme, emphasis was placed on the design of the transition between the theater, the pier and the water. The pier’s ten pavilions are organized around a light fissure opening down to the underground parking.


Sankt Annæ Plads, p. 230, Sanne Slot Hansen

The renewal of the Sankt Annæ Plads square has meant the completion and finalization of an important axis in the city. As a new interpretation of a classical urban space, which until now was never completed, Sankt Annæ Plads now offers a dignified approach to the Theater and a contemporary urban space, which in stature is in keeping with the beautiful buildings in the Frederiksstad quarter. The square has now been reorganized with wider sidewalks. The green center area has been widened and the space is furnished so the existing barriers running across the urban space, as fences, traffic and parking, are removed, and the coherence between the park area, the street space and the pedestrian walk is strengthened. The renovated square and the adjacent streets are designed so that they can lead rainwater from extreme downpours away from the area and out into the harbor. 


Nordhavnen in Copenhagen p. 236, Rune Boserup

During the years to come, the southern part of Copenhagen’s North Harbor will witness a decisive change in character. From a harbor area with the status of a free port to a city with independent quarters, islands and canals, and a multitudinous and mixed usage city. The Århusgade quarter is now being realized as the first urban quarter.

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