21 September 2011

Copenhagen au naturel

Copenhagen is hosting the Road Cycling World Championship this week and in so many ways it doesn't affect me, except for a very important one: for the first time since the introduction of the automobile, the centre have been sealed off and a large part of Copenhagen have been car free. I knew it was going to happen, but I had no idea how different my city was going to feel without the constant roar of traffic. It resembles a feeling of being liberated, I have no better way of describing it. As I was taking my pictures in the middle of the road, fighting the twilight (holy crap daylight goes fast already), an old woman came up to me and started a conversation. That never happens. We both had on big smiles as we agreed how the peace was unreal, the air so clean and how there was a total absence of a tension that we hadn't even noticed before it was gone.

I bet you that by next week most drivers have forgotten whatever nuisance this may have been, but I doubt that anyone who experienced Copenhagen in the nude will ever forget.

Portrait of my bicycle

Portrait of my good friend. A once in a lifetime opportunity seized on HC Andersens Boulevard.


No parking

Not just no traffic: no parking. 









Gothersgade



Leave the car because you can ride your bike


17 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures, beautiful city streets.

    I would so much wish it could be like this, forever.

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  2. Me too. Or for starters just once a month, like a car free Sunday. You can leave your car parked, but NO DRIVING. Ah.

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  3. Hvorfor får du ikke en synes-godt-om-knap, så jeg kan trykke på den?

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  4. Jamen så skal man jo netop have en konto på den der lede facebook der kun venter på at få en ned med nakken. Eller hvad? Jeg betragter den som trykket, hurra.

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  5. Nej, det behøver du da ikke.

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  6. Nå ej? Så må jeg helt klart lige efterforske sagen.

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  7. Incredible. Look how much room there is!

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  8. Hi Daisy, I know, and at one spot someone even made a temporary garden, maybe I should share them in a later post.

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  9. a. as once near roadkill on HC Andersen, this first picture is awesome.
    b. why are people still walking on the sidewalks?
    c. not to burst the bubble, but doesn't it look a little dawn of the dead/contagion/28 days later/apocalypse-y?
    d. you must, must, must see the new documentary 'urbanized'.

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  10. Haha Dayna, it is all my fault how HC Andersen's Bvld may have scarred you for life. The cross section is a little weird there, not entirely thought through.

    I too was wondering about why the majority of bikes and pedestrians were sticking to their old paths. The roads have become such a scary place, that even without cars it takes a little time to get them back. Three days were not enough.

    I will look into the Urbanized doc. :-)

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  11. I Think Copenhagen is beautiful without cars, biut all teh unnecessary tarmac isnt, makes the city seems dead.

    Imagine if the roads above, were converted into tree lined broad bike lanes, broad sidewalks and a mostly grass-clad ligtrail track -That would be beautiful and even have much, much, more traffic capacity.

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  12. Dayna, agree, it does look sort of dead, tarmac isn´t really beautiful is it.

    Imagine if much of the streets were converted into a more modern street environment, broad sidewalks, trees lining the broad bike lanes, and light-rail mostly laid down in grass lawn.

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  13. Hi Lars, there is no doubt that Copenhagen would benefit from some urban gardening. More trees, parks and roof gardens as well. It took the cars to be completely removed for me to fully understand how much they have been allowed to dominate our lives. Look at all that free space. I agree with Dayna that it is not exactly inviting at the moment, but there is potential. Some of the old postcards from Copenhagen actually already got it right, with lots of green spots, trees and trams. And bicycles of course. I am not so sure we have improved on things since then.

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  14. Ah this is excellent. Imagine that in ... Paris !

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  15. Hi Carole, but is that not the case during Tour de France? I always wondered about that.

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  16. No, only a few streets are blocked temporarily, and the rest is a big traffic jam!!!

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  17. I have only seen it on TV and it looks fantastic with the car free boulevards. My other beautiful city :-)

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