17 August 2012

Save the hills

There are about 700 bunkers scattered all over Copenhagen. I have strangely only ever seen a few of them in use, mostly they are just sealed off and covered with grass. A familiar part of the urban landscape, like mini hills in our plane and windy city. Now the city of Copenhagen has decided to flatten forty of them, including (insert expression of horror here) the ones on the corners of Queen Louises Bridge.

Save the bunkers!

The project
It is not an easy task because of the large and immobile statues, so the project is going to be costly. And the old trees will have to go. All of them. But no worries, a total of five young twigs will be replacing them, we just have to give them half of a century to settle in. Do I hear a WHY? Because, now that the bridge have become such a people magnet, and the single corner without a bunker is so popular, flattening everything around the lakes apparently seem like the obvious choice.

Save the bunkers!

The place
The thing they don't get about the hills, is that they are not an obstacle, but an attraction. Besides the obvious historical value, you have an elevated view of the lakes and the hills give shelter from the wind that can be heavy at these corners. Two of the three corners face what can best be described as a highway, and the bunkers and the old trees serve as a buffer from that.

Save the bunkers!

The buffer zone.

The people
One of the reasons the bridge area is so popular, is that it embraces everyone. It can get a bit much on the bridge, with the loud and at times competing soundsystems, and the vibe of a street party. But that is cool because those who like it more quiet, like couples on dates, friends or someone hanging out alone with a book, can enjoy the peace on the hills. It is just a different crowd.

Save the bunkers!

A baby tree, replacement for the big one that died last year.

Springtime on the bunker

In spring you get lots of lilacs. A super cosy spot.

The protest
The local council and most of those I have been in contact with all agree that the hills and the old trees should stay put. After all, if something works, why fix it? But that has made no impression on those in charge, and the flattening is expected to begin any day now. A single sweep guaranteed to destroy the oasis-like atmosphere, and at best just create more space for the party crowd.

Save the bunkers!

Imagine this corner, flattened and treeless, with all the cars behind it. It is enough to make me cry.

We only just learned about this now (thanks to the Copenhageners invaluable online magazine MagasinetKBH), leaving very little time to mobilize a defence for our endangered oasis. There is a Save The Bunkers group on facebook, and we are going to do whatever we can to make the city planners of Copenhagen re-think this one. It just can't be allowed to happen!

Links (in Danish):
Red Broens Bunkere
IByen
Nørrebro/Nordvest Bladet 

UPDATE:
Apparently the statues will be permanently removed. That would be The Nile (NONONO), The Tiber (NONONO) and Young People Sitting (aka my friends). Not only will we lose our oasis, we will be deprived of our art. Unbeliveable!

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:
The statues are now said to be removed only temporarily. What is true, what is not? There is no place to look these things up.  For sure the hills are to be flattened, and for sure the old trees are going to disappear. And, for sure it is scheduled to happen soon. Leaving a small, flat lawn without shadow, and brown burnt off grass. And for sure the whole project will cost three million Danish crowns, and strip our bridge of its very soul.

THE ULTIMATE UPDATE!
The mayor in charge of these things have put a temporary halt to the plans because of the massive outcry from the locals. Today the Danish newspaper Politiken's online version brought us the good news. The fight is not over, but at least we are heard.

Links:
The good news in Politiken (funny English Google translate version)



24 comments:

  1. It's just so completely insane. I get the idea behind it, but if the politicians behind this proposal would actually come out one night and see how the hills work, I'm sure they would change their minds. The hills are the point.

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    1. Exactly! You get the feeling that the ones who made this decision have little or no experience with this area. It is just a spot on a map. And, old trees can be replaced with new ones, it all looks the same on paper, right?

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    2. And now the statues too. Oh please, destroy our hangouts and deprive us of our beloved art - really good decision-making right there... Jeesh. I don't even live in Nørrebro, but I know the area well and this is just too stupid for comprehension.

      But yes, of course, new trees won't at all take decades to grow large enough to provide much-needed shade on a hot summer's day, anyone knows trees grow quick as fire.

      If someone were to invite members of the city legislation out into the area and show them how the area works and why the hills are awesome, I'd pitch in a sixer, no problem!

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    3. I know, just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, they take the statues. They seem set to transform the area into a themepark, clearing space for tents (their own words!), and what not. Is the goal to fill it up like Islands Brygge? At the cost of stripping the area of all personality?

      Without the old trees to provide shadow, the grass will turn yellow and die (like the patch under the departed tree). I wonder if they have the balls to undo this decision...

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    4. I'm sorry I keep coming back to this, but I genuinely hate this gentrification of spaces in the city that work and are beloved! Funny you should mention Islands Brygge - I've lived in Amager for 8 years and it's literally my least-favourite part of the island. It's cold and closed and too filled with people and the area has lost its old charm.

      I'm all for doing changes for the good in the city. I'm not conservative, I just really don't understand why anyone would want to screw up something that works so well?! Think of Rådhuspladsen - Rådhuspladsen would *love* to work as well as the area near Dronning Louises Bro, but it's flat and surrounded by noisy traffic and has none of the beautiful foliage that makes the other area work.

      *sigh* I really hope they have the balls to change this decision. It makes no sense whatsoever and also shows how little notion they have of why this area is so popular.

      OK, rant over. I just think it's sad beyond belief. Especially with the statues. Where will they go to live now? Their home is where they are now.

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    5. I just found out that they are spending three million crowns on flattening the forty bunkers. The majority goes to the bridge bunkers because of the statues. I can't believe they are even TALKING about cutting down these beautiful old trees!

      And yes, Islands Brygge is a desert in the cold months, and Lalandia in the summertime. A basic nightmare. I also like initiatives that make sense, like adding benches on the bridge and so on. But this suggestion is just so out there. Completely out of touch with reality on all levels.

      On the bright side, someone corrected the article about the statues, apparently they are not to be removed permanently, but only while they flatten the bunkers and cut down the trees.. I can't even write that without feeling sick to my stomach.

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  2. Sandra, de vil også fjerne statuer, sådan som jeg forstår det! Det er jo næsten det værste... Det skriver politiken.dk ihvertfald: "Kommunens plan er også at de statuer og figurer, der er placeret på de grønne oaser ved Søerne, skal væk."

    Det kan jeg slet ikke holde ud. De er så flotte.
    http://ibyen.dk/gadeplan/ECE1723373/folket-er-i-oproer-over-udjaevning-af-populaere-noerrebro-oaser/

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    1. Åh, nej, nej, nej! Det er jo historieløshed af værste skuffe? De statuer bor på hjørnerne, der hører de til. Og det må så også gælde vores skulptur af de to der sidder på hjørnet? Det er fuldtændig vanvittigt. Tak for link, jeg tilføjer det straks!

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    2. Det er jo det... Dem som du så fint vogter over... Det er helt vanvittigt.

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    3. Og nu er folk endelig begyndt at passe på dem, der har ikke været graffiti på dem siden de blev pakket ind første gang. Det var lige så magisk.

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  3. Tænk engang: jeg er passeret forbi mange gange, og jeg har altid troet, at det bunker anlæg var en del af anlægget omkring statuen. Det må da betyde, at det hele passer vældigt godt sammen.
    Jeg synes også at træfældning er en uskik: Der er så mange træer i byerne der dør af elmesyge og almindelig vantrivsel, så man bør efter min mening tænke sig meget om før man fælder store sunde træer.

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    1. Ja, det er en på alle måder utrolig harmonisk bro, rummelig, smuk og lidt vild. Og du har ret, der fældes syge træer på stribe rundt om søerne i øjeblikket, vi har pligt til at kæmpe for bevarelsen af de raske. Jeg kan slet ikke fatte at man hellere vil have en flad græsplæne lige der. Og frarøve os vores kunst.

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    2. Sådan havde jeg det også, nu kan jeg naturligvis godt se det.

      Nogle billeder af hvordan området så ud før man byggede bunkerne, jeg går udfra at de er fra anden verdenskrig? Så der er vel også tale om et ønske om at føre området tilbage til dets oprindelige udseende

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    3. Jeg tror at der er tale om et ønske om at gøre det til en pendant til Islands Brygge. Hvis man fjerner de gamle træer og laver det om til græsplæne, er det ligesom at skyde en kugle lige i hjertet på det område. Er dybt chokeret over at det overhovedet er på tale.

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  4. Det er så meget ikke i orden!! Er der noget man kan gøre hvis man, som mig, ikke er på facebook?

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    1. Jeg er der også kun undercover, og selv det plager mig. Men i det her tilfælde er det effektivt. Alt for min by, ha. Altså jeg mener at det drejer sig om at sprede budskabet til så mange så muligt, så der kan nå at opstå modstand og opmærksomhed før det er gennemført. Scary shit er at det åbenbart er lige op over, "sensommer-efterår". Det er jo nu.

      Er igang med at male et dynebetræk der skal ligge på bakken bag Nilen, med "RED BROENS BUNKERE!!!". Men der er jo tre hjørner og alle træerne er jo også rydningstruede, så de skal også have et eller andet budskab på sig. Og statuerne. Kan ikke overskue at miste dem. Nogle skilte? Eller noget helt tredie.

      Bare en kugle der hænger fra en gren med en besked er bedre end ingenting. For jeg har på fornemmelsen at de flertallet elsker det som det er. Og at statuerne betyder mere for flere end kommunen overhovedet har begreb om.

      Puha, vi må kæmpe til sidste dråbe for det her.

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  5. WTH? Unless there is a REAL reason (ie: the bunkers are actually caving in and are dangerous), then someone is being a total party pooper! So sad!

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    1. The bunkers are fine, they just want it flat, to accomodate more people (utopia, as the opposite will be true). And they want to be able to pitch tents. Don't ask. It is like they don't know or care about the fact that there will be no grass, because there will be no shadow. It will just be a burned off piece of land.

      Incredibly sad. We are trying to make some noise and have them rethink this decision. The city have three million crowns set aside for this project.

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  6. Nej dog! Jeg gider ikke alt det fladhed. Mangfoldige lille bakkede græsplet skal da blive!!!

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    1. Gør alt hvad du kan for at det sker!

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  7. Seriously, we must stop this non-sense! This sounds just plain stupid.

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    1. I made a banner and planted it on one of the hills behind the Nile, and I am going to make more for the other corners. Just to let people know what is happening, and hopefully move them to do something. If nothing else, just join the facebook protest group, to show the city that a lot of people love things just the way they are.

      But a lot needs to be done to spread the word, and fast too. The whole thing could be gone next week. Seriously.

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  8. Hurra Sandra! Planerne er sat på pause...
    Tak for indsatsen!!!!

    http://ibyen.dk/gadeplan/ECE1725676/borgmester-siger-stop-for-fjernelse-af-truede-oaser/

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    1. HURRAAAAAAAAA. Åh, jeg er så lykkelig lige nu, de gamle træer og bunkerne får en chance til! Bare de overlever hele vejen. :-)

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