Life in Copenhagen to become even more of a beach

Valbyparken looks to be the site of the city’s newest sandy stretch in 2015, though obstacles remain

Denmark may be in for sub-zero temperatures and snow this weekend, but there is some good news for all the beachbums impatient for summer to dawn again.

By 2015, Copenhagen hopes to build a new beach in the Kalveboderne area, at Valbyparken, and is expected to provide a recreational area for the 100,000 people living in the Valby district.

“Copenhageners love bathing in the summer. Until now, the water quality by Kalveboderne has been too poor to permit bathing, but we are working hard to remedy this problem,” Ayfer Baykal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), the deputy mayor for environmental issues, said in a press release.

Until just a few years ago, Copenhagen residents were forced to travel to Hellerup or even further up the coastline if they wanted to bask by the seaside. But platforms for aquatic leisure have been springing up at a tremendous rate in the last seven years, starting with the re-opening of the city's harbour baths in 2002.

Amager Strandpark beach was then renovated in 2005, and then Østerbro received a beach in 2010 when Svanemøllen Beach opened. Both beaches have proven to be immensely popular, particularly during the summer periods, and as will be the case with Valby, cater to a host of activities such as kayaking and ball games.

Valbyparken lies at the southern entrance to Copenhagen Harbour

But the plan is to consult residents of Valby and Sydhavn about the layout and design of the beach.

“There has been great local interest in getting a beach at Valbyparken. When we, in August, asked the citizens of Valby for their opinion over future building plans, the beach was easily most popular, so we’re ecstatic that the plans finally become reality,” Michael Fjeldsøe, the deputy head of the local public committee, Valby Lokaludvalg, said on their website.

The project was agreed upon two years ago and now looks to be secured after the 18 million kroner needed for its financing were successfully raised by the R98 Fund.

As part of the plan, Harrestrup Stream, which runs through the suburban towns of Herlev, Glostrup, Hvidovre and Gladsaxe before reaching Kalveboderne in Valby, will be allowed to run its natural course.

But the stream is currently too polluted for recreational use. Water and power company Københavns Energi is working on a cleanup plan, which is expected to cost 400 million kroner in public funds.

Another hindrance to the project is that the beach will be in the vicinity of an EU bird sanctuary and would require a permit in order to be built.

The new beach hasn’t been named yet but is being referred to as the Valbyparken beach for now.