Local Round-Up: Giving the city room to breathe

Working in collaboration with Tivoli, the Gehl architecture firm has released an artist’s impression of what central Copenhagen would look like if the lower end of Vesterbrogade was closed off to vehicle traffic.

The area outside the main Tivoli entrance between Bernstorffsgade and Rådhuspladsen, which would still have cycle paths, would be far more friendly to the expected increase in pedestrians brought on by the opening of the Metro City Ring this autumn.

Pedestrians rule
Gehl’s analysis of the street revealed that foot traffic tended to dominate despite the prioritisation of traffic and that confrontations with cyclists were common.

However, Mogens Fosgerau, a traffic economics professor at the University of Copenhagen, warns that the decision will impact many commuters, and that some will quit their jobs as a result.

BIG to design hotel
In related news, Tivoli has hired architect firm Bjarke Ingels Group to design the HC Andersen Hotel with a sustainable focus.
The project will include the refurbishment of the 1893 Tivoli castle, a renovation of the 1883 Panorama Pavilion and the construction of a new 18-storey pagoda.

Memorials to Holocaust victims
German artist Gunter Demnig has just visited Copenhagen to lay down 12 stumbling stones – dedications to some of the Danish Jews killed in the Holocaust.
Since 1992, Demnig has laid down 75,000 of the stones in front of homes where Jews were picked up by the Nazis during WWII, deported to concentration camps and killed.

Finally in Denmark
But despite 480 Danish Jews being moved to the Theresienstadt camp, where 52 died, Demnig had not visited Denmark until now, with the country becoming the 25th to receive the special stones.

The stumbling stones are granite cobblestones with an attached copper plate engraved with the name and birth date of the victim, date of transportation to the concentration camp and eventual fate.

Contributions website
Among the locations honoured with the stones are Krystalgade, Bredgade, Sølvgade, Ravnsborg Tværgade, Prinsessegade, Rantzausgade, Carl Plougs Vej, Nørregade and Borgmestervangen.

The public can visit snublesten.org and volunteer to sponsor one of the stones, which costs about 900 kroner to make and lay down on the pavement. The website also includes information about the victims. (CW)

Return of the podcast
The CPH POST website has started hosting a new podcast. Global Denmark Podcast is produced by Thomas Mulhern, the managing director of global talent specialists Globally Local, and Ed Ley, the CEO of Absolute Health. Among their first 25 interviews are former US ambassador Rufus Gifford, TV host Timm Vladimir and British author Helen Russell.

City centre scooter limit
Copenhagen Municipality has authorised a limit of 200 electric scooters in the busiest parts of the city centre, along with an overall limit of 3,000 for the city. Scooter providers Lime, Tier, and Voi have already sent a letter to the municipality stating that the limit is too low and will result in higher rental prices. The limits will kick in after the summer.

City Hall rape charge
A rape occurred on April 1 at a party hosted by Ninna Hedeager Olsen, the deputy mayor for technology and the environment, and now her former Enhedslisten colleague has been charged. It is claimed the victim was too drunk to fend off the attack and that another woman, who was asleep at the time, was groped. No trial date has been set.

Dr Daterape guilty
A Gentofte Hospital doctor has been sentenced to seven years in prison for raping two women who he drugged in the spring of 2018. Jack Hou, 32, who has been struck off, should have known that drugging the women carried its own dangers, the court ruled. Hou, who has appealed, must additionally pay the victims 90,000 and 107,800 kroner.

New bio-waste measures
Copenhagen Municipality will collect bio-waste every week over the summer, compared to just once a fortnight from October until May. New rules will also be issued to maximise homeowners’ efforts.

Closed for its own good
Børnehaven Rosenly, the kindergarten at the centre of the worst case of paedophilia in recent times, has been closed down by Albertslund Municipality. In 2017 one of its workers was found guilty of abusing 28 children over a period of 20 years. The kindergarten’s absenteeism rate was 3.3 days a month this year, compared to a national average of 1.1.

Three suspicious deaths
The police are investigating three deaths in Gundestrup, Ruds Vedby and Vemmelev in west Zealand in February, April and June respectively, which they suspect are related. All three involved house-fires, and in at least one case the victim was killed before the fire, while in another a body was discovered in a gravel pit two days after the blaze.

Washrooms closed
The washrooms beneath City Hall Square are to be closed permanently. A favourite haunt of backpackers and the homeless since 1943, the shower and toilet area was temporarily closed in 2010 ahead of work beginning on the Metro City Ring. The area will now be used as a family room where parents can change their babies’ nappies.

Two drown in Køge Bay
Two people died following a boating accident in Køge Bay on the night of June 19. Of four people picked up by the coastguard, one drowned in the water, one died at hospital and two survived. None of the four were wearing life jackets.

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