Local Round-Up: Israel-Palestine conflict, coming to a square near you … almost

Meanwhile, Croatia vs Spain is heading to Parken to complete the capital’s Euro 2020 hosting duties

Had some Copenhagen Municipality councillors got their way, city dwellers would have had a constant reminder of the recent conflict in Gaza.

A proposal to split the Israels Plads square in central Copenhagen into two and name the other half Palestines Plads was defeated by the smallest possible margin last Thursday evening.

The motion was submitted to the Citizens’ Representation Board and the vote finished 26-26, meaning it will not be passed.

Resigned to controversy?
The proposal was put forward by Niko Grünfeld, the former mayor for culture and leisure, who stepped down from office in October 2018. Since then he has switched parties from Alternativet, which he co-founded, to Frie Grønne.

“The names we give to roads and squares in Copenhagen must be something that brings Copenhageners together. This name proposal does not unite us, but brings to mind conflict,” explained Venstre councillor Jens-Kristian Lütken to TV2.

“We must not include the conflicts in the Middle East in naming places in Copenhagen; therefore we are satisfied that the proposal was not adopted.”

Night-time trains from Berlin to Stockholm via Denmark resume today
Today marks the resumption of a night train linking Berlin and Stockholm via Copenhagen – the first time it has been possible to travel between the two capitals on such a service since the 1990s.
The service is being operated by Snälltåget, the Swedish branch of French Transdev. A service will depart from Berlin today at 19:02, reach Hamburg at 23:26, and then arrive at Høje Taastrup, a suburb of Copenhagen, at 06:38. It will not, however, stop at Copenhagen Central Station. It will instead stop at Malmö at 07:40 and arrive in Stockholm at 14:25. Other stops in Sweden include Södertälje, Norrköping, Linköping, Nässjö, Alvesta, Hässleholm, Eslöv and Lund. It will also mark the first night-time service between Berlin and Copenhagen since 2014. In fact, there have been no daytime services between the cities since 2015. More overnight services will be available to people in Denmark from 2024, offering them services to Edinburgh, Rome, Barcelona and Paris.

Six-year prison sentence for hit-and-run driver who killed five-year-old
There will be no appeal against a six-year prison sentence handed out to Helmi Mossa Hameed, the man responsible for the death of a five-year-old girl in Frederiksberg in a hit-and-run incident on October 28 last year. The court heard how Hameed was high on nitrous oxide when he ploughed into the girl and her mother as they walked on the pavement on Peter Bangs Vej, before fleeing the scene. A national manhunt ensued after photos of Hameed were distributed far and wide.

Drop the monocle in surprise? Capital is world’s most liveable city again
Monocle magazine has once again crowned Copenhagen as the most liveable city in the world, praising its prioritisation of green spaces and better housing. It is Copenhagen’s fourth top placing since Monocle started making the ranking in 2007.  “Copenhagen is one of those cities where there is a real ambition to deliver a better quality of life for everyone. The ambitions around creating a cleaner environment are best in class and the city is reaping the rewards of years of urban investment,” explained Monocle editor Andrew Tuck. Zürich, Helsinki, Stockholm and Tokyo completed the top five, followed by Vienna, Lisbon,
Auckland, Taipei and Sydney. Two more Australian cities, Melbourne and Brisbane, made the top 20, as did German pair Munich and Berlin. Los Angeles, at number 20, was the top US city.

City transforming brownfield sites comprising seven hectares into fields
Copenhagen Municipality’s Technical and Environmental Committee has approved plans to transform seven hectares of its urbanised area into fields. One of the focuses is ensuring more flowers can bloom, thus supporting small animals, insects and bees. “We are in the middle of a biodiversity crisis, where more and more species are threatened,” commented Ninna Hedeager Olsen, the city mayor for technology and the environment. “The administration has outlined the possibilities of creating small flowering oases with lots of pollen and nectar around the whole city, and there is a lot to catch up on.” The brownfield sites comprise 70,294 sqm – the equivalent of ten football pitches – and the transformation will cost around 3.2 million kroner. Work is due to start next year.

Citizen panel membership to be hugely expanded
Copenhagen Municipality’s Borgerpanel citizens panel is potentially consulting the opinion of 160,000 Copenhageners. Pretty much a quarter of the capital’s residents have received a missive via their e-Box inviting them to join the Borgerpanel so they can regularly give their opinion on matters relating to the city’s development. At present, Borgerpanel comprises 3,000 residents, but the municipality is confident it can massively expand the number. Borgerpanel was founded in 2008.

Croatia vs Spain tonight will complete Parken’s Euro 2020 hosting duties
It’s on the tip of your tongue: who plays football in a white shirt peppered with red spots. Well, while almost everyone’s wearing a national Danish football shirt at the moment, the unfamiliar shades of red you can see on the streets today are fans of Croatia and Spain, who meet tonight at Parken in the 18:00 kickoff game. The match, the first not to feature Denmark, will conclude the national stadium’s hosting duties.