Local Election 2021: Kristine kicking up dust in Gentofte and regionally
Running in: Gentofte (local) and Copenhagen (regional)
Thanks to life spent studying and working abroad, Kristine Kryger is no stranger to international communities. Aside from running locally in Gentofte, she is also on the ballot for the regional election, so the good news is that everyone can vote for her. CPH Post had a chat with her regarding her goals for the city … and the capital region.
Copenhagen’s international community has grown considerably in recent years. How important is the international vote these days?
I am acutely aware of how the international community contributes to Denmark, culturally and financially. I am running for election both in the regional election in the capital region and the local election in Gentofte and the international community in Gentofte alone consists of more than 9,000 internationals. It is important to reach out to the international community as I believe we could benefit so much more from sharing knowledge and interacting more across nationalities. We are so blessed to have such wonderful international schools in Gentofte.
Why do you think you would appeal to the international community?
My partner is Kenyan, my children are bi-cultural and I’ve enjoyed a lot of time in international communities. I have lived, studied and worked abroad, so I have firsthand knowledge in regards to the challenges faced when settling in a new country. Internationals bring so many brilliant ideas to the table and there is much potential in regards to incorporating international residents into decision making at the local and regional level. That link-up is something I eagerly want to help facilitate.
Sustainability and the green transition is among the key issues for Radikale Party. How is that reflected in your election platform?
Local politics play a huge part in the green transition at the municipal and regional levels. There is much we can do, but we can accomplish so much more if we change the legislation relating to how suppliers are allowed to obtain loans to finance the green transition. I am pushing hard to influence the decision makers at the national level. The green transition is top priority for me and one of the key reasons I find my political work meaningful. I want to ensure that Gentofte Municipality works ambitiously towards the UN Global Goals. The municipality must take sustainability into account in all of its actions. I therefore want to incorporate a set of binding guidelines which, among other things, will ensure that CO2 reduction, biodiversity and conservation of the municipality’s green areas are always considered in the municipal council decisions.
You attended university in the UK. Has living abroad helped shape you as an individual and local politician?
I chose to attend the University of Essex, which at the time was the most international university in England. My four years there really opened my eyes to the value of international residents and I believe that the international community can bring so much to our local communities in Denmark.
You’ve been the deputy chairman of the Infrastructure Committee in Gentofte for some time now. What would you like to see in terms of future development in the municipality?
I want to promote cycling, electric cars and public transport. The increasing traffic in our community makes it unsafe for children and the elderly to move around. Therefore, I will work to lower the speed limits and reduce noise pollution from roads. I believe we should implement the same speed restrictions they have in Barcelona, Berlin and Brussels. A high percentage of the CO2 reduction must come from greener transportation. I have also worked actively to develop the city’s space and create a framework for communities. The city also needs to be peaceful areas in the city.
You’re also running in the regional elections, giving people across the capital region the opportunity to vote for you. What are your visions for the capital?
One of my central aims for the capital relates to taking more advantage of innovation by embracing the latest technologies, creating partnerships and improving conditions in research and healthcare. And as is the case at the local level in Gentofte, sustainability also remains an essential aspect of my regional strategy. It is critical for Copenhagen to work ambitiously to meet the UN’s 17 Global Goals by taking responsibility for combating climate change and ensuring sustainable development, consumption and production patterns.