The Open Spaces in Copenhagen
In 1986 a major change of the open spaces and pedestrian roads in the centre of Copenhagen started. The idea of redoing the open spaces was spreading to the housing areas around the centre. At the moment the inner city is nearly finished, and a number of squares around it are under construction.
One of the reasons for changing everything in this period is, that the way of living in the city is changing. In the 60s people moved out of Copenhagen to live in the new suburbs. There they had everything they needed, so that they only went to the city to work. They went to work by car and therefore a lot of squares in Copenhagen changed into parking-spaces.
The government is now trying to get the cars out of the centre and to get the people back in. All this is because the mentality has changed towards the south-European way of living. People want to use the squares as meeting-places, resting-places and play-grounds.
The government is getting the car out by making it expensive to park and by redoing the squares i.e. taking away the possibilities for parking. Another reason for redoing the open spaces is that Copenhagen is going to be the capital of culture in 1996.
The third reason is that the squares in Copenhagen, which were not used as parking-areas, were old-fashioned and not fulfilling peoples needs anymore.
At the moment Enghave Plads is being redone. Enghave Plads is a square in a housing near the centre with a lot of social problems. Right next to the square is a park with a lot of “facilities” a playground, a pond, a flower-garden etc. What the area needs is an open space that gives “light and air” to the neighbourhood. Before the redoing, Enghave Plads was very dark and parted into a lot of different spaces. It was a place, where you felt uncomfortable and insecure.
The solution was to open up – to make one big room which was bright and easy to overlook. This project proposed a square with a very simple paving in two colours of graving stone. The paving together with the big pergola are the main elements in the new square. The square is surrounded by a line of trees that makes a strong green frame.
Ulla and Marie-Louise