Copenhagen vs. Christiania
After Madrid and Amsterdam, I met up with two classmates in Copenhagen. In Winter, the city hibernates but we were still able to see some of the focal buildings and streets including a well-known church by Jorn Utzon. Medieval age Copenhagen was heavily fortressed and remnants such as large ponds (from the old moat) and guard towers remain. The skyline is also dotted with a variety of spires from the stock exchange to the many churches.
Interior of Jorn Utzon Bagsvaerd Church.
Main train station with SAS building by Arne Jacobsen.
Copenhagen Royal Palace
At the urban scale, we took interest in an on-going relationship between the squatter settlement of Christiania and the city of Copenhagen. Christiania started in 1971 when a small group of people took over an abandoned military barracks. Since then it has developed into an independently governed community with its own government and many flourishing businesses including a famous bicycle company. The settlement works by a populist model where every resident must agree to the addition on a new residence.
The city has been very tolerant of Christiania until recently as the government has turned increasingly conservative. In the past two years there has been a huge crackdown on drugs and a much stronger police presence. Not surprisingly the city has also halted new construction and started to develop plans of its own. It has been amazing that Christiania has lasted this long because of its proximity to downtown and direct adjacency to a revitalized waterfront which includes the central library, opera hall, a college, and rows of new office blocks. -Aaron T(A)DS
New office blocks along waterfront
Copenhagen Central Library