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    Copenhagen, Public Spaces, Biking, Buildings

    Will Payne
    Sep 22, '08 3:57 PM EST

    I just returned to Seattle yesterday after spending two-weeks in Copenhagen studying public spaces, bicycle planning and pedestrian oriented urban design. Most of my pictures are waiting for me on a friends laptop that is still in Europe so I will post a more images later but I wanted to get started with a very brief overview of what we did. The trip involved masters students in Architecture, Urban Planning, and Landscape architecture and is the precursor to an interdisciplinary urban design studio this fall. We're on the quarter system here so we don't actually start classes until this Wednesday.

    Copenhagen has done a lot of work - starting in the early sixties - with creating pedestrian streets in the central city, and building cycle tracks - specific lanes for bikes only - throughout the city. Many of the pedestrian only areas have developed into major tourist spaces, but they serve a purpose and play that role nicely. It seems that everyone is biking in Copenhagen. So many are biking everyday in fact that they actually have bike congestion issues during rush hour. A big difference between biking there and here in the States is that here if you are on the act like a car. There, cars, bikes, and pedestrians are all seperated - and the system works quite nicely.

    It was interesting to see that the central city - the picturesque medieval part - of course worked amazingly well...however, projects around the edges of the city still struggled to have identity and to engage the rest of the city well. They were typically connected by transit and bike routes, but the public spaces often fell by the wayside - something that I wasn't really expecting to see. I plan to talk a little more about that with a post about Ørestad - the development on the edge of city (not a suburb - still incorporated Copenhagen) where the BIG building shown below is located.

    I will probably post a link to view images from the entire trip once I get it all back from Europe...but a few images for now:


    We also spent two days just over the water in Sweden. Calatrava in Malmö


    • i'll be interested to hear your take on orestad... i was in copenhagen last september and spent a day in orestad... i thought that it was pretty interesting, but will have to go back once more if it is built to see how it actually works... the mountain has come a long way since i was there a year ago... was it completely finished?

      Sep 22, 08 6:32 pm  · 

      The mountain was finished, although i don't believe the housing was filled up entirely yet. There are also some commercial spaces that fill akward voids between the housing and parking garage that are also empty/not finished because no tenants have rented the spaces yet. Orestad was a strange place, that in my opinion didn't work well at all. The scale of the buildings and the spaces between them was very off putting and seemed to lack any sense of context. The only thing that seemed be working was the clear connection to the light rail. I'll try to post more on that soon - before classes start tomorrow!

      Sep 23, 08 7:06 pm  · 

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