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    Ørestad - Copenhagen

    Will Payne
    Sep 24, '08 3:33 PM EST

    Classes begin today so this entry won't be as detailed as I was hoping, but I still wanted to post some thoughts on this new development on the outskirts of Copenhagen. The panorama above is for me the best illustration of the space. Tall buildings that are swallowed by vast areas of open spaces. You can see the metro in the backround which acts as the major connection to the rest of the city. Truly towers in the park without major highways for cars. The scale is both intriguing and confusing. The towers give the feeling of density yet the enormous amount of open space between structures begs the question: how truly dense is it? Our trip was focused on studying public spaces and most of us were very critical of the spaces created by these buildings because there seemed to be little to no attention given to how people would actually be able to use them.

    The most forgiving areas seemed to be the spaces closest to the elevated train. I'm sure that many of my class mates would disagree that these spaces offered much, but I would argue that they at least have some potential to begin giving Ørestad the identity of a neighborhood because the connections between the buildings were simply smaller - and to use a very over used phrase - began to create spaces that were at a more reasonable "human scale."


    • Are those big green spaces intentional? I would presume so. And if so are they done to provide "public" space. Or to allow for future infill?
      It seems as if "they" would be aware of the implications or problems of such a layout. With regards to human scale, actual urban fabric etc.

      Sep 24, 08 4:51 pm  · 

      From what I understand the open spaces were not designed with any sort of plan for infill. However, if they were I would still probably argue that it was done so with a lot of hope that new projects would do all the work to create spaces that encouraged some sort of public life. You could definitely argue that "public life" wasn't apart of the vision for the site but if that is indeed the case (which I think perhaps maybe it was) then I would argue that they missed something very necessary and important. When you live in a dense tower like those that are built, all you have is the public spaces around them in which to interact with other people. If you don't have those spaces then you simply won't get people together outside - which is an important part of the culture in the rest of the city of Copenhagen. That said, a question that was posed to us while we were there simply asked "is this urban?" An important question I think because this is incorporated Copenhagen. So, whether or not one thinks that the development can work in and of itself is one thing - whether it should be a part of the city or grow seperately as a suburb of it is another.

      Sep 25, 08 12:15 pm  · 

      It doesn't seem especially urban. Mainly because of the issues outlined above.

      I mean I am all for the city incorporating the "urbs" into the urban plan/fabric. But we seem to be saying this wasn't done at least not yet or succesfully.
      Maybe their hope was that they would get the population/density first and the rest as you say would take care of itself?

      Sep 25, 08 1:32 pm  · 

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