January 25, 2016

A dropped ball (hearing reply)

We made the deadline for the hearing reply, for the Natural History Museum, with the prospect of total deforestation of the entrance area. After the last post, so many citizens have left impressive hearing replies. And hallelujah for that because all the trees got from the Local Council of Central Copenhagen, was one sentence: "Include the existing trees in the project." Gee.

The trees are the ball that everyone thinks someone else got, and again it ends up dropped. If we had not left our replies, the trees would have been invisible in the process. That is a scary thought? Knowing how much the citizens prioritize the urban nature? We need a loud and clear voice, speaking for the trees, and we can no longer afford to trust anyone else with the ball.

Hooray for citizens who look after the urban trees! <3

Our hearing reply:

Hearing reply for the National History Museum.

This reply concerns the entrance area for the new Natural History Museum, where the layout is still so unfinished that apparently anything can happen. However, yet another rendition without trees, sounds off the alarm.

Copenhagen have so few old trees left, and too few street trees in general. They are constantly felled to make room for this or that project. Always with the promise of "replacement". But there is no replacing these old trees.

Why the trees in the entrance area should be preserved:
The trees help us in so many ways. They absorb water (bigger = more), and takes the pressure of the infrastructure and basements at flooding. They clean our air, store CO2 and absorb a part of the lethal particles, killing off 500 Copenhageners annually. They absorb the noise from the traffic, have a speed reducing effect on drivers and increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Big trees also help reduce urban heating. 

Biodiversity in Copenhagen suffers, and the every felling and removal of nature cuts into the green corridors. This affects the odds of survival for urban wild life. The idea of replacement only works on paper: a 100 year old organism can't be recreated in our lifetime.

The WW2 shelters (bunkers):
Most of the old trees by the entrance at Natural History Museum is entangled in the foundation of the bunkers, meaning the bunkers should be incorporated into the new design if at all possible. By removing the bunkers, a large part of the small urban forest will go too. 

The worker's village:
A part of the entrance area is expected to be used as a worker's village for the workers. Usually this entails flattening of the entire area, and felling of all trees. But we have seen new ways of creating these places, without removing the trees. The minimal annoyance the trees would give, is compensated by 50+ of daily appreciation for all. Wrap the trunks and give the trees a chance to survive, where ever possible. This instruction should be included in the final approval.

The glass structure:
The big glass structure poses a danger to birds. Lesson learned from a similar design by the Natural History Museum in LA, is that it is a magnet (of death) to the very birds they are trying to attract. Birds can't tell the difference between glass and air. This causes between 100 million and 1 billion to die from impact with glass fronts. Do we know the numbers in Copenhagen/Denmark? It should be investigated, and appropriate measures taken to avoid it. 
Finally it is my hope that the city will learn from the horrible mistake that was the new entrance area of National Museum of Denmark, on the opposite corner. Satellite images, before/after.

The loss of which the Copenhageners are still mourning. It can't be allowed to happen again. Spare the trees and keep the remaining urban nature.

kind regards
Sandra Høj
Red Byens Træer


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