September 16, 2017

Zero funding. Again.

Our representatives in the city council just distributed 3,7 billion crowns in the budget for 2018. And how much went to our tormented street trees? 0.- Again.

All parties enter the negotiations with their own agenda. Be it bikes, parking, business, elderly or children. Forgetting entirely the one thing we all share: urban nature. And they fail the assignment with immense and unpredictable consequences for the city's green infrastructure. A let-down reaching far into the coming generations.

We are short of resources to keep better watch of the street trees. Needing more hands and eyes. The street trees must be mapped. We need an investment in more of the alternative deicing caliumformiat, before salt kills all our street trees. Living conditions for existing trees must be improved (there is a will and a way, but no funds), and the oldest and most tormented trees are in urgent need of extra care. Exposed street trees must be protected like in other big cities. The list goes on.

But, despite a new tree policy, the street trees and existing nature is still invisible in the budgets. Not even the utmost urgencies are funded. Among those the tortured old chestnut trees along the lakes, once again skipped, despite the highly critical state making it downright irresponsible to ignore (we'll cover that in a separate chapter).

In the "green" part of the budget it states that for street cleaning, party handling and clean toilets alone, over 40 millions are set aside. Cleaning is prioritized over urban trees and nature to the extent that the gardeners (!) are now sweeping the city. As in: removed from the task they have trained for and been hired to perform. In return, street sweepers are transferred to park duties. Where they are free to do irrepparable harm, as they don't have the necessary skill set. This is how our city prioritizes.
Can we agree to ask better of our new representatives up for election for 2018?

The "green" part. Reads: A greener and cleaner Copenhagen. Copenhagen's green solutions and bike-culture inspires the world. Copenhagen will continue to be one of the world's best bike cities, and we strive to become CO2-neutral in 2025. Copenhagen will also become a cleaner city. With budget 18 we are setting aside funds for even better bike conditions, increased cleaning of the city and greener buses. (2.710 tonnes of garbage in the streets of Copenhagen in 2016)

Links (all in Danish):

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