October 25, 2019

Copenhagen's Tree Musketeers

The urban trees get a helping hand from Mikael Colville-Andersen of The Life-Sized City. A full hour of listening on the urban podcast, about the urban trees of Copenhagen. And in time to include the impressive zero for the urban trees in Budget 2020.

It is in English, which is actually the best thing for the trees. For the world to see exactly how poorly we are treating our beautiful city.

Have a fantastic weekend. ♥

October 3, 2019

Budget 2020, Copenhagen

They sure know how to throw the word "green" around, but it is blacker than ever. Not only did they set aside zero for the urban nature, they have now invested directly agaist it.

They know how severe the situation is, they just don't care. At all.

 0,5 million dkr to shut down the city's own tree nursery.
6,3 million dkr for streamlining green care and cleaning.

September 26, 2019

The dead forest

It is that time again. Budget negotiations for 2020 are on and on social media the political parties are sharing the priorities. Green in Copenhagen is as always about electricity, bikes and shared cars. Not trees and the grossly neglected urban nature. For years we have seen the trees passed over in the budgets. And we have reached the point where there is little left to preserve. The urban nature left is simply neglected. The care cut away and the gardeners now serving as staff in the cleaning department.

The question for all the political parties is this: Do you propose to set aside funds to the urban trees? For care and protection and not just new trees?

The promise of new trees is the closest we ever get, year in and year out. So lets feast our eyes on 50.000 of the new "urban trees" they promised Copenhagen. They were planted on a dumpster site by Selinevej. In soil from the metro sites, devoid of nutrition, and where they since withered during last year's drought. As a replacement they have planted acorns that will have to fight weeds and bad soil. By no stretch of the imagination urban trees.

PS! Thank you for the ride to Lorry TV, even though they ended up editing out Save the Urban Trees and any traces of a critical angle.

At this spot they are effectively killing off the existing grown trees, by covering the trees drip zone with woodchips.

When you can't see the forest for the... weeds.

January 27, 2019

The North Pole and City of the Elderly, part one

Here we go. The city has initiated the urban development in the green oasis of Nørrebro, City of the Elderly (De Gamles By). They are acting now which is why we need to protect the green areas in the master plan. They have already approved a three-part school and a diabetes center, both with parking spaces. Parking below ground is costly so we might get them on street level.

The administration
The Finance Administration are responsible for part of the unique nature, which is evident from the haste with which they remove it and the way they mishandle it. Our precious nature are taking up attractive plots of land. We must pick our battles and right now that is the North Pole (Nordpolen). Along with the Danish Society for Nature Preservation, Local Environmental Centre Nørrebro, Danish Dendrological Society and strong local forces, we are fighting to preserve the endangered corner.

The North Pole
The North Pole is the wild and beautiful corner facing Tagensvej, home to the magnificent old hawthorn, older than Nørrebro itself. In 2012 biologist and citizen Mogens Hansen made a complete registration of all the trees in the area. Shortly thereafter the city felled a row of old trees along the North Pole, when they widened the road for a bus lane (as they later admitted, they didn't even have to). The adjoining childrens daycare center burned to the ground and the plot was left bare. At the same time, they backed up a container space into the wild nature. The salami method, as we know it.

By 2015 the area had changed significantly and they began to speak of it as a developing site. Mogens Hansen mapped it all again and made a full report of his observations. And lastly in December 2018 the map was updated again, and all trees listed. Documentation of serious deforestation and extremely poor maintenance, with devastating consequences to nature, biodiversity and animal life.

The Master Plan
Last year, they decided against placing the diabetes centre on the North Pole, but it is still in play as a developing site, along with the rest of the area. We have been invited along in the following group for City of the Elderly, and at the intro meeting all the invited parties made it clear how preserving the nature in the area was a very high priority. Not the neat patches of grass but the the wild nature, the nooks and the old trees.

The fight is huge and extensive in documentation, so it will be cut up in parts. This is the first part. All documentation will be laid out here on the blog, for all interested citizens, politicians and journalists to see. The first part includes the document, count and map from 2012 and 2015, and the registration from Dec. 2018. (Note: not translated, links are to the Danish version)

City of the Elderly was also the battleground for Møllegade, where we spent three long years fighting for the small urban forest on the corner. As current events shows: the plan to "open up" and remove urban nature, is a well known exercise in prepping for future development.

"Opening up" exercise
Møllegade (3 years of fight)

January 11, 2019

New City Architect for Copenhagen!

We are getting a new city architect. According to Politiken newspaper, Camilla van Deurs have experience as a landscape architect, and comes straight from Gehl. A place where they truly get the importance of liveable urban spaces and recreational areas. Bravo, Copenhagen!

A big congratulations to both Copenhagen and Camilla van Deurs. One can't help getting the hopes up.

December 31, 2018

The year in trees 2018

It didn't get any easier to be a Copenhagen tree in 2018, either. Carlsberg are unstoppable, Greater Copenhagen Utility (HOFOR) have zero regard for the trees in their projects and there are still no count of, rules for or supervision of our trees. On Blegdamsvej we stood helplessly by as we watched the city dig up vital roots and leave the rest uncovered, to dry out. In the De Gamles By, majestic old trees are endangered by incompetent design, the lake chestnuts have still not received the life extending care plan and on Islands Brygge, the administration planned to have the entire avenue of cherry trees felled.

Then something happened.

The citizens came together and let their voices be heard, and the cherry avenue became a subject for discussion. At a citizen's meeting attended by administration, planting developer and politicians (SF and Radikale), the trees finally became a subject of conversation. The green part of the administration are delighted to find the citizens so engaged in their work (the grey part: not so much). The important thing is that we finally are talking about *why* our street trees are suffering. And find ways to avoid it in the future. This entails among other things that we must hold back on the plant poison that is salt.

It also turns out that the administration are keeping an eye on Facebook. They listen when we voice our concern and take note when a lot of us are expressing strong feelings about our urban nature. So stay in the fight. Together we can move this giant mountain. And next year we will save as much of De Gamles By, as humanly possible. <3

Happy New Year!

September 6, 2018

De Gamles By, oasis or building site?

Our politicians are these days planning to develop in De Gamles By (City of the Elderly), building parking lots, a school, businesses and a diabetes center. The latter on Nordpolen (The North Pole), the last remaining part of the old commons and home to the magical old hawthorn, older than Nørrebro itself. The wildest thing we've got. The political majority are either oblivious to the importance of history and nature, or they just don't care.

Nørrebro is the most densely populated part of Copenhagen (times three the average!) and at the same time has the lowest amount of m2 green pr citizen. Now it makes sense why they felled so many trees along the years, for no apparent reason, "opening up" from all sides. An effective way to minimize the resistance, come building time.

The big decisions are made in city hall these days. Save the Urban Trees will work closely together with the green forces to keep the North Pole safe from developing, and have it protected as a park. The citizen's movement Forsvar De Gamles By (Defend the City of the Elderly) are keeping us updated on the development, and it is all happening at warp speed right now.

A look at the father of Nørrebro, the old hawthorn complete with arms, legs a face and a powerful personality.