September 24, 2015

Damage control

It is still hard to grasp how anyone can prioritize 15 big and healthy trees felled for a tile square. But here we are. We have reached the point of damage control in the Møllegade case. A last chance to save just a little.

Five of the big, healthy trees marked worthy of preservation, are to be felled for sheds. Advisors to the building trade suggests the use of screw foundations when placing the sheds. This is gentle on the roots, and don’t create risk trees. If you move the shed by the Møllegade even a little from the wall, already preserved, three large ash trees will survive. We passed this recommendation on at our appeal, and the Administration have been asked to investigate this possibility.

Mayor of Technical- and Environmental Affairs, Morten Kabell, on Twitter: Your suggestion to use a screw foundation for the shed, is being investigated.

All it takes is a will to make it happen, and that the push for it is strong enough. We need the support of the Local Council of Nørrebro and the local Environmental Council. The politicians only know what they are told by the Administration: that the citizen's group have approved and are happy about the new square. It doesn't state that we fought side by side to let these exact trees live (and were told it was possible, if we could raise a million DKR). That this is something we all want very much.
We know it can be done. Nørrebro, Copenhagen, the citizens and the three big trees deserve that chance! 

Pictured: the three trees in spring and summer edition. Last time abloom, if we don't act now.

Read about screw foundations here: (in Danish): “Screw foundations are used for carports and garages, patios, sheds, playgrounds, fences, extensions, green houses, signs and vacation houses.”

September 22, 2015

A dark day

Plan to fell the 15 big and healthy Møllegade trees passed without a vote.

The needs of the citizens means nothing. Those who in large numbers fought for By-Oasen (the petting zoo right behind this project), and won almost immediately, have overlooked what a bike highway passing right by the animals, will mean.

And they have overlooked the importance of our trees. A dark day for Copenhagen and Nørrebro.

Reads: Further process. Work expected to begin early 2016 and finished by summer 2016. Decision by Technical- and Environmental Commitee, September 21 2015. Recommendation passed without a vote.

Link to agenda of meeting, with summary at the bottom: Recommendation passed without a vote. (in Danish)

 These three ash trees will be felled to make room for a swapping shed.

And on top of this beautiful old tree there will be another shed. For toys.

It is just unreal. And so incredibly sad.

A small update: the support for the trees keep pouring in, regardless of the signatures already being handed over to the politicians. The petition is alive and kicking, with strong support from our friends at petting zoo By-Oasen. 

September 21, 2015

The last appeal

We just had our first audience for Teknik og Miljøudvalget (the Committee in charge of Technical- and Environmental Affairs). Today the politicians decide the faith of the fifteen trees on Møllegade, and the plans to make an open tile square with a bike lane. 

One of the things people have said concistently during the whole process, was that no one who knows or use the area would ever dream of making such a suggestion. This is why we chose to spend our ten minutes showing them pictures of the place. The kindergarten Guldsmeden, the recycling station and the petting zoo By-Oasen right behind it, standing to be affected by the proposal, and of course all our beautiful trees.

We told them how much we all love the trees. We also relayed practical advice from experts on how to build around trees. Including that of an advisor from the construction business, suggesting the use of screw foundations when mounting the recycling shed. This would allow the three big ash trees to survive. 

We also made it clear that the 1:1 replacement concept only works on paper. Newly planted street trees have a short life expectancy, and big trees removed from the street will never be able to grow again on the same spot. Now they know. Finally, we handed over the signatures for the preservation of the trees: 2475 digital and 23  on paper, from the internet-deprived elderly in the City of the Elderly. Oh.

Here is a few highlights of the comments, from the petition, answering the question, "why did you sign":


“I live here and this area works wonders as an oasis for people of all ages. Felling the trees would completely destroy the place! This is obviously a suggestion from someone who does not use or spend time in the area.”

"There are way too few green spaces on Nørrebro - which is why it is important to implement green when planning.”

“The beautiful trees are right outside my windows, and the very reason that my children have been able to follow the changing of the seasons from our home, even though they have had a childhood in the middle of Nørrebro. I hope we will succeed in alerting the politicians before it is too late.”

“I don’t mind cycling a detour to preserve an old tree.”

“Because I cycle on Møllegade and turn a right down Guldbergsgade every day and there is no need for a shortcut! Trees before more silly asphalt!!!”

"If we remove the trees in the city, we remove the possibilities to clean the particle polluted air, with its health threatening consequences.”

“My four grandchildren have moved to Møllegade and the park is their playground and oasis, thanks to trees and animals.”

“We need all the trees we can get on the heavily trafficked Nørrebro ...let us keep that oasis...”

“A clear no to felling of these big and beautiful trees in our neighborhood. The city may kindly change its plans, and spare the trees.”

"Because we must preserve our green spaces and especially so when the trees are viable. Besides, it is not good for the elderly in the City of the Elderly, with a speeding cyclist.”

"Newly planted trees don’t survive these days, due to salting in the winter that seeps into the ground and destroy the growth. The trees we see in the cities now are old, in a few decades we won’t see them grow this tall.”

“I love riding a bike in my city, and have no problem cycling a detour to save the trees. The strengthen our health, physically and psychologically, as does a few more rounds in the pedals. A safer cycle way (I assume this is the purpose) should be possible with a better solution.”

“I signed because we see felling of beautiful old trees over and over, and in their place we get ten stick trees, of which half dies within the next year... and so on.”

“Because the absense of small and green children’s oasis in Copenhagen was the reason we moved to the country...”

"The city needs all the trees we have. The create oxygen and environment. If we fell the big trees and plant new ones, it will take 30-50 years before the have reached the size of those felled. It promotes a poorer city image and environment. A city consisting of tiles and asphalt is cold, and people have a tendency to treat it and each other badly!"


September 16, 2015

Time's up

Time’s up. On Monday the politicians decide the destiny of the fifteen trees on the corner of Møllegade and Guldbergsgade. Outlook is grim, as they are “politically obligated” to make this square, and apparently this can’t be done without felling fifteen of our trees.

The fight goes on. The petition is handed over to the city on Friday. A little over 2400 signatures. There are plenty more who wants the trees preserved, but most of the people I have talked to, have given up hope that the politicians even care, or listen to the needs of the citizens.

We have been granted audience before the meeting, and will spend our ten precious minutes showing the committee pictures from the place they are about to destroy, the beautiful kindergarten and the big old trees on the square and corner that neighbors and passers-by enjoy every day. The petting zoo By-Oasen with goats, chickens and rabbits, on the other side, who will suffer increased traffic along the fence. A safe haven for children and elderly, about to be destroyed because of a plan that no one wants or needs.

It can still be stopped, but it takes political courage to realize that the plan only works on paper. From politicians supportive of the fellings, we are told that there is no problem, as the trees are “replaced”. A tree is a tree, in the world of math. It is an uphill battle, but we won’t give up.

Sign here: link.

Guldsmeden kindergarten, a small children's forest in the city.

 Three beautiful ash trees, about to be felled to make space for a recycling shed. The irony. You can almost taste it.

The petting goats at By-Oasen on the other side, who will be exposed to increased traffic. 

This is a fine example of the city’s math, by the rear entrance of the planned square: a tree is a tree. In the foreground something that could one day become a big and beautiful cherry tree, it only it had half a chance.

Links to previous posts on Møllegade: