October 14, 2016

The Møllegade project

The final project is in, for the new square and the kindergarten Guldsmeden on the corner of Møllegade and Guldbergsgade on Nørrebro. Our two and a half years long fight. It looks after all like we are down to five trees preserved on the corner square (the big corner tree remains!). But, in turn they have gone from replanting five trees to what appears to be fourteen (!). That's huge.

This case has gone from being an under financed project set to be rushed through in record time, to one they had to reevaluate over and over again. Confronted with the consequences of their decisions. And finally they granted funds to rework the plan, preserve- and replant more trees.

The city has obviously listened to our critique, and replied with a much greener project. Just compare the two:

Before vs. now.

The preserved trees on the corner (above). The two preserved trees closest to the kindergarten is along with the one on the corner among the biggest.

Finally, there is the part of the project that concerns the kindergarten. Absorbing a couple of community garden lots. Two old apple trees are preserved here. This part of the project we didn't get involved with, as you have to choose your battles.

This has been an exhausting process, but looking at what we have achieved, it is so worth it. Not just for our Nørrebro corner, but for future projects where the city now know how important our urban trees are to us, and that you just don't cut them down and replace them with tiles.

Previous posts, two plus years of fighting for the Møllegade trees:

Read this and the posts above in Danish, on the mother blog here: Red Byens Træer.

October 11, 2016

The grand finale of Møllegade

Our two and a half years long fight with the city, over the 18 Møllegade trees, are coming to an end. The construction contract is currently up for bid, and following that the project will start immediately.

The case boiled down:
The city plans to make an open tile- and gravel square on the corner of Møllegade and Guldbergsgade on Nørrebro, currently home to a kindergarten, a fenced in recycling station and 18 big trees. From the very beginning we foresaw the path to total deforestation, but comments to the project were limited to a select following group, cherry picked by the city itself. Our input was not welcome.

As the planning began, the trees were labelled a risk, unhealthy and not worth preserving. A straight out lie that we later exposed, and that was unsupported in the material that we later got access to via the free access to information act. In fact, all the trees were deemed healthy and worth preserving. However, at this point the plan was set. Only three of the 18 existing trees were incorporated.

On the day of the political decision, we presented the case to the politicians and handed over the petition signed by (then) 2500 citizens, pleading for the preservation of our trees. However, the project was approved without vote.

The final result:
Since then we have tried to come up with alternative solutions, fighting for even a few more trees to be fit in. And it turns out that our fight has made a difference: The final project have gone from sparing only three trees to now six on the square. We get to keep five trees along Guldbergsgade, among those the big ash tree on the corner and the mirabelle tree in Møllegade.

The big, rescued corner tree, the four other spared trees on the left side and the mirabelle tree in the far right corner. (Final draft of the plan to be uploaded here, when it is made available by the city)

Every tree counts! Managing to rescue one on the biggest trees on the grounds is a huge success. It is painful to let go of so many big and healthy trees, but we must focus on what we achieved. And hope that the city have learned its lesson from the horrid case, so the pattern won't be repeated.

A heartfelt thank you to TV Lorry, Nørrebro/Nordvest Bladet and Magasinet KBH, for creating invaluable awareness about the fight for the Møllegade trees. And thank you so much to all those who have followed the case, shared, fought and signed the petition for our beloved trees.

Citizen engagement works!

Previous posts, two plus years of fighting for the Møllegade trees:

Read this and the posts above in Danish, on the mother blog here: Red Byens Træer.