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)

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