03 May 2011

Two to Three Percent

Two to Three Percent
As we've mentioned before here on the blog the City of Copenhagen decided a number of years ago to quietly remove 2-3% of city space designated for cars and return it to people. A little added initiative to accompany the regular developments of bicycle infrastructure and pedestrian space.

It is often done so quietly that it even sneaks up on those of us who know to look for it. I've been down this street a billion times. Then, looking out of my friend's flat window down at the street I noticed a little spot of reclaimed land. A single car parking space taken over by a subtle sidewalk extension. It's a side street with little through-traffic so it is hardly an in-your-face affront to car parkers everywhere. But it's nice.

It serves absolutely no function whatsoever in its current state. To the right is the entrance to a back courtyard where people come in an out on bicycles or not.

I would bet that bike racks are planned for it, as there are none right outside these buildings. Until then it remains a fine, almost anonymous symbol of "2-3%".


hamburgize.com said...

Does no one of the residents complain about the loss of parking place in Copenhagen?

When cycle tracks are built many parking lots get lost, for example for the new cycle tracks in Øresundsvej. 167 from 241 parking lots got lost. Any reactions of the residents?

shuichi said...

Hello I remember the park lots which was instantly created by an nice artist, http://www.copenhagenize.com/2011/01/artistic-parking-zones-in-netherlands.html
Anyway, your new banner on the top is nice.

Mikael said...

Sure. Not on the same scale as other cities but there are always grumblers. Cycle tracks are different than what this post is about, though.

Haven't heard a peep of complaint about the project on Øresundsvej.

Joe D said...

build that in the UK and people would just park on it anyway (see here, here and here). A curb or change in surfacing is not sufficient here -- you would need a ring of sturdy bollards.

Mikael said...

that's what they thought in copenhagen in the 80's Joe.

Lim Soo 林蘇 said...

nice new blog header, LEGO figures, Denmark icon.

northwest is best said...

I agree with Joe D - although you'd probably need some spikes as well just to make sure no cars parked there.

Iain said...

There be some logic in the positioning of this reclaimed pavement. If one was leaving the courtyard, traffic from the left on the near side of the road would be more visible and therefore less of a danger. Maybe the traffic levels are so low as to not make this a problem in the first place, but if pavement is to be reclaimed, it makes sense to this about where it is done.

Aaron Bialick said...

I disagree that it serves no function. Any public space not reserved for vehicle movement and storage is available for the public to do anything else with it - say, why not set up some chairs and plants and have some beers, watch your kids play in the street? Now you can.

Removing on-street parking also always improves visibility, as Iain pointed out.

OldGreyBeard said...

In the UK, unless there were concrete bollards, that space would be parked on.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I wish there was something like that in Auckland. Here in NZ, if there was such a policy, the newspapers would have a field day talking about how it was sabotaging NZ's economy. And the newspapers are already full of retailers complaining they haven't gotten enough car parks around.

Must be nice to live in such an enlightened city - we here are still working on lighting that bulb.

Max, Auckland