21 September 2017

A car-free canvas

Sunday Copenhagen hosted the annual half-marathon, one of the few occasions where cars are banned, and the streets returned to the people. Last year during the same event, an environmental NGO measured the ultra fine (ultra lethal) particles on average ten times lower than a typical rush hour. This kind of pollution kills 540 Copenhageners every year. It is absurd really, how we insist on clinging to such toxic behavior.

Seizing the opportunity, the local council of Nørrebro prolonged the ban on cars, and had Nørrebrogade opened up to the public after the marathon (and crappy weather) had passed. Turning the otherwise hectic street people friendly with a soapbox race for kids on the bridge, small soccer goals, plants, pavilions and tables with boxes of free chalk for all.

Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017

Queen Louises Bridge, with the rescued bunker trees on the corners. Imagine this picture without them? Shudder.

Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017

Fat lane vs. fast lane.

Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017

Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017

Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017

Copenhagen by day. Clever supermarket tote bag. 

Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017

Your money my ass. A Nørrebro classic, even mirrored on the poster.


I started at the bridge and just raised my camera every once in a while, pointing up and down the street. Unable to take it all in at once. The mood was so calm and happy, especially when I reached the yellow part, by Assistens Cemetery. Nature does something to people, the presence of big trees just calms us. Even if we are not aware of it.

Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017 
Freeeeeeedooooooom.
 Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017

I love how it is blurry, but you can still tell that everyone in the picture are happy and relaxed.

At this point cars usually race by, sidewalks are narrow along the cemetery and you don’t let your kids play freely here. Seeing it returned to the people was kind of mind blowing. Look at what we could do with this place, if cars were banned more often (or gasp: entirely)?

Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017

Slow down! And that goes for cyclists too.

Still, watching the kids was the best part of it all, racing up and down the street, exhilarated like small prisoners set free. A perfect time in life to learn about how public space is allocated and question the status quo. 

Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017

We all need a reminder that the street is our canvas.

Car Free Day Nørrebrogade, Copenhagen September 17th 2017 
 We can put it to better use.

 

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