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Client: Danish Architecture Center og Lejerbo
Category: Presentations & workshops
Year: 2014

Study trip for Mjølnerparken

- first step in qualifiyng the physical master plan

“Ghetto, insecurity and gang violence”- these words are often associated with Mjølnerparken at Nørrebro in Copenhagen. But Mjølnerparken is much more than the headquarters of misfit youths and criminals. It is a social housing complex in the best sense, where there is a lot of residential interest in creating a good environment.

The challenge
Back in 2013, Lejerbo (a Danish housing administration), which administers Mjølnerparken got a mandate to start an upgrading programme for the physical master plan of the housing complex. To make Mjølnerparken more accessible these changes were decided:

  • Open up the housing complex to the surrounding areas
  • Establish an appealing shopping area that could attract locals from all over Nørrebro.
  • Implement a general beautification of the housing complex.

These challenges were to be the basis of the study trip we organized, which was an important part of the process of citizen involvement that GivRum had been asked to facilitate.

The study trip was to inspire the residents in how these challenges could be solved and equip them to actively participate in the elaboration of the master plan with special focus on the development of a shopping area.

The solution
GivRum arranged an inspiration trip, where the residents and the representatives from Lejerbo took a bus trip together to different streets of inspiration. This was to create a first impression of other success stories and to gather inspiration for the creation of Mjølnerparken’s own shopping area. The study trip also helped to:

  • Create a developing dialogue between residents and decision-makers.
  • Demonstrate the potential for locally initiated urban development.
  • Stress the importance of the involvement of the residents early in the process, which helps to ensure that an area is going to live on after a renewal has been made. It also provides dedicated citizens who want to act in and shape their immediate environment.

First stop was Jægersborggade. In just a few years Jægersborggade has evolved from being an unsafe and run down street to be a lively and attractive hot-spot in the middle of Nørrebro. Much of this development is due to an active strategy for commercial life, which has resulted in a dynamic environment of interesting speciality shops, cosy cafes and delicious restaurants.

Second stop was the Blågårdsgade neighbourhood, where you find a vibrant and lively artery across Nørrebro with a great diversity of shops, studios and people. Here Mette Prag, Project Manager at Nørrebro’s division for area renewal, among others explained that commercial life plays a key role in area improvement.

The third and last stop was Urbanplanen at Amager, which has been part of a comprehensive approach, where the physical developments are merely elements of the effort. Here, social aspects are perceived as an essential factor in ensuring a well-functioning housing area. An important factor has from the very beginning been to involve residents, take their advice, listen to their ideas and suggestions and ensure that they were involved in the process and in the area’s development in general.

Citizens are the city’s greatest resource, and therefore social urban development is primarily concerned with activating a group of dedicated enthusiasts, who can manage the processes initiated by both the private and public sector.

Locally anchored
Citizen involvement is about activating local resources in terms of people, businesses, institutions, buildings, etc. It is about promoting citizens’ own initiatives, getting their wishes and needs in focus, and using it as a foundation for further development.

Sustainable organization
GivRum believes in the enthusiastic citizens. They are the ones whom we need to activate, when we talk about citizen involvement. We use this strategy in order to achieve sustainable development with local ownership. 

Identity formation
Through citizen involvement processes we create an increased sense of being a citizen and part of a strong community.

Info

The trip took place on the 8th of November 2014.

About 25 people attended, who primarily consisted of residents from Mjølnerparken and representatives from Lejerbo.

The day ended with a workshop, where all of the impressions from the trip were discussed in conjunction with Mjølnerparken.

The trip was part of a process, which could develop new methods for citizen involvement. For more information, see the report.

Concept

Citizens are the city’s greatest resource, and therefore social urban development is primarily concerned with activating a group of dedicated enthusiasts, who can manage the processes initiated by both the private and public sector.

Locally anchored
Citizen involvement is about activating local resources in terms of people, businesses, institutions, buildings, etc. It is about promoting citizens’ own initiatives, getting their wishes and needs in focus, and using it as a foundation for further development.

Sustainable organization
GivRum believes in the enthusiastic citizens. They are the ones whom we need to activate, when we talk about citizen involvement. We use this strategy in order to achieve sustainable development with local ownership. 

Identity formation
Through citizen involvement processes we create an increased sense of being a citizen and part of a strong community.

Info

The trip took place on the 8th of November 2014.

About 25 people attended, who primarily consisted of residents from Mjølnerparken and representatives from Lejerbo.

The day ended with a workshop, where all of the impressions from the trip were discussed in conjunction with Mjølnerparken.

The trip was part of a process, which could develop new methods for citizen involvement. For more information, see the report.

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