An urbanist’s Amager

Amager: 100km2 teardrop shaped island (pop: 180K), rejected for development under the 1947 Finger Plan as lacking even basic infrastructure; variously compost mound and dump, junkyard, carved up to make room for the airport

Christianshavn (pop: 10K):

  • Christianshavnernet | blog
  • part of Indre By but located on Amager, separated from the rest of the city centre by the old ramparts and Inderhavnen; founded by Christian IV in the early 17th century
  • 1970s: around twice as many pple lived here as 2day
  • Christiania: Byens Netværk | podcast | skal byfornyes
  • Acciseboden (1724; Torvegade 75) – houses Christianshavns Lokalarkiv, plus summat from Tårnby: built as a guardhouse for Amagerport
  • Kofoeds Skole (1949) aka Beboerhuset (podcast), established from a squat in 1976
  • Lagkagehuset (1931; article): by Edvard Thomsen; more expensive than planned; has housed a børnehus, fængsel; now andelsbolig
  • Sofiebadet: part of the same karre as Beboerhuset (podcast)
  • Sofiegården (1972): see map; slumstormere went on to create Christiania
  • H/F Vennelyst (1892 ) – laid outside Christianshavns Vold, CPH’s first haveforening; 234 small plots (80m2)
  • Holmen (p5) – four islands to the north, created to house the Royal dockyards

Islands Brygge:

  • local history | Grandts | industrial heritage
  • developed from around 1903 from soil dumped from the construction of Kalvebod Bastion (article)
  • extension of Christianshavn rather than Amager; an isolated island on the edge of Amager made up of a 2km long quay; yet another blind spot on the map
  • Ballonhangaren (Artillerivej 73): saved by Realdania
  • Havenparken – “et meget klart symbol på Københavns “liveability”, et projekt som blev startet af ihærdige borgergrupper og understøttet af arkitektens sociale vision samt en kommunal vilje, som ville være utænkelig i dag”; some cultural heritage has been retained – done when land was cheap, now they would build on it; mind you don’t trip on the train lines though!
  • Havnevigen (Nobel strandhuse, Vandkunsten byhuse, Arkitema Lejlighedstårne) | beach & again

Northern fringe:

  • Refshaleøen – slated for redevelopment, led by Refshaleøens Ejendomsselskab, but not until Nordhavn and Ørestad are complete; cables under ground, all very polluted; most Copenhageners have never been to The Island, don’t even think about it – extremely remote, despite being just across the water
    • Værftsruten – workers arrived on two ferries; there _was_ a floating bridge at one point (18th C?), also as a defence mechanism; industrial relations: social democrats vs communists, not working too hard as on piecework, ran to the canteen as lunch break very short, sitting in union groups
    • Refshaleheden
    • Eurovision Island (vidleaflet | PDF | critique) – host for Eurovision 2014; visited by 100,000 people during the week; like Conchita rose briefly like a phoenix; despite Claus Zier’s stage sketch, little discourse around the shipyard, creative use for containers etc; barely touched The Island at all, with the audience siphoned off round the corner
    • CPH Village (FB | Mag KBH): container housing for students
  • Margretheholm – part of the fortifications/natural extension of Holmen
  • NOMA (Refshalevej)

Amager Vest:

Amager Øst:

Ørestad Nord:

Amager/Ørestad Fælled Kvarter (latest):

  • from Grønjordsvej to Vejlands Alle
  • five key characteristics
  • capacity: 5000, by Vandkunsten and landscape architect Marianne Levinsen
  • only 6% of Amager Fælled (0.5% of Naturpark Amager)
  • originally a common, ie communal grazing area, Christian IV decided to use the original Amager Fælled for military purposes, but as it was boggy and often flooded this didn’t really take off; instead the area was used for executions, leading to the expression Amager halshug – the last execution took place in 1845, but retains a spooky atmosphere, as exploited in the first series of Forbrydelsen. Sloes!

Ørestad City:

  • between Vejlands Alle and the motorway; almost a business park; attempts made to create public space; podwalk
  • Bellakvarter: article

Ørestad Syd:


Most of Amager is not in Copenhagen municipality: Tårnby (includes the town of Kastrup – and the airport) covers a large central belt, while Dragør covers the far south.