An urbanist’s Brøndby

Brøndby: Oplev Brøndbyindustrial development | nature | Kunst i Brøndby (mapkøs) | rainproofing schemeVi elsker Brøndby (DR2 doc)

Brøndby is one of Denmark’s smallest councils, with a population of around 35K. During the Middle Ages Brøndbyøster and Brøndbyvester were among the largest villages on Sjælland. Before WW2 there were around 3000 inhabitants living on farms or in the two villages, with a few more on the coast, which was developing as a seaside resort for the working classes of central CPH. The two were connected by Midlergårdsvej, part of the original road from the coast to Brøndbyøster village.

Made up of three distinct parts, with little obvious interconnections. A blank spot on the map, designated as Den Gronne Kile, is surrounded by motorways to all sides. The kommune also hosts a major motorway junction, with further blight on the way in the shape of Ringstedbanen. On the brighter side, home to one of Denmark’s historically most successful football teams, and its scattered attractions are perfectly pleasant, if totally out of step with today’s Danish self-image – lots of space, wide roads and all.

Latest: 19 paths in the kommune get namesbook about Kjeld Rasmussen, the mayor who created Brøndby (in post 1966-2005).

Brøndbyøster:

  • historystories | old photos | my photos
  • on the index finger of the Finger Plan
  • Brøndbyparken (1949; renovations | snippet) | Nygårdsparken (1954-60) | Brøndby Nord (1965)
  • Brøndbyøster Boulevard 22: built for KMD 1971-89, formerly housed Politiskolen and Brøndbyesterbibliotek
  • Brøndbyøstervej 102 (1900; whole thing?): bought by doctor and uddannelseschef (aka tilflyttere; really easy to trace)
  • Middelalderlandsbyen: created in 1998 as a job creation scheme; no medieval buildings in the area
  • Muslim burial ground (again): at Wikipedia; Brøndbyøstervej 180
  • typical planned suburb: high density housing and a local shopping centre by the station, green areas between the fingers; work in the Big City or in industrial areas along the fingers, where there was also lower density housing including one family houses; zonal system, with separate areas for living, playing and working
  • village records go back to the 12th century; by the Reformation most of the land was owned by the king, and by the 17th century he owned 22 farms and 10 houses, with the rest belonging to Vartov hospital
  • in 1766 Christian VII gave the land to the farmers; by 1788 there were 15 farms in a star formation with four farms awarded land further out (before this each farmer owned bits and pieces of land over the whole area)
  • in the 1890s Brøndbyøster had a population of 920, plus 164 horses, 310 cows, 106 sheep and 331 pigs; less than a third of the population lived from the land – the rest were tradesmen, craftsmen or worked in industry
  • 1658: plundered by Swedes on 21 August from their base in Brønshøj
  • 1953: station on the line to Glostrup opens
  • church & graveyard (folder) | old village shop | Politiskolen
  • Brøndbyskov: wood planted in 1949 round three sides of the square which is Brøndbyøster to screen the new buildings to the north from the old village; inaugurated in 1952, when the mayors of CPH and Brøndby planted a tree apiece on Festpladsen; open to the public from 1964; at 83 hectares, bigger than Fælledparken; houses Traktørstedet Engtoftegård, taken over by the council in the mid 1970s (closed, Dec 2016)
  • Bakkeskov: wood planned in 2003, named after Bakkegården; made up of open sletter/clearings such as Stuebjerg, Tjørnebjerg and Grisekæret: houses Naturskolen and a new (Dec 2016) improved off-leash dog park
  • Priorparken (1994): industrial estate named after NKT founder; eventhal proposal (Priorparken 230)
  • Vestbad (1958; pics | story): open air pool/lido opened in conjunction with Rødovre, first in DK; indoor pool opened in 1970: being renovated for DK 70 million 2016-18, and may be listed (for the outdoor facilities, designed by Rødovre’s stadsarkitekt BTeventhal Lorentzen and landscape architect C Th Sørensen)
  • WW2: memorial | Besættelsen i Brøndby
  • walks (map; see saved files):
    • green 2.1 km – Brøndby Nord
    • blue 5.5 km – tidsrejse; the medieval village, Bakkeskoven and Brøndbyskoven
    • red 7.6km – from the high rises closest to the station, to detached houses and 3km stretch of Vestvolden, following Voldgaden, Denmark’s longest allee
    • black 14.6 km – a planned area, Den Grønne Kile and the medieval thingy (mainly Brøndbyvester)

Brøndbyvester:

Brøndby Strand:

  • history | stories | Lokalhistorisk Forening (FB) | on the thumb of the Finger Plan
  • in the first half of the 20th century there were only farms and summerhouses in the area; gradually some houses were built, but development didn’t really start until the 1970s with the arrival of the S tog and the building of tower blocks
  • Brøndbyhus: probation hostel, the former Strandhotel (1912-32) at Gml Køge Landevej 793 on the border with Vallensbæk; functioned as an inn until after WW2, then children’s home/deaf school; taken over in 1955 by probation service (Køge Bugt: like UK seaside resorts??)
  • Brønden (2009; cultural centre) | church (1984) | harbour
  • tower blocks (1968-74; vid): by Sven Højsbro og Thorval Dreyer, 2.5km development divided into four sections, each with three 16 floor tower blocks built from 1972-74 housing 8K pple (3K in rest of Brøndby Strand), a high point in the use of concrete for construction and one of the last examples of large scale system building in DK
  • also low density stuff: 66 four storey gårde and 8 two storey terraces facing the esplanade; also has et hævet fodgængerdæk, aka streets in the sky
  • artist Martin Bigum grew up in locally (see pp27-43 of Min personlige kunsthistorie); at Arken | Arken
  • Ulsøparken: riding centre (story | again) being established at Kettehøj
  • Vinterbadelauget Bifrost
  • walks (map): opened 14 June 2014; leave from Kulturhuset in Esplanadeparken, based on residents’ stories about special places and experiences and accompanied by 32 short films (eg Bosnian lady; Brøndby Strand reminds her of home):
    • green: 2.5 km, focusing on local institutions – the kulturhus, shopping centre, old people’s centre
    • blue: 5 km, on closed paths in green areas close to the centre, ideal for running or school trips
    • red: 7.5 km, the old and the new Brøndby – Strandparken, Gammel Køge Landevej
    • black: 10km, explore the recreational areas of the kommune joins up with the kløverstier in Brondbyøster