An urbanist’s Kongens Enghave and Sydhavn/en

Kongens Enghave (pop: 17K; photos) was a separate administrativ bydel from ?2002-06 (map), when it was subsumed into Vesterbro, although retaining its own lokaludvalg (FB) as a funktionel bydel. Once upon a time it was part of Hvidovre.

The bydel includes Sydhavnen, the old/new south harbour, which has its own postnummer (2450 København SV dvs Sydvest; at least that’s what Google Maps seems to think; Vesterbro = 1500 København V). And while Kongens Enghave is the district’s formal name, locals call it Sydhavnen (sic; although the station is called Sydhavn, and Nordhavn is called, well, just that).

Development began in the early 1900s in tandem with the growth of industry in the harbour south of Langebro. The first housing was built in 1913 on Hørdumsgade, lining the railway, followed by three areas of working class housing:

  • Frederiksholm (more) – the oldest, founded by Arbejdernes Kooperative Boligselskab (AKB), note streetnames; built on the grounds of Frederiksholm Teglværk (1871-1918; in c1889); church | Den Røde Plads (Anker Jørgensens Plads)
  • Bavnehøj – 1920s, a mix of andelsboliger and kommunale boliger now mainly privately owned; church qv (1977, by Holger Jensen)
  • Musikbyen – 1930s, low apartment blocks with small front gardens in funkis style, batch-named after classical composers

Sydhavnen, considered an ‘outer’ district like Nordvest, has housed the halt and the lame since the rebirth of Copenhagen began under JKM in 1989, with swathes of social housing. The rest of Vesterbro got byfornyelse instead of sanering, putting small apartments together and adding green backyards in order to increase the tax take, sowing the seeds for today’s gentrification.

Interesting shape, with Vestre Kirkegård and a triangle of housing north of the S tog protruding funnel-like into Vesterbro proper, the ‘island’ of Sydhavnen bounded by P Knudsens Gade, Sydhavnsgade and the railway, then an industrial fringe taking in two/three/four wharves in what was the harbour. For a precise map visit Københavnerkortet (lokaludvalgsområder), which FWIW shows Enghave Brygge and Havneholmen as lying in Vesterbro (see also Vandrefuglen; more?)

Splits into ‘new’ and ‘old’ Sydhavnen divided by heavily trafficked Sydhavnsgade, at each end of Denmark’s average income spectrum (see Byens Klumme by GivRum’s Jesper Koefoed-Melson)/ For local history see Sydhavn | Kongens Enghave (gentrification; FB) | history (from an Østerbro standpoint) | Enghave Kanal.

City Link (21-24 Sep 2017) explored the theme of building bridges:

The ‘old’ Sydhavnen was established around 1913. The area was built to provide high
quality homes for working-class people and became a key public housing area. Workers
living in Sydhavnen were a key source of manpower for Copenhagen’s harbour industries.

The ‘new’ Sydhavnen is the former industrial harbor area. Over the last 15 years it has
been developed for residential and office buildings. Its most well-known areas are
Sluseholmen and Teglholmen.

A total of 17.586 live in the parish of Sydhavnen (this includes both areas, as of 1st January
2015). 5.974 live in the new areas of Sluseholmen og Teglholmen and this number is
expected to rise to 21.100 in 2030.

‘New’ Sydhavnen to the east of Sydhavnsgade (Politiken series | Teglværket):

  • first wave: IT and telecoms related companies, inc TDC
  • Aalborg Universitet i København – from 2012 in four former Nokia buildings (1996/1999/2001, by Hvidt & Mølgaard) at AC Meyers Vænge 15/Frederiks Kaj 10-12
    • 73m (52m over water) lysbro (skywalk/smutevj) constructed in 2001 from one of Teglværkshavnens stik-bassiner to Sydhavnsgade; eight metres over the water at its highest point
    • smaller three storey smutvej between two buildings at AC Meyers Vænge 15, with four more three storey indoor walkways
  • Enghave BryggeBy og Havnmy post, names post; aka/inc Frederiks Brygge, Engholmene
  • Kvarterpladsen, aka that thing opposite Vasbygade
  • (Havneholmen – Vesterbro? inc Havnestaden and Artillerivej Syd)
  • Sluseholmen – Through the lock
  • Teglholmen – church (again) | school | bonkers rækkehuse
  • from podcast: restaurationstilbud manger – there is no chemist or Matas, eating out options are limited; the apartments are very ensartig, with large panoramic windows which may only offer a visit of your neighbour looking back at you: no special architecture, it all looks the same


  • allotment associations: lots, in some cases with year round occupation permitted |
    • Frederikshøj aka The unknown Sydhavn: HF. Frederikshøj is a experimental housing area with 200 households. The area is governed by the community it self and has a long tradition for selfdetermination. Until the 1970es the area was stigmatized as a deprived and poor “lower workingclass” neighbourhood (“shanty town”) and the residents had almost no legal rights vis a vis the municipality of Copenhagen. In 1982 the municipality suggested to destroy the whole area, but this was stopped due a huge mobilization for maintaining the area as a distinct self organized, experimental housing- and living place. 10 years ago the community and the municipality finally reached an agreement, which legalizes the existing neighbourhood and its unique housing style. To day the neighbourhood is highly valued, but it might be threatened by gentrification in the future. The event is organized by John Andersen, who lives in Frederikshøj and is a professor in urban planning at RUC.
  • architecture:
  • bridges:
  • Byens Hegn: Mozarts Plads (exhibition) | Sluseholmen (Frederikskaj 2)
  • churches: Enghave Kirke (Sønder Boulevard 120; interior refurbished 2018)
  • crime scenes
  • factories in Industritrekanten:
    • Ford samlefabrik (1924-66): in concrete, by Albert Kahn: Fordgraven (bassin in Teglværkshavnen): produced 325,482 vehicles, 75% exported
    • Citroënhuset (1927-66; Sydhavnsgade 16)
  • Den Gule By (Byens Netværk): between Enghavevej and Vasbygade on the northeast corner of Otto Bussesvej; 33 houses built in 1909 as tjenesteboliger for DSB employees working in “hjælpevognen”, et beredskab i tilfælde af afsporinger eller ulykker; area perhaps to become part of Lille Vesterbro
  • roads:
  • social actors: Områdefornyelse Sydhavnen (FB) | Sydhavns Compagniet (FB) | SydhavnsGade | Sammen om Sydhavnen
  • stations: three, now two: Enghave (RU sure? north of railway so calling it for Vesterbro), Sydhavn (pic; Udstillingsstedet/gallery) and Sjælør; metro (again) arriving in 2023
  • walks (aka routes; why aren’t these in the TIC??):
  • wharves:
  • Karens Minde (cultural centre and library)
  • Sydhavnteater (Sydhavnsgade 28/Wagnersvej 19??)
  • Tippen ( | Find vej i… | new! hundeløbegård; Wikipedia | Lorterenden | again | spring 2019):
    • 1950s to 1980s: 1000s of trucks tipped loads of rubble and other waste onto the site; Royal Copenhagen used the east facing coast to dispose of old moulds and broken crockery from its Aluminia line, which closed down in 1969. effectively a 5m high pile of rubbish, call it landfill…now serves as a unique recreation area, abundant in wildlife;
    • 1990: southernmost part protected
    • 2009: nature school opened; it’s a tip! almost part of Valbyparken, a nice enclosed area which would make a great dog park, at least in the sheep free part of the year
  • Vestre Fængsel & Vestre Kirkegård