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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Transformations and City Extensions: Some Observations of Copenhagen's City Form at a Time of Global Change

  • Author(s): Bosselmann, Peter
  • et al.

As someone who has known the city of Copenhagen for the last 30 years, the author of this paper observes an apparent discord between the various new projects and the existing spatial patterns of the inner city. In particular, the author discusses the controversy over Orestad, a new region being created to serve the global economy.

Walks through Copenhagen, discovery of old city maps, and visits to picture galleries have unearthed traces of historic transformation that are still visible in the city. Through these first-hand observations and discoveries, the author lays out principles that might be brought to bear on how current city transformations and expansions could be directed.

Analyzing the city from various perspectives, the author notes that major transformations and expansion of Copenhagen have generally followed significant changes in society. Worldwide, the current urge to serve global commerce has affected many cities. No city can afford to be left outside the global economy. However, the structures built under this trend have produced sameness and areas that separate people without giving them a sense of place.

The author offers alternatives by which Copenhagen might remain receptive to global influences and still retain its handsome city design, its sense of history, and its hospitable nature to people of diverse cultural backgrounds.

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