Jerichausgade: Ode to a livable street

In the shadow of Copenhagen’s most famous brewery, Carlsberg, lies the quiet neighborhood of Humleby (which literally translates to Hops-Town). The three story townhouses, inspired by architecture from England, were built in the 1880s to accommodate workers of Burmeister & Wain, a large Danish shipyard and diesel engine producer.

The Carlsberg tower hovers over this quaint residential area which has managed to preserve its original appearance and feel over time. Some homes have a small garden area in front which can be used for patio furniture, plantings or bicycle storage. Other homes share the common picnic tables, bike racks and play equipment which line the side of the street opposite the parked cars.

The small neighorhood comprises seven streets, two east-west and five north-south streets. The streets are named after famous artists who lived in the early 1800s. Only three of the streets actually connect to the surrounding street system, i.e. the two east-west streets and Jerichausgade. The street, named after the Danish sculptor Jens Jerichau, is two blocks long and it links the neighborhood to Ny Carlsberg Vej, the portal road into the historic brewery. Today, a steady stream of tourist buses pass by the neighborhood at this point en route to the portal which is guarded by four life size elephant statues.

Even on a chilly weekday afternoon, signs of life on the Jerichausgade can be seen everywhere. Mothers push strollers up and down the street. Children, not yet school age, perfect their newly acquired bicycling skills. Sidewalk chalk drawings cover the width of the roadway. The random sand box is placed in the space normally occupied by parked cars. Although these features are not engineering measures, they contribute significantly to the calming of traffic on the street.

The street, and the neighborhood, is unique within Copenhagen which has made it quite a popular address. The layout of the roadway does not conform to standard city street designs. Still, the qualities which contribute to the livability of the street have made it an attractive place to live both indoors and out.

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About Denver Igarta

This blog was established to document my search for streets that my 5-year old can play near without my constant supervision. Where kids can live active lives and learn independence. My quest began when I was selected as an Urban and Regional Policy Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, for info: gmfus.org/cdp/fellowships. I am a multi-modal transportation planner for the City of Portland (OR), America's sustainable transportation capital. SHORT BIO/PROJECT DESCRIPTION Denver Igarta (October-November 2011), Urban Planner, City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Project: Livable Streets Where People Live: Fostering People-Friendly Streets by De-emphasizing Automobile Traffic in Residential Areas Cities: Munich, Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Malmö Denver Igarta is an urban planner with the Transportation Bureau of the City of Portland. He works on a broad range of transportation policy, street design initiatives and pedestrian, bicycle and freight planning efforts. He recently served as one of the principal authors of Portland's new bicycle plan. He is currently staffing two “active transportation” projects: a rails-with-trails project along the Banfield Freeway and a local street system plan for one of the state's most diverse neighborhoods. He performed his graduate studies at the University of Dortmund, Germany and the University of the Philippines and holds a Master of Science in Regional Development Planning. Portland is struggling to reverse generations of auto-oriented development patterns and make neighborhood streets more “livable” (people-friendly) by restoring their multimodal and placemaking functions. Mr. Igarta's research will evaluate how cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden have enacted policies to restore the multiple functions of public streets through traffic management, green infrastructure and giving priority to sustainable travel modes. He will meet with local practitioners, policymakers and civic leaders involved in transportation planning, traffic safety and neighborhood livability projects, street design, and implementation of multi-modal traffic policies. The ultimate aim of the study is to compile a set of best practices and policies implemented in European cities that have broadened the role of residential streets beyond automobile mobility. Additional focus will be given to understanding how acceptable policy tradeoffs are determined within city agencies and the level of public support for measures that restrict car movements, such as reduced speed zones, bicycle streets, shared spaces, residents-only streets and residential parking restrictions.
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