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GHETTO VESTEGN

- a study on the issues and potentials in the Danish suburbs and an development proposal for the area surrounding Gadehavegaard

Jaffer Janjooa - kqn207
Rami Al-Khumisi - lmc217
Supervisor: Gertrud Jørgensen
Ghetto Vestegn
- a study on the issues and potentials in the Danish suburbs and an development proposal for the area surrounding Gadehavegaard
31. July 2015
45 ECTS masters project
Landscape Architecture
University of Copenhagen

Preface
This master thesis has been made in the period from November 2014 to
July 2015. It includes 45 ETCS points and has been prepared within the
profession of landscape architecture at the Faculty of Science, University
of Copenhagen.
The master thesis constitutes a general analysis and background for the
Danish suburbs and ghetto areas associated Vestegnen. In addition, a conceptual design for a site near Gadehavegaard, a ghetto area in the Municipality of Høje Taastrup.
The purpose of this conceptual design is that it should meet the challenges, that applies to the distinction for these ghetto areas.
Thanks to our supervisor, Gertrud Jørgensen, for great supervision and to
keep us in the ears. Thanks to Mohammed Abdulrahman M. Almahmood
for inspiration and good advise regarding the interviews. Thanks to Rune
Bæklund from Høje Taastrup municipality for pointing us in the right direction, and thanks to the club Gadehaven, for helping and letting us hold
a Workshop.
Last but not least we would like to thank all the people living in the area
north of Høje Taastrup Station for sharing their thoughts and ideas.

Dawid Rami Al-Khumisi

Jaffer Naveed Janjooa

Index
Introduction
Abstract 6
Resumé 7
Introduction 8

Part I - Birth of the suburbs
Birth of the suburbs 14
The station towns 16
Form follows function 17
Dansk Byplanlaboratorium 19
The time after World War II 24
The paradigm shift 25
The sustainable city 29
The Danish ghettos 32
Suburbs of the future 34

Birth of the suburbs - conclusion
35

Part II - The eight ghetto cases
The eight ghetto cases 38

The government´s ghetto list (2010-2014)
39
(1) Hedemarken 42
(2) Taastrupgaard 44
(3) Charlotteager 46
(4) Gadehavegaard 48

(5) Vejleåparken 50
(6) Askerød 52
(7) Karlemoseparken 54
(8) Rønnebærparken / Æblehaven 56
Positive traits 58
Negative traits 60
The eight ghetto cases - conclusion
62

Part III - The site
Choosing the site 66
Station town 68
Meeting the municipality 70
The site 72
Topography 74
Districts and landmarks 76
Paths, roads and connections 78
Barriers 80
The site - conclusion 82

Part IV - Resident participation
Interviews 86
Observations 88
Interviews - Child 90
Interviews - Young 92

Interviews - Adult 94
Interviews - Senior 96
Interviews - Results 98
Workshop 100
Resident participation - conclusion 102
Interviews 102
Observations 103
Workshop 103
Results and conclusion 103

Part V - Proposition for development plan
Vision 106
Concept 106
Reclaim the road 106
Road concept 110
Path concept 111
Plant concept 112
Activity concept 113
Proposal 114
Children and play area 116
Activities and sports area 118
Orchard park 120
Urban Park 122
Conclusion and perspectivation 124

Litterature
Litterature 126
Books and articles 126
Movies and documentaries 127
Map sources 127
Web 127

Abstract
Much of the Danish suburban landscape, which was built during the
60’ies and 70’ies, is heavily influenced by the thoughts and ideas of the
modernism movement in the world at the time.
Modernism brought many good things; bigger apartments with more
sunlight, integrated open green spaces in the city and the integration of
traffic into the city. Everything was built big and looked good on paper,
but somewhere in between the lines the planners forgot about the people.
This was also the case in Denmark, and the suburban dream was slowly
turning into a nightmare. The big open spaces felt uncomfortable, the residents were quickly replaced by low-income families, the cheap building
materials resulted in damaged apartments, and the cars – not the people –
took over the landscape.
To combat this, the Danish government released a paper called “Ghettoen
tilbage til samfundet” in the fall of 2010. (roughly translated: “The ghetto
back to society”). The paper points out several places with heightened
criminal rates, a general lack of education and a high amount of denizens
with foreign backgrounds.
Although the main focus was the social aspects, the paper also recognizes
that these areas need to be enhanced through planning. But how do we
bring the ghetto back to society through planning and architectural design?
We can start by taking the sentence literally: we must break the isolation
by looking at the borders of the areas, linking the different places not only
through railroads and highways, but also on a local human scale.

6

This project is split into three parts: a 1) historical part, an 2) analytical
part and a 3) project part.
The historical part contains historical figures and events that made an impact on the design of the suburbs from the late 1800’s to the early 2000’s.
Many of the theories and thoughts from this part will be applied to the
other two parts.
The analysis starts with pointing out and taking a closer look on the eight
ghetto areas (according to the government’s ghetto list) in Copenhagen’s
west region (Vestegnen). This is done in order to choose a site for the
project part.
Once the site is chosen, a more in depth analysis is applied, covering interviews with the locals, a small workshop as well as spatial and context
analysis.
A development plan for the site is the goal for the proposal part. The development proposal is of course based on the earlier theory and analysis,
and the main focus is on connection, coherence and multifunctionality.

Resumé
En stor del af det danske forstadslandskab, som blev bygget i løbet af
60’erne og 70’erne, er stærkt påvirket af de tanker og ideer fra den modernistiske bevægelse i verden på dette tidspunkt.
Modernismen bragte mange gode ting; større lejligheder med mere sollys,
integrerede åbne grønne områder i byen og integration af trafik og by. Alt
blev bygget stort og så godt ud på papiret, men et eller andet sted i mellem linjerne glemte planlæggerne folket.
Dette var også tilfældet i Danmark, og forstadsdrømmen var langsomt
ved at blive til et mareridt. De store åbne rum føltes utilpas, beboerne
blev hurtigt erstattet af familier med lav indkomst, de billige byggematerialer resulterede i beskadigede lejligheder, og biler - ikke mennesker
- tog over landskabet.
For at bekæmpe dette, udgav den danske regering en rapport kaldet
”Ghettoen tilbage til Samfundet” i efteråret 2010. Rapporten påpeger flere
sådanne modernistiske boligområder med forhøjet kriminalitet, en generel mangel på uddannelse og en høj mængde af beboere med udenlandsk
baggrund.

Dette projekt er opdelt i tre dele: 1) en historisk del, 2) en analytisk del
og 3) en projekt del.
Den historiske del indeholder historiske figurer og begivenheder, som
havde indflydelse på udformningen af de
​​ danske forstæder fra slutningen
af ​​1800-tallet til begyndelsen af 2000’erne.
​​
Mange af de teorier og tanker
fra denne del vil blive anvendt til de to andre dele.
Analysen begynder med at påpege og tage et nærmere kig på de otte
ghettoområder (ifølge regeringens ghetto liste) i Københavns vestlige
region (Vestegnen). Dette gøres for senere at vælge et område til projektdelen.
Når området er valgt, anvendes en mere dybtgående analyse, som dækker interviews med de lokale, en lille workshop, samt rumlige og kontekst-analyser.
En udviklingsplan for området er målet for sidste del af projektet. Forslaget til udviklingsplanen er naturligvis baseret på den tidligere teori
og analyse, og den vigtigste fokus er på forbindelse, sammenhæng og
multifunktionalitet.

Selv om rapporten primært betegner de sociale aspekter, erkender den
også, at disse områder skal styrkes gennem planlægning. Men hvordan
bringer vi ghettoen tilbage til samfundet gennem planlægning og arkitektonisk design?
Vi kan starte med at tage sætningen bogstaveligt: ​​Vi skal bryde isolationen ved at se på grænserne til de områder, der forbinder de forskellige
steder ikke kun gennem jernbaner og motorveje, men også på en lokal
menneskelig skala.
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Introduction
Since the introduction of the Danish ghetto-lists in 2010, the government,
politicians and local citizens have constantly been striving to improve the
situation in these so-called “socially strained areas” – often by enhancing
the aforementioned areas through the use of social events and improvements in the apartments – but also through better planning and design.

Aim:

The discussion regarding the ghetto-issues has been very loud - both in
the media and on a more local level in the suburbs. Especially the criteria that define a Danish ghetto have been up to discussion, and they have
therefore changed several times since the first ghetto-list in 2010.

Once the problems are defined, a series of solutions and enhancements
based on the theoretical and analystical part of the project will be worked out for a chosen site. The aim is to specifically focus on connections,
cohersion and multifunctional use of outdoor areas.

Architecture and planning are not a part of these criteria – even though
physical planning is almost always used in the process of enhancing these
areas.
In our case the interest is two-sided;
- The personal perspective, due to us living in the suburbs, and thus
having an interest in our surroundings and local areas.
- The professional perspective, seeing the suburbs – both the potentials
and problems – through the eyes of a landscape architect.
We believe that landscape architecture and planning have played – and is
still playing - a big role in the shaping of the so-called ghettoes, and this
is why we decided to work with the ghettos from a landscape architectural point of view.

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The aim of the project will be to define if some of the problems in the
Danish ghettos can be solved or understood through landscape architecture and planning.

N
E
N

G
E
T

S
E
V

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Method:
We chose to work with ghettos, and narrowed the work area to the suburbs in Vestegnen - the west region of Copenhagen.
First part of the project covers the historical aspect to better understand
the Danish suburbs and their development. Historical texts, theories and
ideas from different planners and architectural events are placed chronologically on a timeline for the best overview.
The chapter is summed up with the Ghetto list and the ten recommendations for improvements in the suburbs from the Suburb’s Think Tank.
The second part is about visiting the eight ghetto areas in Vestegnen;
Karlemoseparken (Køge), Askerød (Greve), Vejleåparken (Ishøj), Hedemarken (Albertslund), Tåstrupgård (Høje Taastrup), Gadehavegaard
(Høje Taastrup), Charlotteager (Høje Taastrup), Rønnebærparken/Æblehaven (Roskilde). We chose areas that have either been, or still are, on the
official ghetto list.
In this part we sum up some of the good and bad aspects of the suburbs
based on the theories from the first chapter applied to our own field work.
In the third part we narrowed down the eight cases to one area in the
municipality of Høje Taastrup due to it being the municipality with the
highest number of ghetto areas. From there we chose a site based on a
suggestion by Rune Bæklund from Høje Taastrup municipality.
We then applied Kevin Lynch, landscape, road, barrier and spatial analyzes to the site in order to figure out how to work with it in the proposition
chapter. As a part of the analysis we built a 1:1000 model of the site.

10

The fourth part consists of a series of interviews and observations done
on the site based on Jan Gehl’s methods regarding how people use the
city. On top of this we arranged a workshop with the local youth club in
which the children could share their opinions and thoughts about their
city.
The interviews, workshop and observations are meant to give us an idea
about what the locals would want and apply their thoughts and wishes to
the final proposition chapter.
The fifth part, and final chapter, applies the knowledge gathered in the
first four parts to a final design proposition for the chosen site.

Ballerup

Copenhagen
Roskilde

N
E
N

G
E
T

S
E
V

The word ”Vestegn” or ”Vestegnen” is basically a substraction of ”Københavns vestegn” which roughly translates into ”The west region of
Copenhagen”.
Vestegnen is an area that stretches from the western border of Copenhagen to Ballerup in the north, Roskilde in the west and Køge in the south.

Køge

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”Form follows function - that has been misunderstood. Form and function
should be one, joined in a spiritual union.”
- Frank Lloyd Wright, 1867-1959

I

Birth of the suburbs

Birth of the suburbs
To understand the current state and layout of the Danish suburban ghettos, we have to dive back in time and investigate the development of the
suburban landscape.

Copenhagen had a total of 119.292 citizens in 1834. This number grew
to 378.235 in 1901 – an increase of approximately 217% over a 67 year
period. (Københavns Kommune, 1919)

The timeline in this chapter is meant to help arranging the different important people and events in context to eachother based on which years
they occured to give us a better understanding of the legacy of the suburban landscape.

In comparison, the count in the years before the abovementioned count
show only a 29% population increase in Copenhagen during a period of
65 years from 1769-1834. (Danmarks Statisktik, 1935)

The timeline is of course seen in a Danish context, even though many of
the events and people are of an international origin, and the focus lies on
the period after the industrial revolution up to now.

The diagram below clearly shows the exponential growth of the population in Copenhagen from 1840-1960 (Københavns Kommune, 1961)

The technological progress had exploded after the industrial revolution in
the 1800’s, creating a big demand for changes in the urban context. Cars,
railways, new building technology and materials - as well as the ever increasing flood of people moving from the countryside to the city - forced
architects to rethink the classic city design and adapt to these changes.
The capitol area

The pictures on the opposite page are showing the development of
Copenhagen from 1825 – 2001, and the rapid growth of the city is evident
- even in the time before the Athens Charter.
In 1825 Copenhagen was nothing more than a medieval town with buildings surrounded by barricades, walls and moats. During the following
100 years the city took the next step in it’s evolution, and started developing outwards as a response to the population boost from the countryside.

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The capitol
Copenhagen municipality

1825

2001

1899

1939

(www.historiskatlas.dk)

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The industrial revolution

The station towns:
Just like the population, technology was advancing faster than ever before. Right before and during World War I there were many active railroad
projects around Copenhagen, providing fast transport to the small towns
where people often sought work in the fields.
These small towns were no more than a handful of houses surrounded by
fields, and the stations were often placed without any thought regarding
to planning or design, which often meant that the stations would be situated in the middle of a field. (Bidstrup, 1971)
But as the cars got more common, the focus shifted from the railroads
to this new means of transportation. There was around 3.000 cars in
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1825
Denmark in the early 1900’s – a number that grew to 100.000 during
the 1920’s, which resulted in the first public parking lot in Copenhagen,
the first traffic regulations and roads - and the first gas station. (Gehl &
Svarre, 2013)
Even though the stations along the small farm towns became neglected,
they were never forgotten, and the small towns started growing out towards and around the stations as more people chose to move closer to the
towns and cities in search of work in the expanding agriculture. (Bidstrup, 1971)
This literally meant that Denmark suddenly had 558 new developing
towns in less than 50 years.

1899
These towns had several things in common: (Bidstrup, 1971)

Form follows function:

- Their development was determined by the placement of the train stations.
- They developed without an overseeing planner – it was purely functionality that determined the layout.
- At the time people living in these towns were considered second-class
citizens by the “real” city denizens.

During the late 1920’s it became clear that city planning couldn’t only be
considered as a form of art, but it needed a more technical definition as
well. (Bidstrup, 1971)

This would be the first real evolution of the classic medieval town structure outside of the capital – in fact it was a giant leap towards what we
would later call the suburbs.

In 1933 Copenhagen had a total population of 634.061 – which means
that the population had increased with 68% in only 32 years from 1901 to
1933. (Københavns Kommune, 1933)
The growth of the European cities, as well as the problems that followed; such as bad living conditions and poverty, would later in the 30’s be
recognized at the CIAM conference and would later be included in the
Athens Charter.
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Ebenezer Howard
Garden cities of tomorrow

1902

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But even before the conference these new changes were recognized by
architects all over the world, and thus a massive amount of architectural
ideas and discussions flourished in the time leading up to, and after, World War I.

In 1902 Howard published a book, “Garden Cities of Tomorrow”, in
which he states, that the best way to expand the towns would be to mix
the best aspects from the town and country, creating a new city that he
called “Town-Country” or “Garden City of Tomorrow”. (Howard, 1902)

Ebenezer Howard, even though he had no architectural background, was
one of the first to point out some of the problems and come up with solutions to how the city could adapt to these new changes.

Above, on the timeline, is a diagram drawing of the basic concept of the
garden cities; a central big city connected to a series of outer satellite
cities: (Howard, 1902)

Howard believed that both the town and the countryside had some values
that attracted people. The town was about social interaction and economic possibilities, while the country was about enjoying the nature and a
healthy lifestyle.

These cities would be recreational, self- sustainable and healthy places
with the social and economic benefits of the capital – everything integrated with the new transportation technologies. At this time Howard did not
consider these rural cities as a recreational retreat from work, but rather as
an integrated part of an effective urban life. (Mumford, 1946)

World War I

Dansk Byplanlaboratorium

1914

1921

In a way, this was the first time in modern history that anyone really tried
to implement a regional planning system.

Dansk Byplanlaboratorium:
In Denmark it was also recognized that there was a need for a combined
regional planning for the areas surrounding Copenhagen. That resulted in
the creation of Dansk Byplanlaboratorium (Danish City Plan Laboratory)
in 1921 - which by the way was a time when the Garden City ideas were
flourishing amongst planners and architects.
The purpose of the “laboratory” was to gather information about city
planning, and share the knowledge with anyone that would be interested
in it. This changed the planning dynamic from a local scale to a more
broad regional scale. (Bidstrup, 1971)

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Le Corbusier
The City of To-morrow

1929
But the first real regional plan would be created much later in 1947- after
World War II.

One of these planners, Le Corbusier, would take these ideas to the next
step in the years after the First World War.

Howard’s ideas were based around a major technology that had been in
the making the last century: the public railroad. Without a proper means
of connection to the city center it would have been impossible to create
the new satellite towns, or “Garden Cities”.

With the improvements of the mobile vehicle technology (cars, motorbikes, etc.) there was a need for a better integration of the infrastructure
inside the cities. Le Corbusier compared the infrastructure to “capillaries” that were under the constant, never ending operations by surgeons –
eventually concluding that there was a need for more “arteries” to make
the infrastructure work. (Le Corbusier, 1929)

These ideas became very popular in Great Britain, and they are one of the
reasons that London was developed with green wedges in between the urban housing zones. Other architects and planners around the world started
embracing some of Howard’s ideas, adapting them to their own cities and
landscapes.

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Le Corbusier claimed that traffic inside the city was a deadly affair as
many people lost their lives crossing the street. He came up with the idea
of isolating the roads, keeping cars and people divided, as well as diminishing the existing streets by two-thirds.

These ideas would play a big role in the planning of the suburbs in the
coming years.
At the same time he acknowledged that there had been a lack of focus on
the roads in prior city design, and the technological progress now deserved and craved better roads with the increased use of motor vehicles.
Le Corbusier divides the traffic into three categories: (Le Corbusier,
1929)
1) Heavy good traffic. This type of traffic would be below ground, and
this would only be for loading and unloading goods.
2) Lighter goods traffic. Traditional ground floor traffic, allowing movement in all directions with the delicate and complicated road network.

These would be the capillaries.
3) Fast traffic. Corbusier describes this as a highway running in two axes
on bridges above the city east/west and north/south. These are the arteries
allowing quick travel to and away from the city.
If we look at our modern cities, we can recognize many of these ideas –
maybe not implemented as Le Corbusier saw them – but they are evidently present in the infrastructure design.
As the railroads got more open to the main public, it became evident,
that there was a great potential in building the cities around this efficient
transportation method, allowing a quick connection to the outer municipalities.

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Fourth CIAM conference
Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne

1933
Le Corbusier quickly recognized the value of the railroad. He stated that
the railway station is the “hub of the wheel” and should therefore be a
central element in the city, connecting all the other roads and paths. (Le
Corbusier, 1929)
Many of Le Corbusier’s ideas revolved around the division of areas (housing, industrial, schools, parks, etc.), clearly defining the activity for each
area in the city. Even these already divided areas would be divided into
even more specified areas such as different types of housing.
Today the best example of this type of urban design would be Brasilia in
Brazil. The city is shaped as an airplane, with the governmental offices in
the “cockpit”, industrial areas where the “engines” would be, and housing
for people along the wings.
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In Denmark we see this type of physical urban division as well – although not as prominent as in Brasilia, it is still used to some degree in the
city, and even more in the suburban areas.
Another “theme”, that Le Corbusier was slightly obsessed about, was the
geometrical layout of the city. In his own words he claims that “urban design must be industrialized”, so that it is easier and cheaper to build. “The
result of true geometrical layout is repetition”.
Even though the best place to start building would be in the open, starting
anew from a clean slate, Le Corbusier was against building outside of the
already established cities. He believed that the answers should be found
in building vertically, both under, as well as above, the current city. (Le
Corbusier, 1929)

Le Corbusier
World War II

The Athens Charter

1939

1943

In 1933 the fourth CIAM (Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne) conference was held aboard a boat, which sailed from Marseilles to
Athens. The congress, which was founded in 1928, consisted of a wide
community of architects, technical engineers and others interested in
urban design.

developed.

Their goal was to discuss how to improve the urban environments in a
world that was in the process of recovering from World War I.

With ”The Athens Charter” Le Corbusier managed to influence the next
generations of post-war planners, and the paradigm shift from pre-modernism to modernism was complete.

But the idea, that there should be nothing hindering the geometric design,
and it should be allowed to continue infinitely, started establishing itself
in the minds of many architects and planners of the early 20th century.
This way of thinking definitely appealed to the open, rural landscapes
surrounding the cities – landscapes where the suburbs would later be

In 1943 Le Corbusier published a book he called ”The Athens Charter”,
in which he collected many of his own ideas as well as the thoughts and
ideas from the CIAM conference in 1933.

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Fingerplanen

1947
The time after World War II:
When Nazi-Germany invaded Denmark in 1940, the swift surrender of
the Danish government assured that Copenhagen did not suffer the same
fate as many other European cities, and was more or less left undamaged
when the war ended in 1945.
The rapid growth of the cities increased now more than ever before all
over Europe. Rebuilding the cities was a necessity after the heavy bombardments during the war, and the technology had reached a level that
could supply the demand with cheap and quick housings.
Especially european countries adapted to the mindset of modernism
planning - one could argue that modernism fits well into the socialistic
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and communistic ideologies in Europe, but the main reason was of course
the beforementied increase in people migrating to the cities. We see the
same tendency in developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America
today.
In Denmark it was quickly recognized that this rapid growth couldn’t
continue without any planning, so in 1947 a team of architects from
”Egnsplanskontoret for Storkøbenhavn” created “The Fingerplan” – a
plan that would define how Copenhagen would grow outwards.
Even though there had been a focus on creating a comprehensive overall
plan for the region surrounding Copenhagen since around 1920, it was
first after World War II that something actually happened – and even
then, it was more guidelines rather than rules.

Jane Jacobs
The Death and Life of Great American Cities

1961
The Fingerplan mainly focus on two basic, yet very clever, ideas; to
maintain and conserve the green open spaces between the urban areas,
and to make sure that the urban development would be placed alongside
the railroad development to assure a working infrastructure and connection with the capitol city.

The paradigm shift:

There are many similarities in this and the development plan for London – and with good reason: because they were both based on the initial
thoughts of Howard and the later thinking of Le Corbusier.

Jane Jacobs was one of these planners. She pointed out many of the issues
that came out of the low-income projects that were supposed to replace the slums. According to her, especially the distribution of ressources
plays an important role in solving the issues.

As it so often happens, all action create reaction, and the modernism
brought with it rebellious planners and designers with a post-modernistic
ideology.

If the billions used on centers of vandalism, delinquency and general social hopelessness were used on developing and rebuilding the cities, they
would have been better spent. Currently they only make the place even
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Ian Mcharg
An Ecological Method for Landscape Architecture
Design With Nature

1967
worse than before. The money that were supposed to rebuild the cities,
are destroying them even more.
Jacobs claims, that we could wipe out all the slums, gray belts that were
yesterday’s and day-before-yesterday’s suburbs, and we could even fix
the traffic problem with the money. (Jacobs, 1961)
She states that modernistic planners think that if they solve the issue of
traffic, then they can solve the issue of the cities. This is of course because it’s easier to be pleased by the reasons of why we need the automobiles
than the reasons of why we need the cities. The cars are a big need in the
suburbs, because sometimes there is a very long distance between point
A and point B, but one must figure out how the city works before figuring
out what to do about the traffic.
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As an example Jacobs mentions that drinking a soda on a street corner is
as much a sign of life in the city as anything else. There is a value in any
kind of life in the city, no matter whether it is on the sidewalk, in the park
or around the cafes and restaurants on the shopping streets. People, who
have made an assumption that there is a ”wrong” kind of city-life, have
completely misunderstood the city.
The point of the social life on the streets, is that its public and it brings
people together. Its people who don’t know each other, and don’t care
to know each other, that still are being put together in a public area. The
most important things the public streets needs to give the people are safety, privacy, trust and togetherness. If a street lives up to this, then a lot of
people will use it.

Oscar Newman
Defensible Space

1972
To assure the best physical conditions for urban life, Jacobs suggests that
planning should involve multifunctional neighborhoods, varied age residential areas, a high concentration of people, short blocks and connected
street systems. (Jacobs, 1961)
The focus slowly shifted from a mainly functional point of view to caring
for the people that actually use the city.
Jan Gehl, a Danish planner, has been focusing on implementing the human scale and needs into planning. (Gehl, 1987)
He argues that interaction between people is a good basis for creating
life in the outdoor spaces - but to achieve interaction the outdoor spaces
must be capable of offering some sort of activity based on visual or sound

stimulation.
Interaction between people stimulate the human senses. According to
Gehl, the ”see and hear” contact should be a priority in future planning.
(Gehl, 1987)
Just like Jacobs anticipated, the first proofs of failed modernistic urban
planning would start showing up in the following years.
In 1954 a huge modernism inspired social housing project was built in
Saint Louis, Missouri. With modern conveniences such as elevators,
electricity, heating, plumbing and plenty of light and space, it stood as a
symbol of hope in a landscape of poor neighbourhoods and overcrowded
slums. (Friedrichs, 2011)
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Pruitt-Igoe demolished

1975
It’s name was Pruitt-Igoe, and just as it started as a symbol of all the good
things connected to modernism, it ended up being a symbol of the opposite.
Just like in many of the Danish suburbs, problems arose in the 1960’ies
and 1970’ies. Poverty and crime lead to more problems, and slowly Pruitt-Igoe started decaying due to lack of funds, neglect and resident flight.

Newman claims that there is a connection between physical city design
and crime, and the theories are based around a ”feeling of ownership” - if
someone has this feeling towards a place, they will maintain it, but if the
feeling is lacking, the place will be neglected.

Only twenty years after it was built, Pruitt-Igoe was demolished by the
government in the mid 1970’ies. Even to this day, the area stands as a
stark reminder of failed modernistic planning.

Since the big suburban housing projects often share a concrete-grey
homogeneous look, they don’t create an identity that is worth maintaining.

Oscar Newman, an american planner, developed some theoretical ideas
about why the big housing projects went wrong. He called the theory
28

”Defensible Space” and published a book of the same name in 1972.
(Newman, 1996)

2001
According to Newman, five factors define a defensible space:

The sustainable city:

1) Territoriality - a territorial feeling towards home and nearby surroundings.
2) Natural surveillance - the resident’s ability to see in the area.
3) Image - creating a sense of security through physical design.
4) Milieu - other security factors, such as busy areas or a police station.
5) Safe Adjoining Areas - adjoint areas are planned in a way that they
become integrated, allowing surveillance across different areas.

Many people originally moved to the suburbs in search of space, light
and nature - a more healthy lifestyle than the big cities offered. These
aspects still draw people to the suburbs, and sustainablity, health and
nature all play an even bigger role in modern day planning.

The abovementioned factor’s main goal is to give the local community
more control of the outdoor spaces, and the community will in return
help maintain these areas and deter crime. (Newman, 1996)

Already in 1967, the beginning of the post-modernistic era, Ian Mcharg
wrote that he believed that ”ecology provides the single indispensible
basis for landscape architecture and regional planning.” (Mcharg, 1967)
From the days way back, religion made man over nature. The people
where given authority, and this is what Mcharg points out. He sees the
idea of ”god made man, and gave him authority over nature”, as a we29

Yosef Rafeq Jabareen
Sustainable Urban Forms

2006

30

stern mentality.

the oriental mentality. (Mcharg, 1967)

Man took advances of this authority, and will in the eyes of Mcharg
subdue the earth. He claims that more people in the cities equal more
housing and less nature.

Some of the abovementioned ideas of combining housing and nature
were already a part of Le Corbusier’s modernism. Mcharg only took what
already existed, and moved the focus towards nature and sustainability.

This is of course a direct reaction against the modernism, an ideology
where the all-knowing planner choose the most functional layout for the
city without any regard towards the already existing landscape.

The view of the cities has developed through the years, and today planners often have a more ecological approach when it comes to city development.

Ian Mcharg points out, that in some places the mentality changed because
of the writers, poets and artists. These creative minds came up and developed the harmony of man and nature gave the cities identity, made them
aesthetically pleasing and beautiful. Ian Mcharg calls this mentality for

Yosef Rafeq Jabareen, is one of these planners, and he looks at different
things that make the cities and suburbs more sustainable; (Jabareen,
2006)

Density is important according to Jabareen, because density is people. He
argues that high density means low car use and sustainable cities are a
matter of density.
He also points out that cities and the suburbs need diversity, this is
because if you have diversity then the people don’t need to take their car
somewhere else. Diversity covers both people and activities. The social
and cultural context, multifunctionality and mixed land use are important
factors in a sustainable city.
There is a great potential in developing the already existing landscape of
the suburbs. Re-using and developing the current buildings and housing
areas, are some of Jabareen’s main ideas.

”Green Urbanism”, as Jabareen calls it, is a more sustainable way of
developing the urban landscape. Using the sun that to make free energy
by the use of passive solar designs, air flow, clever use of materials, greening and building orientations are all factors that define Jabareen’s idea
of a sustainable, less polluted, green city that enhances biodiversity and
quality of life.
According to Yosef Rafeq Jabareen, we should not just work on the
spaces and the buildings, but we should also look at the transportation to
create Green Urbanism – sustainable transportation such as bicycles is
better than cars. (Jabareen, 2006)

31

The Danish ghettos:

modernistic housing projects suddenly stood empty.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s there was a great influx of immigrants seeking
work in Denmark. Even though most only planned to work abroad and
eventually return to their home countries, many decided to stay.

Empty apartments means no income for the municipality, so the rent went
down to attract new residents. This resulted in a economically homogenized population, with many less wealthy families and the immigrants that
chose to stay in Denmark.

At the same time, new and cheap modernistic housing projects were built
to satisfy the increasing demand for housing. At first, these new projects were a success. New residents quickly moved into the suburbs in the
search for fresh air, nature and space.
As the wealth of the common Danish worker family increased, their
dream home changed from the modernistic apartment to a small house
with a garden. This happened so quickly that many of the newly built
32

Before and through the 1990’s and during the 2000’s, crime and poverty
was increasing in the socially strained suburban areas, and the Danish
government began to realize that something had to be done to keep these
problems from escalating.
In 2010 the Danish government made an official ”ghetto list” that pointed out the most socially loaded areas based on a series of criteria. The

Official Danish ghetto list
”The Ghetto back to Society”

2010
emphasis of the criteria were the number of immigrants, unemployment
and crime rates.
However, the list and it’s criteria didn’t live up to the target, and didn’t
identify the problems in the areas. There was therefore added two additional criteria in 2014 that looked at income and education level. (www.
politiken.dk, 2014)

33

”The Suburb’s Think Tank”

2012
Suburbs of the future:
Realdania, an organisation that consists of many different individuals and
groups that all share the same interest for developing the cities, have since 2000 worked on countless enhancement projects all around Denmark.
Between 2011 and 2013 Realdania and Naturstyrelsen created ”The
Suburb’s Think Tank”. The aim was to adress the problems in the suburbs
and come up with solutions.
During this period 29 architectural teams worked on enhancing six chosen Danish suburban areas. In 2013 these projects, thoughts and ideas
were published in a book called ”Fremtidens Forstæder”. (Suburbs of the
future)
34

In 2012 the think tank had 10 recommendations that can help with enhancing the suburbs: (Realdania, 2012)
1) Urban redevelopment instead of urban sprawl
2) Find financial backing
3) Make use of local ressources
4) Identify and exploit dynamics in the suburbs
5) Adapt the urban structure
6) Strengthen sustainable mobility
7) Secure and elaborate the attractive qualities of the suburbs
8) Exert an influence on behaviour
9) Renew urban planning
10) Dismantle adminstrative and legislative obstacles

2015
Conclusion:
The physcial layout of the Danish suburban ghettos today is mainly
based on the modernistic architecture and ideology from the early to mid
1900’s.
From the mid 1900’s and towards 2000 planners began realizing that the
big, functional, modernistic housing projects such as Pruitt Igoe did not
quite work out as expected, and they started questioning the modernistic
ideology.
This lead to the post-modernism, where the functional design was integrated with the human scale, the life on the streets, ecology and sustainability.

The Suburb’s Think Tank’s 10 recommendations for the development of
the suburbs are a good summary of the post-modernistic solutions to the
issues modernism created. Some of the keywords are integration, densification, connection, ecology and sustainability.
It is no longer the ”all knowing planner” who decides how the city should
look like from his office, but the work has to be taken to the field and the
residents must be included in the planning process.
Some of these recommendations will be used in the final proposition
chapter.

35

”The ghettos are often secluded and isolated from the rest of the city and
in a number of cases there are only a few routes to and from the ghettos. It
constitutes a barrier for close interaction with the surrounding areas.”
- The ghetto back to society, 2010

II
The eight ghetto cases

The eight ghetto cases
The term ”Ghetto” is very broad and might even be slightly misleading
when used in a Danish context.

And there was of course moral questions considering the stigmatization
the word ”ghetto” would apply to these areas and the denizens.

Naturally there are many negative aspects (such as poverty, crime and
neglect) connected to the word - but it would almost be utter madness
to compare a Danish ghetto with let’s say the conditions in the Warsaw
Ghetto during World War II, Harlem in northern Manhattan or even the
slums in any poor country.

Specifically there was great skepticism regarding these criteria, since
they are based on data collected through several years (4-5 years) and are
therefore outdated.

Even the suburban ghetto areas in other parts of Europe in 2015 - such as
around Paris or London - are arguably more ”ghetto-like” than any of the
Danish ghetto areas.
There are undeniably plenty of socially strained areas in Denmark, and
for the sake of simplicity we will keep calling them ”ghettoes” here, even
though the word might be exaggerating the issues.
In October 2010 the Danish government published a paper called ”Ghettoen tilbage til samfundet” (The ghetto back to society, 2010) in which
they pointed out 29 problematic areas in Denmark and gave them the
official ghetto stamp.
The green box on the opposite page shows the criteria for whether an area
would become a ghetto or not in 2010. The red box has addtional criteria
that were added in 2014.
Of course these criteria sparked a huge debate. Some of the areas were
placed on the list merely due to only slightly higher percentages in a
certain criteria, while others could avoid the list by only marginal differences in the criteria.
38

None of the criteria are based on any physical appearances of the socially
strained areas. Only the social problems seem to define the Danish ghetto,
even though the politicians themself dedicated the very first chapter in
the beforementioned paper (The ghetto back to society, 2010) to solutions
through physical planning, renovation and enhancements.
We have of course another view on the matter from a planner’s perspective, for what defines an area more than it’s own physical appearance, the
infrastructure and relation to the rest of the city? These questions will be
clarified further in the conclusion part of this chapter.
The ghetto list itself can be seen on the opposite side. The grey lines define when an area was on the ghetto list, while the white (empty) slots tell
us when the area was not on the list.
The grey lines come in two colors for easier recognizion of an area on the
list and it’s timeline.
Since 2010 more than 50 areas have been on and off the ghetto list.

The government’s ghetto list (2010-2014)
Ghetto criteria
2010-2014: If the area meets 2/3 criteria it is considered
a ghetto.
- More than 50% non-western foreigners and their
descendants.
- More than 40% between the age of 18-64 without connection to any work or education. (average numbers for
the last four years)
- Amount of people above 18 years of age, who are
convicted for acts against the criminal law, drug law and
weapon law, is more than 270 out of 10.000 denizens.
(average numbers for the last four years)
2014: If the area meets 3/5 criteria it is considered a
ghetto.
- More than 50% non-western foreigners and their
descendants.
- More than 40% between the age of 18-64 without connection to any work or education. (average numbers for
the last four years)
- Amount of people above 18 years of age, who are
convicted for acts against the criminal law, drug law
and weapon law, is more than 2.70% (270 out of 10.000
denizens) (average numbers for the last four years)
- Amount of people in the age of 30-59 with only a base
education (as well as unknown education) is more than
50% of the age group.
- Average income for tax payers in the age of 15-64 (excluding people under education) is less than 55% of the
average income in the region.
39

3

8

4

2

6

1
5

We decided to visit the eight Vestegn-areas that either have been, or still
are, on the ghetto list.

7

40

The next part of this chapter consists of our field notes and pictures. The
idea was to visit each area and gain a first hand impression of the physical
structure and note down similarities that perhaps could connect some of
the problems.
In the end we will chose to work on a development plan for one of the
eight areas.

The government’s ghetto list (2010-2014)

Hedemarken
Taastrupgaard
Charlotteager
Gadehavegaard

Vejleåparken
Askerød
Karlemoseparken
Rønnebærparken/Æblehaven

1
2
3
4

5
6
7
8
41

1 Hedemarken

The area is completely closed
off by walls and buildings
towards the roads and parking
lots, only a few paths allow
movement to and from the green
spaces in the middle.

Albertslund - built: 1969

In a proper Le Corbusier style
the area offers everything you
need to never have to leave it.
Public laundry rooms, kebab
shops and small shops can be
found on every almost every
corner.

2010 - October

The green areas on the inside are
very nice and well maintained.

2011 - January

2011 - October

2012 - October

2013 - October
2014 - E
February
TTO
42

GH

Several playgrounds tells us that
there are many children in the
area. Some of the playgrounds
are ”high tech” such as this goal
that consists of several touchscreens.

TIVE

I
POS

N

50m

Focus on children and enhancing the playgrounds.
Small shops in the area create a good basis for outdoor activity

N

IVE
T
A
EG

The area is physically isolated from it’s surroundings
by walls and roads.

43

2 Taastrupgaard
Høje Taastrup - built: 1972

The big ”wall” of buildings
creates a physical barrier to the
north. Even though there are
several gaps in the ”wall”, they
are so small compared to the
buildings that you barely notice
them if you are just driving by.

Some of the buildings seem very
old and neglected.

2010 - E
October
TTO

GH

2011 - January
2011 - E
October
TTO

GH

2012 - E
October
TTO

GH

2013 - E
October
TTO

GH

2014 - E
February
TTO
44

GH

The green areas are well maintained along the main path.

The area is in general built in a
very big scale staying true to the
modernistic ideology. From the
parking lots, to the huge wall of
buildings and the big main path
going east-west.

IVE
T
I
S
PO

N

50m

Renovation projects have lifted the area’s looks and
connections, and big underground parking lots were
removed to increase safety.

N

IVE
T
A
EG

The big wall of buildings to the north still maintain a
sense of separation from the outside. The area lacks
small scale identity projects.

45

3 Charlotteager
Høje Taastrup - built: 1973

Compared to the other ghetto
areas that we visited Charlotteager was probably the one that
had the most appealing look.
The facades were renewed during 2005-2009, leaving the area
with a fresh new look.

Unfortunatly the outdoor areas
seemed extremely large and
dull.

2010 - October
TTO

GHE

2011 - January
TTO

GHE

2011 -EOctober
TTO

GH

2012 -EOctober
TTO

The locals are focusing on social
projects to enhance the area.

GH

2013 -EOctober
TTO

GH

2014 -EFebruary
TTO
46

GH

The local sportsfield/arena
was clearly very negleted. The
woodwork was almost falling
apart some places.

N

50m

E

ITIV
S
O
P

The buildings have new fresh facades and look very
appealing, and the small areas between the buildings
feel private and well kept.

N

IVE
T
A
EG

The green strip to the south has great potential, but
the facilities seem old and neglected.

47

4 Gadehavegaard
Høje Taastrup - built: 1976-1981

Many of the neighbouring areas
are physically closed off with
fences. Creates a feeling of isolation and distance.

Just like many of the other areas
we visited the small spaces
between the buildings consisted
of playgrounds and they were
generally well maintained.

2010 - October

In the basement level there were
different clubs - a shame that
they are hidden away.

2011 - January

2011 - October
2012 -EOctober
TTO

GH

2013 -EOctober
TTO

GH

2014 -EFebruary
TTO
48

GH

In an attempt to improve the
looks and sustainability of the
buildings, there is an ongiong
renevation project.

IVE
T
I
S
PO A new building-enhancement project is currently in

N

50m

progress.

N

IVE
T
A
EG

The buildings seem old and neglected, and the area is
surrounded by a big road.

49

5 Vejleåparken
Ishøj - built: 1970-1973

Vejleåparken is the biggest of
the eight areas that we visited.
Everything from the green areas
to the buildings are built in a
very big - maybe even incomprehensible - scale.

Just like many of the other areas
we visited the main path connections lead through tunnels.

2010 E
- October
TTO

GH

2011 - January

2011 - October

2012 - October

2013 - October

2014 - February
50

How many acres of grassfields
does a person need? Very dull
and unimaginative planning.

Not long after it was built, as
early as in the early 1980’ies,
it became clear that the area
needed several improvements.
From 2001-2010 the area had
several renovation projects to
enhance identity and improve
the housing.

E

ITIV
S
O
P

N

The enhancement projects that were done from 20012010 surely helped on the image of the area. There is
a stronger feeling of identity in the outdoor spaces,
and the buildings have been renovated.

100m

N

IVE
T
A
EG

The very big scale is still a negative factor, especially
the big green areas are left as big, boring and unimaginative grass fields.

51

6 Askerød
Greve - built: 1975

Compared to the other areas,
Askerød is built in a more small
scale. The houses consists of
smaller ”apartment-boxes” placed on top of eachother rather
than one huge block.

2010 - October
TTO

GHE

A building stood here once. To
open up the area a couple of
buildings have been demolished.

2011 -EJanuary
TTO

GH

2011 - October
2012 -EOctober
TTO

GH

2013 -EOctober
TTO

GH

2014 - February
52

Well maintained green areas
with different functions. These
areas are mainly located on the
eastern side, although a few
spread out green strips can be
found inside Askerød.

Askerød is truly a maze, and
might feel very closed off and
dark if you are just passing by.

N

50m

E

ITIV
S
O
P

The buildings have recieved renovations recently, and
seem less neglected than they used to, but the facades
are still the same old grey concrete. Some of the buildings have been removed to open up the area.

N

IVE
T
A
EG

The area feels very closed off and mazelike due to
a lack of small scale identity, as well as the big road
surrounding it.
53

7 Karlemoseparken
Køge - built: 1970

The green areas are very dominating in Karlemoseparken. Not
only is more than half of the
area consisting of green areas,
the neighbouring area to the
southwest unbuilt green area as
well.

2010 - October

2011 - January

Big roads are isolating the area,
and the easiest way of transport
is by car through the parking lot.

2011 - October
2012 -EOctober
TTO

GH

2013 - October
TTO

GHE

2014 - February
54

Well maintained outdoor spaces
in front of the buildings.

The green area is framed by big
trees on one side and buildings
on another, creating a very interesting big space. Unfortunatly
there are very few small scale
spaces.

N

50m

E

ITIV
S
O
P

The placement of this area is very nice with the big
hospital-park, green areas, fields and allotment gardens to the west and southwest.

N

IVE
T
A
EG

Lack of identity due to the big scale and isolation by
roads, as well as an overdimensioned green area that
does not really contribute with much considering all
the other green areas.
55

8 Rønnebærparken/Æblehaven
Roskilde - built: 1975-1978 and 1992

The elongated shape of the area
could be a sign that it was built
as a ”plaster-solution” between
other areas. The area feels not
only disconnected from the outside, but also from itself.
Smaller green areas on the back
are hidden away behind the
buildings.
2010 - October
Tunnels through the buildings
secure easy access to the other
side but create safety issues as
well.

2011 - January

2011 - October
2012 -EOctober
TTO

GH

2013 -EOctober
TTO

GH

2014 -EFebruary
TTO
56

GH

The concrete buildings look old
and neglected. The coloring and
structure is dark and unappealing to the eye.

N

100m

E

ITIV
S
O
P

A very interesting placement in between many different types of buildings and the park area to the south.
Good potential for connection.

N

IVE
T
A
EG

Lack of identity due to the big scale and isolation by
roads and parking lots. The area feels isolated from
itself due to the elongated structure.

57

E
V
I
T
I
S
PO

The suburban potential:
Even though the are many issues in the suburbs, we must also recognize
the great potential.
On this and the opposite page we point out some of the potential in the
suburbs.
The drawings on these pages are of an area north of Høje Taastrup
station, but they could have been from any of the other cases.

Safety on the playground:
The green spaces between the buildings create a safe haven for small children. Their parents, as well as the other residents, can easily keep an eye
on them from the balconies and windows, and as long as the children stay
within a close proximity to the buildings they can avoid cars and other
dangers.
This relation between the outdoor space and the residents creates a feeling of ownership and connection with the areas in front of the buildings.

Density and resident diversity:
In the history chapter Jane Jacobs, Jabareen and other post-modernism
planners argue that increasing the density and diversity of the residents
can help lifting the suburban areas towards a more sustainable solution.

58

There is definitely potential for both in the suburbs - mostly due to the big
amounts of unused space.
Densifying the suburbs is almost inevitable, seeing as the population is
growing exponentially and the city keeps growing outwards.

Nature and green spaces:
Le Corbusier, and Howard before him, had initially some great ideas
about adding nature in an urban environment - ideas that hold great potential.
Compared to the cities, the suburbs offer more nature and green areas - a
good basis for future sustainable development according to Ian Mcharg as
seen in the history chapter.
The green spaces are often secluded from the surrounding housing areas,
but in most cases it is easy to re-integrate them through thinning of the
vegetation.
Big roads:
There is some potential in working on the distribution of the suburban
space.
Big roads take up a lot of space, even though some of that space could
easily be redistributed for other functions such as recreation and bicycle
paths.
59

E
V
I
T
A

G
E
N

The suburban issues:
The beforementioned eight ghetto cases we visited had many similar physical planning issues that are rather common in the suburbs.
On this and the opposite page we point out some of the issues as well as
possible solutions.
The drawings on these pages are of an area north of Høje Taastrup
station, but they could have been from any of the other cases.
Tunnels:
During the modernism it was common to separate the different areas from
the car roads. This was often done by leading the paths under the roads,
thus creating tunnels.
The tunnels are often considered as some of the most unsafe areas due to
their darkness and closed nature - the irony is that they were supposed to
create safety.
In some tunnels the local governments have tried to increase lighting to
make them more safe, but removing the tunnels and leading the paths
across the road is probably the best, although the most expensive, solution.
The physical appearance:
Grey, dull and neglected buildings are often the first thing you notice in
these areas - this certainly only adds to the whole ”ghetto-feeling”. Concrete definitely does not age well.
The big scale and monotone look does not create any identity for the different blocks or staircases.

60

To fight these issues, some of the areas have spent a lot of time and
ressources on renovation of the facades, as well as general enhancements
in the apartments to keep them up to date. Different facade colors and
materials brings back some identity to the areas.

Isolation and separation of functions:
As mentioned before, separation of
functions was a common thing during the
modernism.
The ideology was very appealing to planners,
but in practice this created isolation and
segregation in the suburbs.
Many places are separated into housing,
industry, institutional areas, shopping and
green spaces. The roads are used to divide
the different areas, and fences and hedges
close of the areas not only physically but also
to the eye.
Spreading out the functions in areas that are already less
populated than the big cities results in some of these areas
becoming completely abandoned.
By thinning out the greenery, removing barriers and
establishing new paths to allow better connection between
the areas, planners can help with breaking down the isolation
and give the suburbs a better flow as well as promoting multifunctional
use of areas.
According to Oscar Newman (as seen in the history chapter), one
of the most effective ways to prevent crime is to give the residents in
the area a personal connection to the outdoor spaces. This connection
can very simply be a sight-line from an apartment to a local park, both
giving the area a ”wholeness feeling” as well as increasing safety.

61

The eight ghetto cases - conclusion
The eight cases, even though very different, share many similarities.
For one, they were all built in or around the 70’ies, just like most of the
suburban landscape. Despite the oil crisis there was a need for more
housing at the time, and new and cheap materials allowed huge building
projects.
Modernism is the main theme in all of these areas. The planning is heavily influenced by Le Corbusier’s ideas about a ”city within the city”
and separation of functions, inevitably leading to isolation and segregation. This is not only an isolated case for the areas on the ghetto list though,
it applies to most of the suburbs.
On a local scale there is a big focus on social projects such as local hobby
organizations and allowance-jobs to promote interaction between people.
Some areas have undergone many physical changes, and some are still
working on enhancing the outdoor areas and facades of neglected buildings. For us the focus will lie on the physical planning.
One of the areas, Vejleåparken, already started physical renovation projects in 2001 - long before the ghetto list existed. When it was built it was
called Ishøjplanen, but the name was changed in 1996 in an attempt to
escape the negative legacy.
Vejleåparken is probably the area that endured the biggest physical
changes of the eight cases, and it was only on the ghetto list from October
2010 to January 2011 - not even half a year.
But the area was very early recognized as a failure, even back in the late
1970’ies it became clear that changes were needed. In a way, Vejleåparken was the very symbol of failed suburban planning - both physical and
62

on a social plan. Denmark’s very own Pruitt-Igoe.
It’s huge scale was one of the biggest problems, since it stripped the
individual blocks and staircases of any potential identity. A big influx of
uneducated foreigners created problems as well. Failed integration, lack
of diversity in income and cultural isolation quickly added to the increasing crime rate. As time went by, only the poor and uneducated stayed
behind in the ghettos, while the more priviledged and ressourceful left for
greener pastures.
Any of the eight ghetto cases would fit the describtion above. On our
fieldtrip the same planning issues were evident on almost every stop.
Some of the areas had definitely undergone big improvements, but the
physical isolation was very evident.
On the opposite page are the eight Vestegn ghetto areas listed in a diagram that shows when the areas were on the ghetto list. From this some
things can be concluded:
- Hedemarken (1) was only added on the ghetto list after the criteria were
changed in 2014.
- Høje Taastrup is the municipality with the most (2)+(3)+(4) ghetto areas
as well as areas that have been on the ghetto list for the longest period of
time.
- Vejleåparken (5) was only on the ghetto list for a very short time, probably due to the many enhancements the area recieved during 2001-2010.
- The remaining ghetto areas (6)+(7)+(8) seem to be more on and off the
ghetto list. This might be due to more or less successful social projects
as well as new people moving to and from the areas more frequently - as
well as the criteria changes in 2014.

8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

2010 - October

2011 - January

2011 - October

2012 - October

2013 - October

2014 - February

Rønnebærparken/
Æblehaven
Roskilde

Karlemoseparken
Køge

Askerød
Greve

Vejleåparken
Ishøj

Gadehavegaard
Høje Taastrup

Charlotteager
Høje Taastrup

Taastrupgaard
Høje Taastrup

Hedemarken
Albertslund

63

”If we can help connect the disparate dots on land use, lifestyle and mobility to make a more sustainable, accessible and livable society, we will have
helped change the world in a way that is desperately needed”
- Douglas Kelbaugh, 2001

III
The site

Choosing the site

3

2

4

We wanted to take a closer look at Høje Taastrup Municipality, since this
was the municipality, that had the most areas on the ghetto list:

2010 - October

2 Taastrupgaard
2011 - January

3 Charlotteager
4 Gadehavegaard

2011 - October

Høje Taastrup Municipality is located on the railroad stretch from Copenhagen to Roskilde - also known as the ”index finger” in the finger plan.
As can be seen on the map on the opposite page, most of the municipality
consists of fields to the north. Most of the urban areas can be found along
the three big transport paths.

2012 - October

2013 - October

Of the three ghettos, Charlotteager (3) has been on the ghetto list the
longest. Taastrupgaard (2) has been on and off the ghetto list, while Gadehavegaard (4) was added to the list in 2012.

Gadehavegaard

Høje Taastrup

Charlotteager

Høje Taastrup

Taastrupgaard

66

Høje Taastrup

The two latest mentioned ghettos, Taastrupgaard (2) and Gadehavegaard
(4), are neighbouring areas only separated by a bigger road. We decided
to take a closer look on these areas.

2014 - February

Railroad

N

2000m

Roskildevej (80 km/h)
Highway (110 km/h)

4

2

3

Høje Taastrup Municipality

67

Station town
The two neighbouring ghettos, Taastrupgaard (2) and Gadehavegaard (4),
are located between Høje Taastrup Station and Taastrup Station in the
urban area in the southeastern corner of Høje Taastrup Municipality.
The general layout in this area is much like the rest of the suburban landscape mainly dominated by straight lines (roads) and geometrical patterns
(areas) - clearly based on the modernistic ideology.

1899

Taastrup Station existed back in in the late 1800’s, and Taastrup was
already developing back then as a station town. Høje Taastrup Station
and much of it’s surrounding areas were only just built in 1986 and in the
years after that.

1945

The eastern part of the city is therefore older than the western part. The
shopping street south of Taastrup Station sprouted up due to the trade
along the rails before the modernism, which resulted in it being an integrated part of the old city, while new and big-scale modernistic structures
like City2 stands isolated and segregated in the west.

1976
68

1986

(www.historiskatlas.dk)

N

Gadehavegaard

4

500m

Taastrupgaard
2

Taastrup Station

Høje Taastrup Station

Taastrup Hovedgade
Shopping street
Train station
Railroad

City2
Shopping center

Roskildevej (80 km/h)
Heavily trafficed roads
Highway (110 km/h)

69

Meeting the municipality
To narrow down the project area, we arranged a meeting with Rune
Bæklund from Høje Taastrup Municipality’s Kultur og Fritidsforvaltning
(Culture and Recreation Management).
We learned that the municipality had already done some enhancement
projects on the stretch from Taastrup Station to Taastrupgaard, and they
could therefore be interested in a project on Gadehavegaard (4) and the
surrounding areas, so this would be the next step in our project.

This connection from Taastrupgaard to Taastrup Station has
recently been enhanced by the municipality, linking the station to Taastrupgaard through the park area.

Area of choice:
This area south of Gadehavegaard has a good potential for
future development, so we chose to look further into what
could be done here.

South of Taastrup Station lies this area with plenty of shops
and housing along a shopping street. This is the old part
of the town, and therefore built in a pre-modernistic style,
although the straight road secured a functional connection to
the train station
Høje Taastrup municipality is currently working on creating
a connection from Høje Taastrup Station to the shopping
center City2. The connection includes densification of the
stretch by adding low-scale housing and street-activites.
(www.htk.dk, 2015)
70

N

200m

4

Gadehavegaard
2

Taastrupgaard

Taastrup Station

Høje Taastrup Station

CITY 2
Roskildevej (80 km/h)
Train station
Railroad

71

The site
The site we have chosen to work with is located north of Høje Taastrup
Station and south of Roskildevej.
The landscape is typical modernistic, with a separation of functions,
many green areas and big housing projects. Everything is of course neatly
divided by big roads - and the sidewalks, bicycle lanes and small paths
are hidden away amongst the fences and hedges.

The green park area in the middle has
many different functions and great
potential for connecting the surrounding areas.

Big, but sparcely trafficed, roads surround the areas around Gadehavegaard.
72

Many of the areas are separated by
fences and tunnels.

Bank

Police station

Teknologisk institut

N

Fields

Electronics and cars

Roskildevej

Municipal building

100m

Øtoftegårdsvej

Hammeren/Murskeen
Housing

4

Hallandsparken
Housing

Gadehavegaard
Housing

Mechanic workshop

Taastrupgaard
Super market

Kindergardens

School

Youth club

The Høje Taastrup
Municipality
offices

Park, fitness,
allotment gardens, dogs

Park, water
basin

Gadehavegårdsvej
Unbuilt site

Housing

Football field

Gadevang
Housing

Train depot

Mixed housing,
school and shops

Gymnasium

Industry
Høje Taastrup Station
Mixed housing and
shops

73

Topography
Høje Taastrup is placed higher in the terrain compared to Taastrup to
the east, but the terrain is rather flat except of some man-made hills and
slopes.
The train tracks are dug down into the terrain, and hills have been placed
along the big roads to block out some of the noise.
The map on the opposite page shows 0.5 m height curves for the area,
and some of the holes (low) and hills (high) have been pointed out. The
orange arrows are meant to emphasize where the terrain is sloping.
Building topography:

Gadehavegaard

Supermarket

Institutions
Park

Football field

School
74

N

100m

Low

High

The terrain slopes
down towards east.

Low

Low

Low
High

Low

Low

High
Low

Low
The train tracks are
dug down.

Low

High

75

Districts and landmarks

Housing

To better understand the site we have chosen to work with a spatial kevin
lynch analysis. (Nellemann & Stahlschmidt, 2009)
Modernism brought with it the idea to separate the city into smaller
districts with different functions. On the opposite page is shown a map of
the separated functions in the area around Gadehavegaard.
The yellow area around Høje Taastrup Station is built in a more city-like
fashion, with different functions mixed.
The lack of recognizable landmarks makes the whole area seem like a
maze for anyone but the residents. One could argue that the only noticable landmarks are the station and the big shopping center south of the
area, but smaller landmarks such as a certain road or a shop might also
help with orientation.

Industry and
shopping

Institutions
and municipal
buildings

Green spaces

Due to it’s very central location, the park area in the middle has great
potential of connecting the surrounding areas.
Mixed housing, shops
and institutions

Landmark for
the area:
Høje Taastrup
Station
76

N

100m

77

Paths, roads and connections
The separation does not stop at the districts. The paths, sidewalks, bicycle lanes and car roads are also separated in an attempt to never let the
fast-paced car traffic get in contact with people and bicycles.
On the map on the opposite page the most important roads and paths are
highlighted.
Traffic nodes, such as a road crossing a walk-path or vice versa, are
mostly avoided by leading the paths under the roads through tunnels. The
main nodes are found where two roads cross. The roads themself serve
only one function; fast travel to, and from, the housing areas.

In theory the smaller roads surrounding the northern housing areas, the
institutions and the park (Gadehavegårdsvej and Øtoftegårdsvej) are a
part of a grid system, but the bigger roads on the outside of the area offer
a faster way of travel, which leaves the smaller roads less used and essentially forces them to become the ladder system.
In the future there might be some potential in developing these smaller
roads - especially since they are very wide (four tracks) compared to their
use. Making them smaller could free up some unused space that could be
used for recreational purposes.

Albert Pope argued that the road and path layout play a big role in the
collapse of urban space. (Pope, 1996)
Before the modernism, cities would be built around an open ”grid”
system of paths and roads, allowing connection between areas through
multiple routes. People would walk through different areas to reach their
destination point.
During the modernism, many parts of the city were built around a ”ladder” system, creating dead ends with only one way in and out. This only
encourages people to visit an area if they have some business in it, often
leaving areas abandoned and neglected.

Ladder

78

Grid

Railroad

Pathways and
bicykle

Big roads

Path under a
bridge

Smaller, less
trafficed roads

Tunnel under
road

N

100m

Øtoftegårdsvej

Gadehavegårdsvej

79

Barriers
To determine the spatial layout of the site, we have to look at the barriers and edges that define the spaces. We have chosen to work with an
eye-height analysis that has emphasis on the human scale and the visual
space. (Nellemann & Stahlschmidt, 2009)
As shown on the map on the opposite page, the site is littered with many
different edges and barriers. Some of the barriers are penetrable physically or by sight, while others live completely up to their name.
The most dominant barrier in the area - the one we chose to call the
”Wall” - is not penetrable by sight or by physically walking through it.
All the buildings on the map are considered as part of this cathegory.

The ”Penetrable wall” is penetrable visually, but also to some degree
physically. Compare to the ”Wall”, it is less dense.
The remaining barriers - ”Roof & obstacle”, ”Roof”, ”Obstacle” - are sometimes physical barriers, but function more as visual or mental barriers,
leaving an impression of a closed space even though it’s not.

Wall:
other side not
visible.

Roof & obstacle:
other side visible.

Roof:
other side visible.

Smaller wall:
almost able to
peek over.

Metal fence:
other side visible.

Obstacle:
other side visible.

Penetrable wall:
able to look
through.
80

The ”Smaller wall” and ”Metal fence” are not penetrable as such, but
they have entry points or gates through which people can pass.

N

100m

81

The site - Conclusion
The site has many different interesting functions, but lacks connection
between them.
Spread out functions is not the only dividing factor. As we learned in the
path and barrier analysis, the site is littered with big roads that divide the
different areas. Mental and physical barriers add to the feeling of segregation and lack of ownership.
Fortunatly, the main public area is located in the very middle of the site
- that creates great potential for a meeting point, and an area that can
connect the other parts of the site.

82

N

100m

There is a potential in connecting the surrounding areas through the middle public park area.

83

”We must consider not just the city as a thing in itself, but the city being
percieved by it’s inhabitants.”
- Kevin Lynch, 1959

IV
Resident participation

Interviews
We chose to make around a hundred quantitative interviews to gather
inside knowledge from the locals in our Høje Taastrup worksite – located
north of Høje Taastrup Station. On top of the interviews we did a series
of “stalking sessions” to understand the use and movements in the project
area.
We divided people into four age groups: child, young, adult, senior. The
plan was to get the same amount of each group to answer the questions,
which we managed to some extent.
The interviews, as well as the observation sessions, were not aimed at a
specific gender, ethnicity or age (although we tried to get equal amounts
of each gender) and the results are therefore a good summary of the movements in the area and the use of the outdoor spaces. The results are also
a good indicator of the local denizens’ general thoughts about the area, as
well as ideas to how it can be improved.

Hypothesis: before doing the interviews we wrote down some of our
thoughts and ideas of what we expected would happen:
- Children’s playground: our assumption was that the main users of the
outdoor areas would be young children. Adults and young people mainly
move through the area.
- Weather dictates: as it usually is in Denmark – the weather will dictate
and define how the area is used.
- Safety first: considering that Gadehavegaard is on the “Ghettolist” we
assumed that the biggest concern would be safety – especially in the night
time. Emphasis on tunnels and lighting.

To make sure we didn’t bother the locals too much in their daily business,
we chose to keep the questions in the interview short and pretty direct.
The aim was to keep the interview sessions at around 1-2 minutes per
person.
Our aim was to answer some of the questions in our project by taking our
research to the field and including around a hundred locals in the planning
to gain a better and wider understanding of the area.

(A) Passive observation
86

Methods: are based on Jan Gehl’s research on how people use the city:
(Gehl & Svarre, 2013)
Observation: how do people move through and use the area at different
times of the day?
(A) Passive: choose certain activity-heavy places, stay and observe movements and area use.
(B) Active: follow someone through the area - often combined with an
interview.
Interviews: asking people about their opinions and experiences. See our
interview guide to the right.

INTERVIEW GUIDE
1) Do you live in the area?
2) Where have you been?
3) Where are you going?
4) Do you use the outdoor areas? How?
5) What is your favourite place?
6) What is your least favourite place?
7) If you could, what would you change?

Child

Young

Adult

Male

Female

Senior

(B) Active observation
87

Observations
The research was done during and around the easter break in April, and it
was done at different times of the day as well as on different days of the
week to gain the most broad understanding possible of the movements
and area use.
The observation sessions gave us a good understanding of the movement
patterns in the area. It seems that the most important destination areas
were the Høje Taastrup Station in the southwest and the super market in
the east.
The diagrams below show the people count and weather in the area at
the time we spent observing and interviewing people. A car counts as a
person in our observations.

The map on the opposite page shows the general flow through the area
based on our observations.
Fences and closed off areas had of course a big say in how the movement
flow had developed in the area. The shortest way to a certain destination
is almost always the most used, and the shortest way is always defined by
the amount of obstacles along it.
Almost no people used the tunnels along the west-east road (Gadehavegårdsvej) that divides the area. This is probably mainly due to saving time
by avoiding going down a ramp and then up again, but safety and lighting
might play a role. It was far more common to just cross the road and continue through the parking lots.

As we assumed to begin with, the weather played a big role in how many
we met outside, but so did the day of the week, and time of the day. The
general first impression was that this was a family dominated area.

Wednesday
25th March 2015
16:00 + 1 hour

54

people seen
88

Thursday
26th March 2015
15:00 + 1 hour

43

people seen

Saturday
28th March 2015
12:00 + 3 hours

Monday
30th March 2015
12:00 + 2 hours

Wednesday
01st April 2015
16:30 + 3 hours

Friday
03rd April 2015
13:00 + 3 hours

Sunday
05th April 2015
13:00 + 1 hour

Monday
06th April 2015
13:00 + 3 hours

267

133

230

383

167

253

people seen

people seen

people seen

people seen

people seen

people seen

Most used route
Less used routes

N

100m

89

Interviews - Child
We were able to interview 30 children - 13 females and 17 males – all of
them were living in the area.
Question 1 - Where have you been?
”School” and ”Home” were the most common answers to that question.
The children we met were usually going around with their parents, grandparents or older siblings.
Question 2 - Where are you going?
”Home” and ”Football” were the most common answers to that question.
Next answers in the table were ”Out Playing” and ”Shopping”. Taking
into consideration that it is children that we are dealing with, these answers were expected.
Question 3 - Are you using the outdoor areas?
”Playing” was the most common answer, then came ”Football”. Again
not very surprising answers – children are usually very active.
Question 4 - Which is your favourite place?
”Football field” and ”Playground” ended up being the most common answers, then ”School area”, ”Club” and last ”Green Spaces”. Considering
children are usually not allowed to go far away from the house on their
own, their favourite places were mostly very local.
Question 5 - Which is your least favourite place?
”Tunnels” and ”Roads” were the common answers to this question. Most
children didn’t really have an idea of what places they liked the least, but
they often answered with which places they weren’t allowed to go to by
their parents.

90

Question 6 - What to change?
With this question we got more different answers, spread on ”Cars”,
”More Light”, ”Better Playground”, ”Dogs Away From Football Field”,
”Skate Area”, ”No Scooters” and at last ”More Safety”. We have to
remember that the children we interviewed rarely were alone, and the
answers were of course slightly influenced by their guardians - especially
some of the interest in increasing the safety seems to be a parental concern rather than the thoughts of the children.
Summing up:
- Most of the children came from home or school, and were going home
or out playing football.
- They are usually using the area for playing or football, and their favourite places are also the places where they can do that.
- Tunnels and roads ended up being their least favourite places.
- While many had safety concerns, we consider the most realistic child
answers the ones regarding sport and play; skate area, football field and
better playground.

Where have you been?

What is your favourite place?

12
10
8
6
4
2
0

nd
grou
Play

ping
Shop

Scho

2

City

ol

on
Stati

e
Hom

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

g
Play

Where are you going?
Female
Male
57 %

43 %

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

e
Hom

ball
Foot

ping
Shop

ing
Play

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

8

15

6

10

4

5

2
k
Wal

Scho

ea
ol ar

b
Foot
field

Club

all

nels
Tun

ing
Park

on
Stati

Ro a

ds

Dog

area

What to change?

20

ing
Play

n
Gree s
e
c
a
sp

What is your least favourite place?

Use of outdoor areas?

25

0

d
roun

b
Foot

all

0

co
No s

s
oter

g
Play

d
t
roun ore ligh
M

Cars

a
e are
Skat

Safe

ty

ove
Rem from
g
o
d s all
b
foot 91
field

Interviews - Young
We were able to interview 30 young people - 8 females and 22 males –
almost all of them were living in the area.
Question 1 - Where have you been?
”School” and ”Home” were as we expected the most common answers to
this question.
Question 2 - Where are you going?
”Station” and ”City 2” were the most common answers, which made us
feel like the young people didn’t want to stay in the area, and that they
rather want to do something outside the area. Next came; ”Home”, ”Meet
With Friends”, ”Dog Walking” and last ”Walk”.
Question 3 - Are you using the outdoor areas?
”Football” was the most common answer to this question, considering
most of the young interviewees were boys, this makes sense. Next came
”Fitness”, ”Walk”, ”Meet With Friends” and last ”Dog Walking”. Seeing
as many are using the outdoor areas to play football tells us that the football field in the center of the site is often used. Some would also use the
new outdoor fitness area in the park.
Question 4 - Which is your favourite place?
”Football Field” was the most common answer, next came ”Fitness Space” and last ”Benches”. From this we can conclude that the young people
are active and need a place to hang out - perhaps near one of the sport
facilities?

92

Question 5 - Which is your least favourite place?
”Tunnels” was what almost all the young answered as their least favourite
place. The tunnels are often avoided - mostly because it is just easier to
cross the street rather than walking down and up a tunnel ramp.
Question 6 - What to change?
”More Light” was the most common answer, then comes ”No Tunnels”,
”More Benches”, ”Better Football Field” and last ”No Dog Poo On Football Field”. We might have polluted the answers as we often offered the
words ”light” and ”tunnels” when people didn’t know what to answer, but
seeing as young people often are outside in the evening, then a lack light
might be a legitimate issue.
Summing up:
- Most of the young people comes from home or school, and go mainly to
places outside the area like the station or City2.
- They are usually using the outdoor areas to play football or doing fitness.
- The Tunnels are their least favourite place, and they often avoid them. If
they could change something, most of them answered ”More Light” and
”No Tunnels”, but considering our involuntary influence, the more realistic assumption would be that they would be interested in a place they
could hang out in.

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

Where have you been?

What is your favourite place?
16
12
8
4

e
Hom

ol
Scho

0

on
Stati

Where are you going?
Female
27 %
Male
73 %

12
10
8
6
4
2
0

12

all

ches
Ben

rea
ess a
Fitn

What is your least favourite place?

10
8
6
4
2
nds
Frie

e
Hom

2

City

k
Wal

n
Satio

Dog ng
i
walk

Use of outdoor areas?

20

0

nels
Tun

ing
Park

What to change?

12
10
8
6
4

16
12
8
4
0

b
Foot
field

b
Foot

all

nds
Frie

ess
Fitn

k
Wal

Dog ng
i
walk

2
0

s
nnel

u
No t

e lig
Mor

ht

ove
Rem from
g
do s all
b
foot
field

oter fo
Bett eld
fi
ball

e
Mor es
h
n
be c

93

Interviews - Adult
We were able to interview 32 adults - 17 females and 15 males – almost
all of them were living in the area.
Question 1 - Where have you been?
”Home” and ”Shopping” were the most common answers to this question. Next came ”Station”, ”City 2”, ”Family”, ”Work”, ”Playground” and
last ”School”.
Question 2 - Where are you going?
”Home” was the most common answers. Next comes; Walk, Shopping,
Station, Work and last Dog Walking. The lack of people going to and
from work in the first two questions is probably due to them stopping
by a supermarket or the station on the way, and only stating that in the
answers.
Question 3 - Are you using the outdoor areas?
Almost all the adults we interviewed answered ”Walk” as what they used
the area for. This gives us a picture of that there aren’t many places for
the adults to go other then their homes, but maybe this was determined by
the weather. Next came ”Dog Walking”, ”Football”, ”Shopping” and last
”Biking”.
Question 4 - Which is your favourite place?
”Green Spaces” and ”Playground” were the most common answer, and
this tells us that most of the adults we talk with might have children. They
like the ”Playground” because it’s close to their homes and their children
can play there. The same applies for why they have answered the ”Green
Spaces”.

94

Question 5 - Which is your least favourite place?
”Tunnels” and ”Parking lot” were the most common answers to this question, and next came ”Roads”, ”Scooter” and last ”Station”. This gives us
a picture of that they don’t like the tunnels in the area, and they rather
walk over the roads than use the tunnels. Big roads and cars are considered unsafe and are avoided if possible.
Question 6 - What to change?
”More Light” were the most used answer, and then ”More Green”, ”More
Benches”, ”Better Playground”, ”Less Motor Vehicles”, ”Station” and
last ”More Safety”. Safety was the main concern - probably due to the
adults raising their children in the area.
Summing up:
- Most were coming from their home or going there, and they usually use
the outdoor area to take a walk.
- Their favourite places were the green spaces and the playground, which
tells that it probably is mostly families with children that live out there.
- Their least favourite places are the parking lots and the tunnels due to
safety concerns.
- If they could change anything, they would install more light and in general increase the safety for their children.

Where have you been?
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

ping Work
Shop

on
Stati

ily
Fam

e
Hom

What is your favourite place?

2

City

ol
nd
Scho laygrou
P

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

Where are you going?

Female

47 %

53 %

12

g
Play

d
roun

4

8

2

4

18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

Lake

6

16

0

s
area

What is your least favourite place?

20
Male

n
Gree

on
Stati

e
Hom

k
Wal

ping
Shop

wa
Dog

g
lkin

k
Wor

Use of outdoor areas?

0

ter
Scoo

nels
Tun

Ro a

ds

on
Stati

ing
Park

What to change?

10
8
6
4
2
0

Dog

w

g
alkin

ping
Shop

k
Wal

ng
Biki

ball
Foot

Less r
o
mot les
c
h
e
v i

e
Mor es
h
n
e
b c

e lig
Mor

ht

e gre
Mor

en

g
Play

d
roun

Safe

ty

95

Interviews - Senior
We were able to interview 12 seniors - 8 females and 4 males – almost all
of them were living in the area. We unfortunatly didn’t get as many seniors as we did in the other age groups since we had to stop questioning
people seeing as we already had reached the planned 100 interviews.
Question 1 - Where have you been?
”Home” was the most common answer to this question, and next came
”Shopping”, ”Out With The Grandchildren” and last ”Station”.
Question 2 - Where are you going?
Again ”Home” was the most common answer, which shows us, combined
with the answers to where they have been, that they mainly stay at home
and just go for a little walk once in a while. Other answers were ”Walk”
and ”Shopping”.
Question 3 - Are you using the outdoor areas?
”Walk” was the most used answer to this question, and next came ”Sit On
Bench” and last ”Feed Ducks”. The answers tell us that they use the area
very locally and usually don’t stray too far away.
Question 4 - Which is your favourite place?
”Green Spaces” was the most common answer to this, and then some
answered ”Benches”.
Question 5 - Which is your least favourite place?
”Parking lot”, ”Roads” and last ”Tunnels” were the answers to this question, which tells us that they are more into nature rather than the urban
landscape. This could also be seen as a safety issue, maybe the seniors
feel unsafe in the area.

96

Question 6 - What to change?
”More Green”, ”Better Crossings” and ”Less Cars” were the common
answers to this question. Looking at their least favourite place again they
didn’t like the roads and the tunnels, and now they are pointing out that
would have less cars and better crossings - pretty much like the adults and
some of the young had answered.
Summing up:
- Most of them comes from their homes or from shopping, and are going
home or out for a walk. This shows us that they stay in the area.
- They like to walk - mostly in the green spaces.
- Their least favourite places are the urban areas such as the parking lots,
roads and tunnels – there could be a safety issue here.
- If they could change anything, they would like some more nature and
better crossings over the roads.

Where have you been?

What is your favourite place?
4

6

3

4

2

2
0

1
with
Out child
d
n
a
gr

ping
Shop

on
Stati

e
Hom

0

n
Gree

Where are you going?

s
area

ches
Ben

What is your least favourite place?
8

Male
33 %

6

Female
67 %

6

4

4

2

2

0

e
Hom

k
Wal

ping
Shop

0

ing
Park

Ro a

Use of outdoor areas?

nels
Tun

ds

What to change?

12
10

2

8
6

1

4
2
0

k
Wal

ch
Ben

s
duck
Feed

0

e gre
Mor

en

e
Mor es
h
benc

er
Bett ings
s
o
cr s

Less

cars

97

Interviews - Results
Dog area
5%

Which is your favourite place?
The most common answers were; ”Football Field”, ”Playground” and
”Green Spaces”.
Lake
1%
Benches
3%

Fitness space
8%

Club
3%

98

Roads
25 %

Tunnels
42 %

Station
6%
Playground
25 %

Football field
35 %

Scooter
3%

Green spaces
22 %

School area
3%

Parking lots
19 %

Which is your least favourite place?
”Tunnels” and ”Roads” were the most common answers, so there is
definitely something wrong here – could be a safety issue. Next comes;
”Parking lot”, ”Station”, ”Dog Walking Area” and last ”Scooter”.

No scooters
4%
Better playground
10 %
More green
9%

Better road
crossing
3%

More Benches
11 %

More light
19 %

Better football field
1%
Tunnels
5%
No dogs on
football field
6%
More safety
2%

What to change?
Looking at the overall answers from the four age groups we can se that
the most common answer to this question was ”More Light” – this could
have a connection to the tunnels, lack of safety, segregated and isolated
areas.
Often people had trouble answering this question, which resulted in us
helping and propably polluting or influencing the results. The most realistically honest or uninfluenced answers were probably; ”Cars”, ”More
Benches”, ”Better Playground”, ”More Green”, ”Dogs Away From Football Field”, ”No Tunnels”, ”Skate Area”, ”More Safety”, ”Better Crossings” and last ”Better Football Field”.

Car related
14 %

Skate area
4%

99

Workshop
Seeing as the middle area of the site has several institutions for children,
it was natural to gain more insight into how the children use, and think of,
the outdoor areas.

The task was simple; draw or write what you like or dislike about the area
on a post-it and stick it on the map. There was no limit to how many postits could be placed.

As seen in the results for the interview sessions, it was not easy for us to
contact the children directly - mostly due to us feeling it was inappropriate to approach them without parental supervision when they were outside
playing.

There was a good interaction between us and the children, and we got a
lot of usable feedback from both genders. Some would rather talk with us
than draw and write, and we respected that.
Many children had a good understanding of the layout of the site, but
only on a very local scale - some had even trouble pointing out the clubhouse.

To avoid this, we arranged a small workshop with the local youth club.
This way we could approach the local children under the supervision of
the pedagogues and hopefully get the their own, almost uninfluenced,
opinions.

- Football field -

- Areas outside the site - Tunnels - Fast and heavy traffic -

- Nature -

GA
TI
NE

- Water -

IVE

- Parkour course -

VE

DISCONNECTION
SIT
PO

SPORT FACILITIES
- Swimming pool -

100

The workshop lasted three hours, and around 20 children participated on
and off - some more than others. Below are the results from the workshop
summed up.

- Parking lots -

101

Resident participation - conclusion
On a broad scale our hypothesis was more or less correct, but we encountered some surprises:
Interviews:
- People often move in groups: for some reason we had expected that we
could catch people one by one. Instead we often found families or friends
walking together in smaller groups, and the interviews were therefore
often done with more people answering the questions together and thus
potentially ”polluting” the individual opinions.
- When a person couldn’t answer a question we might have polluted the
interview by offering help and hints. Allowing enough time to think the
questions through or leaving them blank might have been a better solution.
- Most people lived in the area, only very few visited. Even though this
was expected, we had assumed that there would be more visitors.

!

102

?

?

- Since the observations were done in the spring time, we might not have
gotten the whole picture of how the area is used. The observations would
definitely show more use during the summer months when the weather is
usually less cold.
- We might have placed people in the wrong age group - especially
amongst seniors/adults and children/young. Our definition for each group
was loosely based on our own opinion of the person in question.
- We avoided contacting many of the small children who were playing on
their own due to common sense. Parents probably wouldn’t be happy to
see strangers talking to their kids. This issue was solved with the workshop.
- Most of the children we met were with their parents, older siblings or
grandparents, so it was hard to determine if their opinions were their own
or polluted.

Observations:
- Like the interviews, the weather determined how many people we saw
during the eight days we spent in the area.
- We did not count how many people we followed for the observations, as
we loosely followed the walking flow in the area.
Workshop:
- Just like in the interviews, we might have ”polluted” some of the answers by offering advice.

- Their understanding of the site was, not surprisingly, limited to a very
local scale.
Results and conclusion:
We are generally satisfied by the results from the interviews, stalking
sessions and the workshop, even though some could have been executed
in a better way.
The results will be used as inspiration for the development plan for the
site in the proposition chapter.

- The children’s use of the outdoor areas was defined by a set of boundaries set by their parents. As an example, none of the children we spoke
with were allowed to cross the bigger roads on their own, and therefore
they considered the outer areas as dangerous or ”bad”.

103

”Less is more.”
- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1960

V

Propostion for development plan

Vision
There is a great potential in using the green public space as the joining
force on the site. Small changes can enhance the area through stronger
identity and bind the surroundings better together.
Concept
The main concept of the proposal is opening the public park area in the
middle to increase the cohesion on the site. The concept will be based on
The Suburban Think Tank’s recommendation on making use the already
existing attractive qualities, and redeveloping them, instead of erasing
what is already there, and starting from scratch.
Connections, multifunctionality and ecology as seen in the historical
chapter will also play a role in the concept.
The proposal will be minimalistic in design, and it will mainly stay on a
conceptual basis that has it’s roots in the theoretical and analytical part of
the project.
Reclaiming the road
Gadehavegårdsvej will be thinned down from four lanes to two, which
gives us the opportunity to make the public green space bigger.
The former road area will be turned into recreational areas that obtain
their identity from the already existing adjacent areas. In total the reclaimed road will have four different, easily recognizable, themes;
”Children and play”, ”Activity and Sport”, ”Orchard park” and ”Urban
park”.
106

On top of this we propose that the four existing tunnels along Gadehavegårdsvej will be closed, the ramps filled with dirt and the pedestrian paths
lead across the road. By closing the tunnels we bring people up to the cars
- thereby adapting the former car road to a more multifunctional shared
space.
South of Gadehavegårdsvej, the lowered areas that work as ramps down
to the tunnels will be reinvented as swales or ”rain gardens” for sustainable collection of rainwater on the site.
Based on out interview analysis, a path that connects the site directly to
Høje Taastrup station is needed.
While the public spaces become bigger, many of the existing trees and
shrubs will be thinned out and replaced by light pioneer species to open
up the middle area.

N

100m

107

Existing passage
ways
Activity and sports area

Reclaimed road
Children and play area

Unbuilt area kept
untouched as wild
grass
108

Connection to Hoje Taastrup
Station secured

ark

p
Urban

Orchard park
allotment gardens
are moved

Parking lots are moved

109

A

a

vej

ds
avegår
Gadeh

Road concept
The road is today four-lane, and as we can see on the section to the right,
it takes up 17 m in total. Considering that this is a road mainly used to
reach the local parking lots, the size is considerably out of proportion.
Such a wide road gives the opportunity for racing and driving fast as we
learned from our interviews and workshop.
The area marked on the map above has potential to be turned into a shared space area, reducing the road to two lanes from four. Making the road
thinner gives the opportunity to increase the size of the adjacent areas to
the north.
The remaining two lane road should of course have a reduced speed limit
that is enforced by speed bumps, thus turning the strip into a multifunctional, shared space for both pedestrians and cars.

A

a

Reclaiming the street:
road replaced with
activity areas
110

Shared space
for cars and
pedestrians.

Path concept
Some of the paths are currently lead through tunnels
under the road.

There are four bigger paths through the middle area. Two of these are
lead directly through tunnels. The orange lines on the map above show
the existing paths, while the purple show the proposed changes and
additions. The purple circles indicate three of the four tunnels that the
proposal is focusing on.
As we learned from our interviews and observations, the tunnels weren’t
very popular, so it made sense to close them and lead the paths across
the road.
As we saw during our observation sessions, the path near the school that
leads towards Høje Taastrup station is being used the most. Here was in
our eyes a potential in continuing the path towards the station. Further
emphasizing this path could make the journey better and safer for the
locals.
We propose reclaiming the
road, closing the tunnels and
leading the path across the
remaining road.

111

The ”Orchard park” will have
clusters of Malus trees.
Most of the existing planting is
thinned out and replaced by light
pioneer species to open up the
area.
The already existing holes of the tunnel ramps
are turned into swales or ”rain gardens”.

Plant concept
The plantings in the area mainly consist of Acer, Prunus, Sorbus, Quercus, Ulmus, Tilia and Betula. They are often planted in rows with smaller trees and shrubs that visually (and to some degree physically) turn
these rows into inpenetrable barriers.
We propose to thin out some of the trees and shrubbery to open up the
middle areas towards the reclaimed road strip. New plantings along the
road should be light pioneer trees such as Betula or Populus. The ”Orchard park”-area will be turned into an apple-orchard themed park with
new Malus plantings.
To secure the site for future generations of planners and residents through
means of ecological sustainable design the proposal recommends to use
the lowered tunnel ramp areas south of Gadehavegårdsvej as swales or
”rain gardens”.

112

Conceptual section of
the swales:

Water from the road is lead
into the swale where it sinks
into the ground or evaporates
instead of leaving the site
through the sewer system.

Trees and plants around the
swale must be capable of
withstanding sudden heavy
rain.

The already existing holes after the tunnel ramps south of
the road are filled with gravel
or other types of sand and
soil with high water infiltration capabilities.

ction

Conne

Skating and parkour

s

tivitie

h ac
throug

Urban life and passage

Sport and activity

Activity concept

Nature and produce

The area has many activities, but these are not integrated that well together. The residents - especially the children during our workshop - had
many ideas about enhancing the activities and adding new ones.
The reclaimed road strip could really make the area more coherent, as
well as giving the adjacent areas their own individual identity by adding
different activities along it.

113

Proposal

2
Children and play area

Activity and sports area

1

Green unbuilt area
left as a temporary
grass field.
114

Connection to Høje Taastrup Station emphasized
by avenue planting.

Activity patch
4
Urban park

3
Allotment gardens
Orchard park
Parking lot

Swale or rain garden

115

1

Children and play area

The area south of the school has been turned into an urban playground.
The existing ramp down to the now closed tunnel has been transformed
into a skating area. With few ressources and by utilizing the ramp slope,
the dark and neglected tunnel has become an area for skaters as well as
parkour. This concept with skating and parkour continues through the
”Children and play” area.
The choice of parkour and skating was heavily influenced by the workshop with the local children, but also by noting what the site lacked and
the potentials it offered.
Taking advantage of the tunnel ramp’s qualities, and redeveloping it into
a playground is a prime example of the great potential in the suburbs. The
same can be said about the swales south of Gadehavegårdsvej - suddenly
the tunnel-littered suburban landscape is not only a negative thing, but
rather something that has great development potential for future use.
As seen in the history chapter, Jane Jacobs points out that before people
will use the public areas, there has to be safety, privacy, trust and togetherness. One way of achieving this, is by giving the locals a relation to
the area by giving it an identity - and this is exactly what the proposal is
attempting to do.
The planting in the area has been thinned out towards the road, but some
of the bigger trees are kept for playing purposes. New planting towards
the road will as mentioned before mainly consist of already existing species such as Acer, Quercus, Ulmus and Tilia.

116

117

2

Activity and sports area

The activity and sports area is mainly located between the football field
and Gadehavegårdsvej, but some ”sports patches” sneak into the Orchard
park.
To give some more life to the area, we have added some new activities
along the road and connected them with the existing ones to make them
more attractive. Two petanque courses, a small multifunctional course
(football, basketball etc.) and a variety of different fitness workout spots
- although these activities are mostly considered conceptual, and they
could therefore be replaced with other activites.
The different sport activites, and their very central location - as well as
the close proximity to Gadehavegårdsvej - will add more life and offer
intersections between people in the area.
The interaction between the ”Activity and sports” area and the ”Orchard
park” will create a multifunctional use area that different types of people
could find appealing at different times of day.
The plantings through the area will mainly consist of light pioneer species such as Betula, Salix and Fraxinus to keep the open, light look. The
trees will be planted in small clusters of 2-3 trees to bring the area down
on to a more comfortable human scale.

118

119

3

Orchard park

The park area is the binding piece of the whole site. Here people can
walk their dogs, take care of an allotment garden, pluck some apples,
enjoy their picnic or put up a grill.
The park has been made more cohesive through connections and multifunctional through different activities - based on some of Jane Jacobs’s
ideas on how to assure the best physical conditions for urban life.
The orchard and the allotment gardens can offer the locals knowledge
about ecology and bring them closer to nature. Ian Mcharg points out that
planners should design with nature and even though this area is in the
middle of the city, the plan is to give it a countryside feeling.
With the ”Activity and sports” area intertwined with the ”Orchard park”
the middle park area offers plenty of activites for the whole site.
Most of the plantings to the south will be removed with the exeption of
some of the bigger trees to maintain the feeling of a closed space. The
theme of light pioneer trees continue along the road in the southern part
of the park.
Apple trees will be planted through the park in clusters of three on rows,
and the distance between the trees should at least be 8-10 metres to keep
an open park feeling. Once the trees have grown big enough, they will be
further cut down so only one tree per cluster stands in the end.
Against the western edge of the park, towards the football field, bushes
and shrubs like Corylus and Ribes will be planted.

120

121

4

Urban park

The Urban park area is today used as a parking lot, but the area also has a
kebab house.
From our interviews and workshop, we learned that this area actually is
a place where people would meet and eat during the lunch breaks. Today
the area in front of the kebab house does not seem very inviting, but it has
a great potential for becoming just that - and with Jane Jacobs’s principals
that things like eating and drinking is a sign of life, we wanted to make
this area more inviting to stay in.
As we understood, the timeframe of social life in this area was limited to
the opening times of the kebab house, so the area had to offer more than
that - and it has to compete with what the ”Orchard park” has to offer.
The proposal is an urban area with trees dug into the concrete floor
alongside benches, creating small spaces where people can hang out or
enjoy their lunch. The ”Urban park” is still considered mainly a passage
for pedestrians and cyclists - which lead to keeping the concrete floor
rather than replacing it with grass.
But with some tree groups and places to eat, the urban park area gives the
opportunity for staying. The parking lot is moved out to the street, so the
cars do no longer dominate the area.
The plan is to keep this area a light expression - again with mainly pioneer species such as Betula, Salix and Fraxinus.

122

123

Conclusion and perspectivation
We started this project with the knowledge that many things in the suburbs are not working as they were intended by the planners who designed them. Many of these issues we have experienced ourselves on a daily
basis, both as planners and as suburban residents; the neglected buildings,
abandoned left-over areas, the segregation of functions and a general lack
of cohersion as well as multifunctional areas.

The solutions for the suburbs are fortunatly many, but we as planners
must recognize that there is no universal recipe that can solve all the
issues at once. Each site must be approached individually. This means
that even though we found many solutions to the issues around Gadehavegaard, not all of them would necessarily be appliable to any of the other
eight ghetto cases we visited.

At the same time, we approached the project with a positive attitude, and
hopes in the opportunities and beauty of the suburbs. For as we can admit
to the suburb’s lacks, we must also acknowledge their great potential.

Most of the suburban modernistic projects are already undergoing big
renovations. These are unfortunatly based very locally in any given area,
and they do often not take the adjacent sites into consideration when
planning the outdoor areas. In general, adjacent areas should have better
communication when it comes to shaping the outdoor landscape - for how
else are we supposed to break the current segregation and isolation between different areas?

The modernistic suburbs started as a good thing, offering light, space, air
and health in a world and time where the opposite was a part of the daily
life. As the technology advanced, the economy grew, and the normal
Danish families could afford better housing than the social projects could
offer. This lead to falling rent prices, the neglect of the physical elements
and increasingly poor and criminal residents moved in.
Today we are aware of these issues and planners work on solving them
through reinvention and redevelopment. The residents do no longer want
the big abandoned parking lots and grass fields - they want interesting
outdoor spaces, that offer an abundance of different activities that the
residents themselves have helped to plan and design.
The planner’s role has moved a lot since the modernism, and the inclusion of local residents in the planning process is - and should be - a
common part of the process itself. We learned a lot about the site during
our interviews, observations and workshop that we ourselves would
otherwise have had no chance of knowing or learning about.

124

Our aim for improvements in the Danish ghettos was mainly based
around ideas of connection, cohersion and multifunctional use of outdoor areas. This changed slightly, as we included other concepts, that we
learned through reading the theoretical ideas of primarily post modernistic
planners, as well as the Suburbs Think Tank’s ten recommendations for
improving the suburbs.
As a result, the proposal for Gadehavegaard is based around the concept
of redevelopment of the suburbs - supported by sustainable planning,
multifunctionality, cohersion and connections.
In the end, we believe that we achieved more than what we set out to do
with this project.

Høje Taastrup, and the suburbs in general, are in a phase where densification is inevitable. The human population keeps growing, and so does the
demand for housing. At some point, the suburbs will slowly become more
city-like, and maybe lose some of the characteristics that currently define
them.
The site around Gadehavegaard has some potential regarding building
new housing - more specifically the oversized parking lots hold potential
for redevlopment for other purposes - maybe even housing in the future.

boundaries in regards to social engineering? How about the local residents, how much say should they have in the planning process, without
taking the planners job?
The lines between the planner and the local residents have become more
blurred since the days of modernistic planning, and we, the planners, have
to adapt to these changes in the years to come to maintain the capability
of providing the best design solutions for a given site.

In regard to the physical suburban issues, the official ghetto list is rather
lacking, but it is positive that the list has sparked a debate and interest not only about the ghetto areas – but also about the suburbs as a whole.
This has for instance fueled the Suburbs Think Tank’s ten recommendations for physical improvements.
The biggest problem of the ghetto list is of course that the focus lies too
heavily on the current ghettos, and thus neglecting other suburban areas,
that potentially might become ghettos over time. Maybe planners should
work more preventive, rather than only patching up what is already
broken, seeing as many of the same negative physical traits can be found
throughout the suburbs – and even though the traits do not directly enforce bad behavior, they do not help solving it either.
Many of the planners in the historical chapter base their theories on how
to affect human behavior through changing the physical environment.
Some even claim that bad behavior is directly linked to certain physical
traits. So the final question must be; can you change human behavior through the means of physical planning? The short answer is yes, but there
must also be ethical considerations, for when do planners overstep their
125

Litterature
Books and articles

126

Bidstrup, Knud

Ebenezers disciple – Fra dansk byplanlægningspionertid, 1971

Danmarks Statistik

Statisk Tabelværk, Første Hæfte, 1935

Gehl, Jan

Life Between Buildings, Arkitektens Forlag – The Danish Architectural Press, 1987

Gehl, Jan & Svarre, Birgitte

How to study public life, Island Press, 2013

Howard, Ebenezer

Garden Cities of To-Morrow, London: S. Sonnenschein & Co., 1902

Jabareen, Yosef Rafeq

Sustainable Urban Forms, SAGE publications, 2006

Jacobs, Jane

The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Pelican Books, 1961

Københavns Kommune

Statistisk årbog for København og Frederiksberg, 1919

Københavns Kommune

Statistisk årbog for København, Frederiksberg og Gentofte Kommune, 1933

Københavns Kommune

Statistisk årbog for København, Frederiksberg og Gentofte samt omegnskommunerne, 1961

Le Corbusier

The City of To-Morrow and Its Planning, London: John Rodker, 1929

Mcharg, Ian

An Ecological Method for Landscape Architecture, Landscape Architecture Vol. 57, pp. 105-108, 1967

Mcharg, Ian

Design With Nature, Landscape Architecture Vol. 57, pp. 105-108, 1967

Mumford, Lewis

Introduction to The Garden Cities of To-Morrow, London: Faber and Faber, 1946

Newman, Oscar

Defensible Space, London: MacMillan, 1972

Newman, Oscar

Creating Defensible Space, Institute for Community Design Analysis, 1996

Nellemann, Vibeke & Stahlschmidt, Per

Metoder til Landskabsanalyse, Grønt Miljø, 2009

Pope, Albert

Ladders, Series: Architecture at Rice, 34, 1996

Realdania

Fremtidens Forstæder, Bogværket og Realdania, 2013

Movies and documentaries
Friedrichs, Chad

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History, 2011

Danmarks Radio (dr)

100 års indvandring, 2003

Map sources
www.historiskatlas.dk
http://map.krak.dk/
https://www.google.dk/maps/search/gadehavegaard/@55.6526974,12.275172,16z/data=!3m1!4b1

Web
Web 1 (December 2014)

http://politiken.dk/indland/politik/ECE1992698/regeringen-indfoe¬rer-nye-kriterier-for-danske-ghettoer

Web 2 (March 2015)

http://www.htk.dk/Erhverv/Erhvervsomraader/By-udviklingsprojekter/Hoeje_Taastrup/Hoje-taastrup-c.aspx

127

Jaffer Janjooa - kqn207
Rami Al-Khumisi - lmc217
Supervisor: Gertrud Jørgensen
Ghetto Vestegn
- a study on the issues and potentials in the Danish suburbs and an development proposal for the area surrounding Gadehavegaard
31. July 2015
45 ECTS masters project
Landscape Architecture
University of Copenhagen

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