City centre may go car-free to prevent terror attacks

Concrete barriers have already been positioned around the city, but the municipality now wants to beautify them

Cars may no longer be able to drive in Copenhagen’s medieval city centre under a proposal from left-wing parties in City Hall. The parties have commissioned a study of the impact of closing the city centre to car traffic before a final vote on the proposal in 2018. The parties estimate that closing the area – home to the pedestrian district – would cost between 80 and 120 million kroner a year.

While Copenhagen’s mayor for technical and environmental affairs Morten Kabell has previously argued for a closure of the city centre to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians, the new push to exclude cars from the city centre is a security measure suggested by the intelligence agency PET.

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The city has already installed concrete blocks at a number of access points to prevent vehicles from carrying out attacks such as those witnessed in Nice, France, and Barcelona, Spain.

“We have a responsibility to protect the many pedestrians, cyclists, Copenhageners and tourists who every day spend time on the many squares and streets in the medieval city centre,” Kabell stated in a press release.

Three different scenarios have been proposed for how to restrict traffic in the city centre – in one it is completely closed to traffic, while the two others keep open one transport artery along Frederiksholm canal.

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Kabell also wants to beautify the bare concrete obstacles.

“We are following the recommendations for speed slowing measures that have been made by PET and the police. But terrorists should not be setting the agenda in our city. That is why we would like to replace the current concrete blocks with trees, benches and other things that would give the same effect and contribute to a better city.” M

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By Peter Stanners

Co-founder and Editor-in-chief. Occasional photographer.

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