Create the best city in Denmark for pennies on the dollar Get your own starter kit and tips for creating a green city
Get your own starter kit and tips for creating a green city
I may be pushing it with the title, but we’re close - the way I see it . Because we can really create a special Odense, with only a little effort. If we all take part in it together.
We have all visited or heard about cities that are, for some reason, very special. Venice's gondolas, Siena's narrow streets, New York's skyscrapers, Paris's boulevards, Amsterdam's channels, Copenhagen's bikes, Sydney’s harbor, Havana's pastel-colored houses ... Okay, you got it, right?
There are also cities that have succeeded in changing their own history. From Bilbao's heavy industry to its cultural and lively atmosphere with the Guggenheim Museum, and from Bordeaux's transformation from "La Belle au Bois Dormant" (Sleeping Beauty) to the world's largest UNESCO-listed urban area.
But what is or can be Odense's special story, which is based on what Odense already is and looks forward to being in the future?
For me, the answer is easy: green.
A city where the bees swarm and the birds sing because each opportunity to make it greener is seized.
A city where everyone can see trees and lush greenery from their window.
Where the urban spaces are cultivated by urban farmers and playful children.
Where the roads' verges are all sown with flowers.
Where the asphalt is interrupted by wild meadow flowers in surprising places.
Where the greens of the river are drawn up to the city's shopping streets.
Where the flower festival is not just an annual display of houseplants, but an exploratorium demonstrating how the city can be greener and where most of the building's facades are covered with greenery,
and where small pockets of green oases can be found everywhere.
Travelogues from the 19th-century describe Odense as a very special green city. Ask 10 odenseans what is special about Odense, and 8 of them will answer the city's green lungs and Odense Å. And, as it’s not enough, we know now that green is insanely healthy, can fight climate change and save biodiversity and ... even ... is crucial to where people decide to live.
And can you imagine the day when making the city greener becomes a nation-wide movement we all take responsibility for? When we plant urban trees in a street on a good weekend; when every companies plant a forest section or climbing plants in front of their front walls; when we remove the sidewalks to sow and plant? When we throw flower seeds into construction sites? When we make green areas to drink the morning coffee and the Friday beer - not in our backyards and back gardens, but in our front yards and on the sidewalk?
I can see it happening today. Fortunately, others can too. Odense Municipality has given us the opportunity to make sidewalks gardens and green facades. Leave the tight rules and measuring tape behind - a place for wildness created by the odenseans themselves. See for yourself: https://www.odense.dk/brug-byen/fritid-og-udeliv/kopi-of-fortovshaver.
You can get good starting tips and free seeds for you to start greening your own city area on Flakhaven / Klosterbakken during next week's flower festival.
On Thursday, August 15th from 17.00 to 20.00.
On Friday, August 16th from 11:00 to 19:00.
On Saturday, August 17th from 11:00 to 16:00.
On Sunday, August 18th from 11:00 to 16:00.Link to the event