Danish city to develop traffic-free suburb

A new residential development project north of Aarhus will be a car-free zone, making it the first of its kind in Denmark.

Danish city to develop traffic-free suburb
Photo: Tækker Group

The Danish city of Aarhus plans to develop a new suburb north of the city with homes for 15,000 people that will be entirely free of cars, according to Licitationen.

The district will be called Nye – which is also the Danish word for ‘new’ – and falls under the city’s strategy, announced in 2009, to develop new residential districts.

Nye is expected to become a green suburb where modern technology will be applied to create a harmony between its residents and the surrounding nature. There will be a tram connecting the district to downtown Aarhus and plenty of bike lanes throughout the area.

Some of the people who may move to the area in the future will of course own cars, but will not be able to park them in their garages.

See also: Copenhagen invests in urban renewal

Instead, a parking area will be concentrated in a ”surmountable” walking distance from the residential area, according to property developer Jørn Tækker, whose company, Tækker Group, will be responsible for its development.

“We will gather parking spots within surmountable walking distance from the houses, but it will force residents to walk by the neighbours, which is one of the ways to get to know one another,” Tækker told Licitationen.

“In contract to a traditional suburban residential neighbourhood where you drive straight into your garage, walk into your house and hide behind your garden hedge, we want to create a socially active atmosphere where the best from a crowded city centre is combined with the best from suburban life,” he added.

According to Tækker, Nye will be divided into seven districts joined together by parks, canals and lakes, and will be surrounded by woodland and fields.

The project is expected to be complete within the next five years.

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One fifth of people in Denmark sceptical of Covid vaccine

Nearly a fifth of people in Denmark are uncertain about whether they would take a coronavirus vaccine if recommended it by the country's health authorities, with researchers warning of a "massive communication task" lying ahead.

One fifth of people in Denmark sceptical of Covid vaccine
Danes were the least sceptical of the eight countries surveyed. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
According to the latest update from Aarhus University's ongoing How Democracies Cope with COVID19 (HOPE) project, only 51 percent of those surveyed in Denmark described themselves as “completely certain” they would be willing to receive a vaccine,  with a further 31 percent saying that they were partly certain. 
Michael Bang Pedersen, the Aarhus psychology professor who leads the project, said that, while worrying, respondents from Denmark were more positive to vaccines than those of any other nation. 
“The Danish results look pretty good, the Swedish figures are less good, and some of the results from France are extremely worrisome in my view,” he told The Local. 
“So I think there's a massive communication task in front of a lot of national health authorities, including the Danish one.” 
Only 38 percent of respondents from France to the study said they were “completely certain” they would take a vaccine. 
Here are the figures for the eight nations surveyed, from left to right: France, Hungary, USA, Germany, Sweden, Italy, UK, Denmark. 
Bang Pedersen said that some uncertainty was unsurprising. 
“At this point, some uncertainty is to be expected, because we don't know what the features of the vaccine will be, how effective it is, and what the side effects will be,” he said. 
“I think that part of the communication task for the authorities will be to acknowledge the uncertainty and to say, 'even if you are uncertain it doesn't mean you are anti-vaccine, and we are going to show you that the vaccine is safe despite those uncertainties.” 
He said that the another obstacle could come if young people feel that because they are at too low a risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus to make receiving a vaccine worthwhile. 
“They might think, 'I don't think I'll get a vaccine, because I'm not at risk myself'”, he said. 
The solution, he said, was to make sure people were “informed about the logic of herd immunity”, and also made to feel empathy with people in vulnerable groups. 
Finally, he said governments should already be starting to counteract misinformation about vaccines, and educating their populations to make them less susceptible to counter “fake news” in the internet. 
The responses in the report were collected between September 13th and October 3rd.