In a plan originally backed by Mayor Frank Jensen, 19 hectares – around six percent of the natural environment at Amager Fælled – was to be turned into around 2,400 homes in the Strandengen section of the nature area, just next to the Sundby Metro station.
The project would bring in around two billion kroner to Copenhagen Municipality to help offset the cost of massively expanding the city’s Metro underground train system.
But the decision to develop Amager Fælled has been met with strong criticism. Roughly 50,000 people have signed a petition with the Danish Society for Nature Conservation (Danmarks Naturfredningsforening) against the project, arguing that the Strandengen area is the last original natural environment left in the Copenhagen municipal area. Last month, thousands of protesters demonstrated against the plan:
Jensen backed off his plan last year and said he was open to discussing other options. On Thursday night, the Copenhagen City Council agreed to move the housing development to an area just west of Strandegen that is currently home to the hostel Danhostel Copenhagen Amager.
The development will also be smaller than originally planned, taking up 11.8 hectares of the natural area instead of the original 18.
Jonas Bjørn, a spokesman for Jensen’s Social Democrats on the council, said the compromise was accepted by seven political parties involved in the negotiations. Only the left-wing parties Alternative and Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) opposed the compromise.
“I think we have landed at a good place and have made an agreement with a solid majority,” he said.
Roughly 2,000 homes will be built under the new plan, with 500 of those earmarked for lower-wage earners. Additionally, land roughly three kilometres to the west across the canal at Bådehavnsgade will be developed into another 550 homes.
The modified plan is still expected to bring the 1.9 billion kroner that the city owes for the Metro expansion.
The new development plans still require the state to allow development at Bådehavnsgade, which is a protected area.