Historic chimney to be re-erected in Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s city council has decided to rebuild a 130-year-old, 31-metre-tall chimney that was last year partly pulled down during redevelopment works.

Historic chimney to be re-erected in Copenhagen
In this May 2018 image of Copenhagen, the chimney--prior to partial demolition--can be picked out in the bottom right corner. Photo: Linda Kastrup/Ritzau Scanpix

The chimney, which was located on the Enghavevej road in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro neighbourhood, was partially demolished in December, much to the consternation of many local residents who saw it as a part of local history.

Demolition of the chimney began on December 13th last year, without permission from Copenhagen Municipality.

The work continued the following day, now with the permission of the municipality, which had become concerned about the stability of the structure.

READ ALSO: Opinion: Demolition of historic houses embodies worst of Copenhagen gentrification

Since then, the chimney has stood at a reduced height of 20 metres.

The City Council (Borgerrepræsentation) voted last week to rebuild what was left of the chimney, TV2 Lorry reported on Monday.

“It was no surprise (that we decided to rebuild). This is a relatively new local development plan in which many of us on the Council can remember why there was demand for the chimney to be retained as an industrial relic,” Lars Weiss, group leader with the Social Democrats on the council, said to TV2.

Although the decision to carry out the rebuild was made by elected city representatives, it is the land owner who will foot the bill for the reconstruction, Weiss confirmed.

Costs could reach up to eight million kroner.

“The landowner has also been given permission to develop the land as he pleases, on condition that the chimney and Hollænderhuset are retained,” Weiss said.

Hollænderhuset (The Dutch House) is another historic building in the area, part of the Slagtergårdene (Slaughter Yards) group of houses which were torn down to make way for the new development.

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Copenhagen to miss 2025 zero emissions target

Copenhagen will not reach its longstanding target of becoming CO2 emissions neutral by 2025.

Cyclists on Copenhagen's
Cyclists on Copenhagen's "Lille Langebro" bridge. The Danish capital has admitted to errors in emissions calculations and says it won't be climate neutral in 2025, a long-standing target. Photo by Febiyan on Unsplash

A city councillor told newspaper Jyllands-Posten that the city, which has long stated its aim of becoming the world’s first CO2-neutral capital, would not meet that target as scheduled.

“I won’t need to stand there in 2025 and say ‘hurrah, we’re CO2 neutral’, because I know that CO2 will still be emitted (then),” elected representative Ninna Hedeager Olsen of the Copenhagen Municipality environment section told Jyllands-Posten.

Tourist board Visit Denmark has previously used the emissions goal to market the city, while Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen named the target during the C40 climate summit when it was hosted by Copenhagen in 2019.

But the municipality has included wind energy produced in other municipalities in its calculations on energy sustainability, according to the newspaper report.

This means it effectively still emits CO2 overall.

The company which supplies energy to the city, Hofor, has erected windmills in a number of municipalities outside of Copenhagen. But the electricity produced by these windmills has been used in calculations of CO2 emissions in both Copenhagen and in the municipalities in which the windmills are actually located.

The replication of the energy production in data for different locations can “rightly” be said to be “cheating the scales”, according to Hedeager Olsen.

But that is not the only problem in calculations of the city’s emissions, she also admitted.

“There are loads of things that haven’t been counted,” she said.

The goal to become climate neutral by 2025 was first set by the city in 2012 in a climate plan adopted by the city government.

Copenhagen was the following year awarded the Cities Climate Leadership award for the plan.