New park in Nørrebro a result of local participation and municipal goodwill
A lawn, a wood, a climbing wall and arch, two banana-shaped banks of earth and a lot of community involvement. That is what it takes to transform a former industrial site into an attractive park and playground.
The story of BaNanna Park is a heartwarming story about how the local authorities managed to rescue an undeveloped plot of land from eager investors, thereby securing a green haven in one of the country's least green urban areas.
In late 2004 news of a plan to build a housing estate on an unbuilt and grass-grown pocket of land at Nannasgade in Nørrebro were made public.
Local green haven
For a long time the area was used by local institutions as a supplement to playgrounds and schoolyards. Therefore staff at the Rådmandsgade School, parents and other passionate people in the neighbourhood quickly gathered 2,300 signatures in a petition against the project, and shortly afterwards the City of Copenhagen acquired the plot and incorporated it as a project in the recently commenced facelift scheme for the Mimersgade district.
The plan for a community park was developed at local public meetings and through dialogue with the institutions in the area. The park was to be a green haven in the neighbourhood while at the same time acting as a play area for the children and young people in the area.
The earth is toxic
Before the facelift the plot in Nannasgade was called "the contaminated site" because of the oil refinery that used to be there. The site was cleaned up to make it safe for children to play in the park, and the name was changed to the more cheerful BaNanna Park. The architects took inspiration from the name for the distinctive feature of the park: two banana-shaped banks of earth, one of them even covered with a garish yellow sports surface so as to leave no doubt.
The jungle, the lawn and the square
In spring 2010 happy residents began using BaNanna Park. The park is divided into three areas: the jungle, the lawn and the square, each with a different function.
The jungle is really a grove of existing trees pepped up with a few new cherry trees which produce beautiful blossom in spring. Moreover, a handful of bamboos were planted to obtain the right jungle-like density.
The lawn is mainly meant to serve as a playing field, but this is also where you find the characteristic bananas which can be used to play on or as spectator seating, for instance at football games.
A 14m high climbing wall and arch in the square marks the entrance to BaNanna Park. Here a variety of street furniture is provided to encourage people to stop and linger.
The park is linked together by an asphalt loop which can be used, for instance, for cycling or roller skating. There is lighting along the path to prevent dark and sinister corners, and a couple of tall light poles with coloured light give the park a fairytale-like quality at night.
More green space in Nørrebro
BaNanna Park is just one of several projects aimed at creating more green space in Nørrebro. A baseball shot away, in Odinsgade, a so-called pocket park has been laid out. Further out towards Nørrebro Station the strip park Superkilen (The Super Wedge) opened summer 2012 and the activity park on the former railway site will be opened. Together these projects are to contribute to positive urban development in the former somewhat run-down district.
Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014