Eco- Island Amager, under Sharing Copenhagen

Cultura21 Nordic proposes the project Eco-Island Amager, under the auspices of Sharing Copenhagen – Copenhagen as European Green Capital in 2014 .

The 96 sq. km island of Amager is a polyvalent space imbued with ever-shifting meanings. It is also a part of Copenhagen, which could become a centre for culturally driven and sustainability-motivated change in an urban environment. Our vision is that, by observing the actual life of the island/city, with locally active agents of change, by mapping and conceptualizing potentials for a new identity, we can visualize paths and trigger points inviting Amager to creating a new life for itself, as an Eco-Island in a green city.

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What is an eco-island? This is a question which Eco-Island Amager sets out to answer in Cultura21’s spirit of collaborative, creative and community-oriented interventions. The aim is that the project will give way to new learning, and to translate new insights into a number of specific innovative, transdisciplinary projects. All along the project, we will build on practice-derived knowledge and seek to develop new practices through creative reflection.
The project is divided into three stages, unfolding gradually from April to October, and is part of the official programme of Sharing Copenhagen .

The first step was a ‘mapping visions’ workshop, which took place on the 24th-25th of April, in the beautiful Dome of Visions. This stage was dedicated to sketching the contours of the (intertwined, natural, social, economic, and cultural) eco-systems found on the island. The workshop has drawn on the varied experiences and knowledge of the diverse local actors, stake-holders of the island, and mapping experts, focusing on finding possible interactions and connections in and between the selected 9 zones of the project on Amager.

The second stage of our intervention consists of exploring the 9 transects identified in the mapping process. Each transect will last a day, with the 9 walks stretching from June to September 2014. The transect is a field-based method of investigation, grounded in the texture of the selected areas, which are approached on foot. The exploration of the transects will also be transdisciplinary events, learning from the knowledge and capacities of participants (as anthropologists, local citizens, artists, ecologists, entrepreneurs, etc). The explorations have as starting point the level of local realities. Therefore, each one will focus on some issues more than others: re-conceptualisation of a commercial street and main traffic ore (Amagerbrogade); refurbishment of post-industrial areas (Refshaleøen); interactions between population and nature in a new urban natural park (Naturpark Amager); crossing over of urban and natural life in a new residential area (Ørestad), and more. All transects will be open to the public, and all will include reflective symposiums, inviting also international action-researchers, scholars, artists – and Cultura21’s network and readers – to participate. A call will be issued within the next days.

Finally, building on the knowledge gathered during the first two stages, the project will end with the Eco-Creative Eco Island Camp, taking place on October 31st and November 1st, in an 18th century building by the sea, next to what used to be the active fishing harbour of Kastrup. The summit will be a creative encounter between stakeholders, a productive reflection on the Eco-Island Amager project, but also a starting point for developing projects strengthening the impact of Eco Island Amager in the future, an international hotspot for discussing urban mapping for sustainability, and a presentation and sharing of the prototype version of the Eco Island Amager Atlas. This event will also be in the call for participation. The nine concrete project proposals having originated in the mappings, transects and subsequent reflections, will be gaining shape and we hope these to be the first steps towards a new life for Amager as an Eco Island. Furthermore, by addressing the local issues in Amager, we invite to rethinking global issues and wish to spread the methods and the findings to all parts of the world where they would resonate.

Read more about the project here , and find our call for participation which is to be issued shortly.
Contact Oleg Koefoed (oleg [at] cultura21 [dot] dk) or Stine Avlund (stine [at] cultura21 [dot] dk), of Cultura21 in Copenhagen , for details or to inquire about potential collaboration.