Amager, Øresund’s largest island, droops from mainland Copenhagen like some emerald earring, attached, but not quite. Today, Amager is linked by 5 bridges, soon to be 6, to its more prominent neighbor. When I arrived in Copenhagen in the early 1980’s, Amager was ironically labeled as “lorteøen – Shit island”, not only a historical reference to the island being used as Copenhagen’s rubbish dump, but also to some of the city’s notorious criminal elements having their base here. Since then Amager has transformed into one of Copenhagen’s most attractive urban and nature landscapes, hosting an international airport, Copenhagen University and residential projects that still attract architects from all over the world. With almost 190.000 residents living in the northerly and eastern part of the island, Amager still boasts of a nature park that have become the lungs of Copenhagen.
With over a third of Amager’s land base being reclaimed from the low waters of the Øresund, the western part of the island is so rich and fertile that it has become Copenhagen’s kitchen garden. Wild herbs and berries from Amagerfælled – Amager Commons, just 4 kilometers from the city center, have found their way to Copenhagen’s michelin restaurants. From a rubbish dump to a military playground and now an oasis for cooks and city dwellers. Further south Amager’s Nature Park , with its woodland and marshes providing birds migrating, a haven and Copenhagen’s residents and visitors a wonderful opportunity to follow wildlife on the city’s doorstep. An yet, amazingly, few of Copenhagen’s locals have visited this unique landscape despite the Metro link and cycling lanes providing easy access. New York may have the iconic Central Park, but Copenhagen, with over 3.000 acres dispersed at Amager Nature Park, has the potential of becoming a phenomenal international attraction.
Photo credits: Euroman, Copenhagen Green Guide and KK
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