Susanne Abildgaard Rud fell in love with the possibilities:
A former parsonage, a large garden and saw it becoming a neighbor to a whole new city.
She read for one of the largest urban development projects in Denmark in recent times, “turned it on” and moved with her family from Sluseholmen to a house in Snostrup right on the border with the new city.
“It was exciting with a new, green city,” she says.
But now she's worried.
Plans to place a huge storage magazine With a total area of 5.8 hectares and a building height of up to 15 meters, several residents have been dissatisfied. The magazine, which is to store national censuses for the Royal Library and the National Museum, must be in line with what was presented in the overall plan in 2013 as the city's “green heart”.
Susanne Abildgaard Rud has founded a group on Facebook with today just over 100 members. In the group, the plans for the storage magazine are strongly criticized. They do not think that a fence warehouse around harmonizes with the idea of an attractive, green district.
Susanne Abildgaard Rud also has an open letter in Frederiksborg Amts Avis asked politicians to reconsider the decision.
“We don't mind that Vinge or Frederikssund Municipality will house the storage magazine. We have a problem with the location deviating from the overall plan, and we have a problem with being invited to a hearing, after which the mayor says the location is not up for discussion, “she says.
Several residents are unhappy that the communal magazine should be located, so it blocks a bike path as well as the area's views. Citizens suggest that the magazine instead be placed in a commercial area in the northern part of Vinge.
Mayor John Schmidt Andersen (V) said in an interview in January that the location of the magazine was not up for discussion. He also said that the storage magazine could become a landmark for Vinge in the style of the Washington Monument.
The mayor rejects Berlingske's assertion that the joint magic is a breach of the overall plan. He points out that the magazine must be in an area that according to the municipal plan is laid out for mixed housing and occupation. Nevertheless, the citizens are dissatisfied and believe that the building differs from what they bought into when they moved to the area in its day.
The protests over the storage magazine follow in the heels of a series of scandals, which has hit the project since it was launched in 2013.
The municipality has had a very difficult time selling land. The city, which is planned to be the size of cities such as Ringsted or Skanderborg, today houses about 100 people, and Vinge is today described as a 'Ghost town'. In spite of when 20,000 people can be expected to live, Mayor John Schmidt Andersen (V) says he does not “know it” but has a long-term perspective.
The last finger of the finger plane
From the city sign that marks the border of Vinge, two things can be seen today:
On the right hand Delta block, where new construction today houses about 100 people. The first ones moved in 2015. Here, artisans are still building new ones.
And on the left, what should be part of the Wing Center: Today a plow field and train passing by an unfinished S-train station. The train station is scheduled to open in 2020. The station has been the subject of debate in Christiansborg. Several transport mayors said last year, that they regretted that, in a settlement outside the government, they had voted through the train station when now only 100 people live in Vinge.
In 2017, an agreement between Frederikssund Municipality and MT Højgaard and AP Pension, respectively, on the establishment of the Vinge Center collapsed. And in 2019, Frederikssund Municipality found that not a single construction company had tendered for the 22,000 building rights meters that had been put out to tender.
Specifically, the background for Vinge is part of a larger plan for the entire metropolitan region: the Finger Plan. It outlines how to build on the principle of station proximity along five fingers from the capital Copenhagen. One of these fingers goes to Frederikssund.
According to Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Copenhagen, Vinge is therefore an “important part of completing the Finger Plan”.
“That finger is one of the places with the most buildable area left. It plays an important role as part of the metropolitan area's land reserve, ”she says.
The plan is for Vinge to house 20,000 people. There are 45,000 living in the whole of Frederikssund Municipality.
According to Professor Gertrud Jørgensen, the apparent lack of interest in buying land in Vinge may be due to the physical location of the project far from Copenhagen.
“It has been a very large project far from the region's emphasis. What is happening right now is a large concentration in Copenhagen with many homes and large urban transformation projects. There is less buzz in the outer areas of the region, ”says Gertrud Jørgensen.
The problems have had consequences for the municipality in general. The municipality budgeted with revenue from the sale of building land in Vinge and in 2017 therefore had a gaping gap of DKK 163 million. The municipality later had to save DKK 100 million by, among other things, selling properties and cutting down on maintenance and cleaning costs. Mayor John Schmidt Andersen (V) acknowledges to Berlingske that it was a mistake that the municipality budgeted with revenue in advance.
The paradox of mega projects
The wing project enrolls in a series of so-called mega projects that run into problems.
Professor Bent Flyvbjerg has documented how nine out of ten major construction projects exceeds both budgets and deadlines and pulls a tail of political and financial problems. Nevertheless, more and more projects of the same type are being initiated. This is what the professor calls the paradox of mega projects.
“Politicians love mega projects like monuments. They give media attention both at startup and when the string needs to be cut, 'which Bent Flyvbjerg told the deaf magazine in 2014.
Similar urban development projects in Denmark such as Nordhavn or Ørestaden have also been affected by price increases and delays. But as Bent Flyvbjerg says: Once the mega projects are ready, most people have forgotten the problems along the way.
“It's just as impressive every time you drive across the Great Belt, and when the Metrocity ring comes to fruition, everyone will also love it and quickly forget how scandalous and expensive it was,” Bent Flyvbjerg told the Deaf magazine.
Gertrud Jørgensen votes in:
“You have to think that urban development takes a really long time. You started with Ørestad, and it had to go really fast – it just didn't. You expect to make a city outlay, and then it says it. That's just not how it is. Maybe Vinge is a success in 50 or 100 years, 'she says.
Susanne Abildgaard Rud still believes that Vinge will be a good, green city. When the family lived in Sluseholmen, she saw how a very challenging urban development project suddenly developed positively:
“Residents began to form associations and new life came. And then prices started to rise, 'she says.
Recently, Frederikssund Municipality has divided the supply of building sites in Vinge into smaller chunks and say now, that several public housing companies have reported their interest and expressed a specific desire to build housing around the station in Vinge.