The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

The Building, The City and The Future

  • Karen Zahle,, 1998
  • This is a re-publication of the article:

    Karen Zahle: ‘The Building, The City and The Future’, in: Meddelelser fra Thorvaldsens Museum (Communications from the Thorvaldsens Museum) p. 1998, p. 205-214.

    For a presentation of the article in its original appearance in Danish, please see this facsimile scan.


This paper is written in defence of a proposal.

The proposal must be seen in relation to a reorganisation of traffic that is both much needed and apparently also on the way.

Traffic and other planning in Copenhagen has been based on the “Finger plan”, the originator of which was the architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen. The idea was that Copenhagen’s urban development should be based on a number of spurs from the old city centre. This has resulted in a tradition for through traffic, which is both burdensome and polluting – as well as unpleasant, unnecessary and harmful!

For instance, very heavy traffic along Vindebrogade to the west and along the front and splendid frescos of Thorvaldsens Museum will be harmful to the building in the long run and is unpleasant for anyone going about the area on foot.

There is a brief summary of present plans, and plans for traffic developments in the city are welcomed.

These entail a) putting an end to through traffic, b) dividing up the city centre into traffic zones served by short direct access routes from ring roads and boulevards, and c) supplementing the coming metro system with small buses running through the centre of the city. This will make it more attractive to pedestrians and more pleasant to be, play and stay in the centre, but it will also make a closer link and easier access across the long Slotsholms Kanal desirable.

Therefore the suggestion is that a footbridge, to be called Nybro, should be buildt from Nybrogade across Slotsholms Kanal. This would be an important element in a new and attractive short cut in the city.


Trafik- og Miljøplan for København, Københavns Kommune, Overborgmesterens Afdeling, København 1997.

Havnetunnel, Københavns Havnevæsen, København 1988.

Jan Gehl og Lars Gemzøe: Byens Rum – Byens Liv, Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole, København 1996.

Indre By og Havnetunnelen, Københavns Magistrat 4. Afd. Stadsingeniørens Direktorat, København 1997.

Københavns Kommuneplan, Overborgmesterens Kontor, Københavns Kommune 1997.

Skitsefiorslag til Egnsplan for Storkøbenhavn, Egnsplankontoret. Teknisk kontor for Udvalget til Planlægning for Københavnsegnen, København 1947.

København før, nu – og aldrig, bd. 3, København 1988, s. 419.

Last updated 11.05.2017