Street of the Week No. 8: Copenhagen's Potato Rows

Streets for people is the name of the game in Copenhagen's "potato rows" (Kartoffelrækkerne in Danish). This neighborhood, located in the Østerbro area of Copenhagen, derives its name from humble beginnings as housing for working-class families, yet the area has become a very popular and expensive place to live. street in potato rows

The streets here are narrow, and place the focus on people and community as much as cars, using such features as plantings, raised and varied paving surfaces, and tables and chairs. Autos can still get through but must go very slowly. Bicycles are also used quite a bit, as the neighborhood is centrally located and easy to access other parts of the city by bike (as well as walking, transit, etc). At the middle of most blocks, a tree or other feature is placed in the middle of the street, and many have picnic tables, a stage, or other items there that help to turn the street into an outdoor living room for all the neighbors.

street in potato rows

The streets have no curbs, but instead feature paver-lined runnels or gutters on either side. And while there are areas that would appear to be sidewalks, these are used in most cases for parking, again reinforcing the use of the center of the street as not only road but path and pedestrian walkway.

street in potato rows