Metrobyggepladsen på Enghave Plads

Samantha Hoffmann

Studenteropgave: Speciale


The thesis Metrobyggepladsen på Enghave Plads (The Subway Construction Site at Enghave Square) explores the ways in which the current construction work of the so-called ‘Cityring’ affects and integrates with the public space of Enghave Plads, Vesterbro, Copenhagen. An area, which over the last couple of decades has been the subject of an extensive urban renewal and which today is associated with a vibrant mix of ‘gentrifiers’ and parts of the ‘old environment’ of alcoholics, drug-addicts and prostitutes. Building sites and construction projects are an ever present phenomenon in our urban worlds today. Especially in the current urban setting of Copenhagen, the expansion of the subway system implies that from 2010 until 2018, 21 of the capital’s socially and physically central public spaces are turned into building sites. This thesis investigates the effects of this major establishment on the local environment around Enghave Plads and is based on an ethnographic case-study design at this site, conducted during a period of five months from May till October 2011. The method of inquiry is inspired by actor-network theory and non-represen- tational theory and focuses on the heterogeneity of ‘construction-site-actors’ (social, material and institutional) that play a role in the relations between building site and local environment. This focus also explores some of the ways in which our urban spaces change, develop and are managed in the concrete, practical and day-to-day situations that characterize the everyday life of public space. The thesis shows that the heterogeneity of actors involved in this now transfor- med public square implies a wide and varied range of effects: The more expected effects such as the construction of a strong and symbolic place identity connected to the formerly ‘gathering point’ of Vesterbro, the negative effects on the shops located at Enghave Plads and the constant and unpredictable change of loca- tion of the construction fence and thus the roads and routes. But also effects of a more unexpected character: the blossoming of a café environment, the local environments’ interactions with and over the building fence and the initiation of a ‘café notch’ as part of the building site and thus the creation of a new concept of ‘coffee at the construction site’. The urban discourse tends to draw a crude distinction between the regrettably regulatory and rigid domain of planning and the coveted but rarely accommoda- ted vitality and creativity of local milieus. The ethnographic study shows that the ways in which the institutional actors affect and integrate with the local environment are necessarily managed by logics of regulation, functionality and structure. However, the study also demonstrates that in practice the balance between the ‘two worlds’ is much more blurred than the urban discourse would have us believe. In practice, the management of urban space is also carried out based on flexibility, logics of responsiveness towards the initiatives of the local environment and in certain cases circumvention of the rules.

UddannelserSocialvidenskab, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatGeografi, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 feb. 2012


  • byggeplads
  • latour
  • metro
  • ant
  • vesterbro
  • thrift
  • cityring
  • etnografi
  • byudvikling
  • non-repræsentationel teori
  • byrum
  • aktørnetværksteori