Opening Doors; the urban revolution in Denmark
Speakers: Jesper Koefoed-Melson and Sara Melson of GivRum
Chair: Lesley Riddoch, broadcaster & writer
Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh
An abandoned paint factory in Copenhagen is transformed into a bike shop, wood workshop, gallery, shared office space, circus group space, textile printing studio, ceramics workshop, photography studio, an urban garden and a publishing house. This is only one example of a revolutionary trend to hit Danish cities following the financial crisis; the creative use of empty buildings.
The non-profit organisation GivRum involves Danish civil society, the public sector (including local authorities which fund it on a project basis) and businesses in neighbourhood development. By literally opening the doors to empty buildings, GivRum allows cultural projects and creative businesses to thrive.
In the case of the paint factory GivRum mediated an agreement to use the 6400m2 site, known as PB43, in central Copenhagen. The Dutch landowner, AkzoNobel, agreed to lease the space to GivRum free of charge on the basis that the building would be maintained. GivRum then helped local groups to form a cooperative, which took over legal responsibility.
Via their City Link initiative GivRum hopes to share best practice with cities around the world. Billed as 'a growing network of project makers, artists, activists, creative entrepreneurs and engaged citizens with ideas that can link cities', the initiative promotes international grassroots, community and activist collaboration. The first City Link project, last year, saw the organisation work in Hamburg. This year GivRum is in Edinburgh!
Following the sell out Nordic Horizons meeting ; 'Opening Doors; the urban revolution in Denmark'; we spoke to both speakers and here are the short interviews. So, if you missed the event; here is the presentation Download Opening Doors, the urban revolution in Denmark.