Fremtidens by- og landskabsudvikling omkring motorvejen

Claus Peder Pedersen, Claudia Carbone


This text is based on a contribution to “The City,
the Road and the Landscape” a research project by
the Danish Road Directorate, Aalborg University
and Danish Forest & Landscape. The purpose of
the project was to develop a spatial strategy for the
future planning of the Danish motorway network.
The illustrations are done by the authors as part of
the project.
The Danish highway net has been extended during
the last 15 years. Missing stretches has been completed
and new routes added. The most important
additions have been the Great Belt Bridge connecting
Zealand and Funen and the Oresund Bridge
connecting Denmark and Sweden. This development
has connected the various parts of Denmark
tighter together and has resulted in increasing
traffic. The higher mobility has created more complex
commuting patterns. More people travel longer
than before and the highway has become an
integrated part of the urbanization of Denmark.
The increasing traffic has also made it attractive
for businesses to locate themselves along the
highway in order to use the accessibility and exposure
provided by the infrastructure. This has especially
been the case between Aarhus and
Fredericia in Jutland and in the Copenhagen area.
The landscape is undergoing changes as well due
to changing methods of cultivation, forestation, and
environmental initiatives.
This changes the carefully planned relation between
the highway and the surrounding landscape.
Traditionally the highways have been planned to
run through the open countryside connecting well
defined cities. This planning has to some extend
inspired by the theories of car based urbanism
from the sixties such as “Man-Made America,
Chaos or control” by Christopher Tunnard & Boris
Pushkarev, 1963, ”The View from the Road” by
Donald Appleyard, Kevin Lynch & John Myer, 1964
or the Danish ”Motorveje i Landskabet” (“Highways
in the landscape) by Michael Varming, 1970.
It might be necessary to develop new theories
today in order to deal with the changing relations
between the highway and its surroundings. There
is a need for negotiating the viewpoints of national
planning authorities trying to maintain the open
landscape around the highway and of the local
planning authorities seeking to exploit the accessibility
of the highway in order to promote commercial
The notion of field conditions of the American
architect Stan Allen might be an inspiration to such
an approach. Allen describes field conditions as
‘loosely bound aggregates characterised by porosity
and local interconnectivity’. Likewise Rem
Koolhaas has employed the notion of the picturesque
to describe the chaotic urban growth in the
Chinese Pearl River Delta. The picturesque is
taken over from romantic aesthetic theories where
it is used to describe the quality of diverse elements
brought forcefully together. Allen and
Koolhaas are seeking planning strategies that are
able to deal with unpredictable future events.
Similar strategies might be useful in order to deal
with the difficult field conditions surrounding the
At the same time it might be possible to develop
new typologies for the commercial enclaves along
the highway. It might be done by developing alternative
physical and visual relations between the
highway and the surrounding commercial areas. It
might involve the development of commercial building
typologies capable of exposing the businesses
in new ways. New types of trades such as service
trades will make it possible to organize the commercial
areas more compactly. The motto behind
this pragmatic approach to the highway might then
be “We build to keep clear”.

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