Danish Ambassador Protests Trees - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Danish Ambassador Protests Trees

Published July 4, 2014

Danish ambassador to Iceland, Mette Kjuel Nilsen, is protesting the Reykjavík's plan to plant trees because it interferes with an embassy parking spot

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Guðmundur D. Haraldsson

Danish ambassador to Iceland, Mette Kjuel Nilsen, is protesting the Reykjavík's plan to plant trees because it interferes with an embassy parking spot

“The Danish Embassy cannot stand by as the parking spot in front of the embassy [on Hverfisgata] is removed and turned into two parking spots adjacent to the embassy on Smiðjustígur,” wrote Danish ambassador to Iceland, Mette Kjuel Nilsen, in a letter to Reykjavík City Hall. 

Vísir reports that the ambassador is upset by Reykjavík City Hall’s green urban planning initiative which stipulates that Hverfisgata is to be lined with trees. The Danish embassy was informed it would lose the parking spot directly in front of the embassy’s entrance but as compensation would be assigned two parking spaces adjacent to the embassy building on Smiðjustígur. This would mean roughly a 10-20 metre walk from the new parking spaces to the embassy’s entrance. 

“The solution put forth means that there will be no parking space to load and offload vehicles,” Ambassador Nilsen wrote. “We want to keep the parking space as it is.”

The ambassador went on to question City Hall’s plan to remove the parking space in favour of planting trees along the street.

“The plan includes planting three trees in front of the embassy. In the embassy’s garden, which faces Hverfisgata, there are already 5 trees. It therefore seems unnecessary to make room for more trees on the sidewalk,” Ambassador Nilsen added, though she did emphasise that the Danish Embassy looked forward to the overall changes planned for Hverfisgata which she felt would greatly improve the street.

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