The first thing I noticed in my cab ride from the airport was the street lighting system in Copenhagen. The streetlights are suspended in the middle of the streets by a system of steel cables. At first I thought it was a streetcar system, but I soon realized that this intricate overhead system only facilitated the lights.
Many of the cables are attached to the tops of iron elongated A-frame pillars. They start about a foot wide at the base and then narrow at the top with zigzagging pieces of iron in between which are about an inch and a half wide and one quarter inch thick. A lot of the cables were anchored directly into the walls of private buildings which seemed odd to me.
I've noticed many large slugs on the sidewalks of the city. Some of them are smashed and some of them are stretching out for their next movement. When stretched they are three to four inches long so they may be able to cover half of that in one movement.
Most sidewalks here consist of two rows of 20 inch by 24 inch pieces of concrete with a single row of cobblestone in between and a varying amount of cobblestone to either side. I've seen some new sections of sidewalk being laid and it looks as though the concrete slabs are 4 inches thick. They put layers of packing sand down to level the path and then set the elements in place. I assume they finish by tamping more packing sand into the crevices.
Due to the location to sea level and mild winters this system seems to work well. Where I come from the water would work its way under the masonry then freeze and upset the system. There are some existing areas of cobblestone roads but most roads and bike lanes are asphalt or blacktop here in Copenhagen.
On a retaining wall I notice many small snails climbing or descending. Possibly they are just resting and absorbing some kind of minerals from the rock or deposited by rain. They all have different colored shells that swirl in a spiral.
Most of the buildings are brick or stucco, though I have seen some brick buildings coated in a colorful glaze that looks like stucco. I've noticed different styles of what I thought were ornamental wrought iron on the walls of some buildings. I later realized that these were the decorative end of a suring technique for masonry.
I came to this realization due to some of the seemingly random placements of the iron. The technique is engaged when the outer course of brick on a multicourse or "true brick" building begins to pull away from the other courses. It involves the decorative anchor on the exterior with a shaft running through the wall to an anchor inside to effectively sandwich the brick wall together. I don't know how much this system costs, but as buildings age it is sometimes necessary.
If I were an ambitious city councilman I may broach the idea of facilitating an agreement between private building owners and the city. This agreement would entail a subsidy for this anchoring repair system in trade for allowing Copenhagen to utilize their unique streetlight anchoring system when the next round of lighting upgrades or repairs come around. Many U.S. cities are in the process of upgrading to efficient light systems and as Copenhagen does this there are bound to be issues as they release and then reapply tension to the system. This may be able to smooth over any legal suits fielded against the city from private property owners.
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