Neighborhood Cafés in the “hard ghetto” help residents cope

Muhammad Aslam and other residents chat during the neighborhood cafe PHOTO: Harvey Kong

By Harvey Kong

As the sale of residential complex mjølnerparken looms, residents have found a way to cope using weekly neighborhood cafes.

Mjølnerparken, a housing project in Copenhagen, is considered a hard ghetto after being on Denmark’s controversial Ghetto list for five years. Housing company Bo-Vita will finalize the sale of two of the four estates in Mjølnerparken in late march, in order to remove it from the ghetto list.

The Mjølnerparken residents’ association runs a weekly neighborhood cafés for residents to cope with the developments in the estate.

Muhammad Aslam, Chairperson of the Mjølnerparken Residents Association Photo: Harvey Kong

“We started this café, so people can come talk to us and each other, so we know what we are doing or what our next step will be” said Muhammad Aslam, Chairman of the resident’s association. He explains that residents have questions about recent developments, which are answered by other residents.

Snacks and drinks serve the neighborhood cafe PHOTO: Harvey Kong

The café also helps residents meet each other. “I am very happy, I have the chance to see new people” said John Ameen, a resident of Mjølnerparken for more than 30 years.