Tuesday 24 March 2009

Frederik & Mary: green day in Chicago to evening in Des Moines

Today the Crown Prince Couple has taken part in the Climate and Energy Conference in Chicago, arranged by the City of Chicago and the Royal Danish Embassy in Washington DC. Crown Prince Frederik gave the opening speech at the conference. Later in the morning the Crown Prince Couple were given a presentation on Chicago's green initiatives, including a visit to Chicago's "green roofs" at Millennium Park, arranged by the City of Chicago and accompanied by Mayor Richard Daley and his wife Maggie. Opened in 2004, Millennium Park is 24.5 acres of redeveloped inner city land which is one of the largest intensive greenroof projects in the world. It sits over two parking garages on a gradient of 1% with necessary irrigation systems and is therefore considered to be a 'greenroof'. The project cost $475 million and the roof covers the two parking garages, incorporates landscape art, full-sized trees, a skating rink, a transit centre and a 1,525-seat indoor performance centre. It has become a popular public space in Chicago, although it has been mentioned by one commentator as a folly (in the classical landscape architecture sense), but since it works as public space, he doesn't hold it against it. The Crown Prince Couple had lunch with the conference delegates before they visited the Danish Old People’s Home of Chicago, a home for senior citizens of Danish decent during the afternoon, before departing for Des Moines. This evening Frederik and Mary are attending a dinner reception with representatives of the Danish-American community in Des Moines to mark the historical ties between Denmark and Iowa, as well as marking present and future cooperation arranged by the Governor of Iowa, Chester J. Culver. The Governor has made a few trips to Europe, including Denmark, to develop green industry projects in Iowa. Iowa is one of the U.S.'s biggest producers of wind energy and has close relationships with Danish clean energy companies. The U.S has just recently overtaken Germany as the world's biggest wind energy producer, with China in third place. The global wind turbine market was worth about $47.5 billion last year, with Denmark one of the biggest suppliers in this area of industry*.

At Millennium Park, the greenroof project in central Chicago, during the presentation of the city's green vision. Frederik and Mary are shown around by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and his wife Maggie. Frederik's upcoming membership of the IOC and the Danish vote on the city to host the 2016 Olympic Games would not be far from Mayor Daley's thoughts (Chicago 2016). Frederik and Mary are outside the Cloud Gate, or the Bean, as it is known locally:

At the Climate and Energy Conference where Frederik gave the opening address:

At the Danish Old People's Home in Chicago. Note the Royal Copenhagen dinnerware, Frederik and Mary use this at home and they gave a platter from the collection to King Harold of Norway for his 70th birthday. Also note the painting (print?) behind Frederik while he is speaking: it is the familiar figure of Christian X out and about in Copenhagen on horseback:

Frederik and Mary arriving at the Des Moines Club, Iowa, to dine with local Danish-Americans:

Photos © DayLife/Getty/AP/Wireimage

Addressing Climate Change with Urban Sustainability Solutions - pdf of the conference program (thanks jema!)

Millennium Park
Millennium Park on wikipedia - check out its interesting history and green credentials
Millennium Park image gallery
* Bloomberg: U.S. Takes Global Lead in Wind Power, Passes Germany - this is relative though, because the U.S. has a larger land mass and larger population than Germany. Denmark has about 20% of its energy sourced from wind power, which is a greater overall percentage as part of all energy produced. Germany remains the biggest producer of solar power (shame, Australia, shame!!) and has the highest percentage of renewable energy overall.

TV2 article 'Kronprins taler grønt i Chicago' - The Crown Prince talks green in Chicago (there is a news clip of Frederik and Mary at the conference down the page)
Århus Stiftstidende 'Bombejoke koster dyrt' - Bomb joke costs dearly
An update on the bomb threat incident last Sunday. The man concerned, a businessman from Hinnerup, has had two charges made against him and a probable fine for a false bomb threat at the airport.
It just wasn't the proper time or place to make such a flippant remark.
This is what a 43-year-old businessman from Hinnerup acknowledges after he put his foot in it on the weekend with the remark there was a bomb in his bag as he was about to board the same plane to Chicago as the Crown Prince Couple.
At the beginning he was on a charge of disturbance of public transport and was sent home on the train to Århus because the captain of the SAS plane refused to have him on board.
So he is on a charge of creating fear in connection with the bomb threat which is punishable with a fine or a prison sentence for up to two years.
And added to that will be a charge about groundlessly bringing about alarm causing the turn out of police. This is punishable by a fine or a prison sentence for up to three months.
The man, who bitterly regretted his remark, can on top of all this expect a claim for damages from SAS.
Before the train trip home to Århus he gave over the 50.000 DKK cash he had on him to the police against a probable future fine and claim of damages.
The debate about plane safety has raged on stiften.dk, with readers divided between those who think he will get what he deserves while others think the reaction has been completely hysterical.
The Crown Prince Couple had only praise to givee for the way the incident was handled and they downplayed the delay of the plane's departure from Copenhagen.
"We experienced it as - undramatic," said Crown Prince Frederik.

Jyllands Posten - about Frederik's conference opening speech and his message that green energy creates growth with job creation through a climate friendly approach.
B.T. 'Selvsikker Frede' - Self-assured Frede
It was a very articulate and self-assured Danish Crown Prince who talked about a fruitful future energy cooperation between the US and Denmark on Monday morning.
Comfortably sitting on a bar stool to take pressure off the broken foot, Crown Prince Frederik opened an energy conference at Chicago's central cultural centre.
He explained why renewable energy is so important and why Denmark has made much progress in this area of science.
"Climate change is a fact," said Frederik with a conviction which the environmentally conscious U.S. President Barack Obama might agree with.
The Crown Prince briefly told about his sledge journey over the inland ice in Greenland, where he saw the results of global warming with his own eyes.
And Frede praised Chicago's own environmentally compatible initiatives at the same time - such as a completely new fleet of hybrid cars like the one that for the last two days has carried the Crown Prince Couple around the American metropolis.
The Crown Prince Couple's visit in the U.S. is largely about the exchange of ideas and designs.
But not everybody give the issues the attention it deserves.
"This kind of meeting have to be arranged in much bigger forums," said Will Evans, who is a manager of People's Gas - the company that supplies most of Chicago with gas and heat.
"Danes have an understanding of what is needed but I am not sure whether Americans are so clear. I haven't seen anything about this visit in the local, or even for that matter, the national American press. We talk about renewable energy a lot at internal government levels. But I do not know whether the American people are clear," said Will Evans, who also hoped to get the opportunity to greet Frede personally.
"He's a man who knows what he is talking about," Will Evans said.

Berlingske Tidende 'Kronprins i USA: Grøn energi skaber vækst'
ABC 7 Chicago 'Daley shows Danish royalty around Chicago' (thanks Valentine!)
Billed Bladet 'Mary viser farverne i Chicago'

Fyens Stifstidende gallery
Sydney Morning Herald gallery

TV2 photo gallery

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