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What makes Copenhagen one of the greenest cities in the world?‎


The capital of Denmark won the “European Green Capital” award back in 2014 for its excellent achievements in combining sustainable solutions. Copenhagen maintains a strategy focused on adapting public spaces, promoting the use of renewable energy sources and streamlining cleaner urban mobility. Some aspects make the city one of the greenest in the world.‎

Eco mobility

Copenhagen is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. About 62% of the city’s residents travel to work or school by bicycle, and almost a third of all trips in the city are made by this type of transport. There are about 700,000 bicycles in the city, ‎more than one per car.

Another green way of traveling longer distances is by green ferry. Ferries run regularly between Copenhagen and Elsinore or Helsingborg. Electric ferries with sailing times of up to between 45 minutes and an hour and a half can cover approximately twenty to forty percent of the energy consumption for ferry operations in Denmark.

Dual purpose buildings in Copenhagen

Over time, some spaces in the city get a new purpose, changing or supplementing what they were used for until now. As the city grew, warehouses located by the water were converted into housing. In the center of Copenhagen, on the other hand, a children’s playground with green areas does not suggest that offices are hidden on the underground level. ‎

The Knipelsbro bridge tower, on the Christianshaven side, has been around for 80 years, but a few years ago the Kulturtårnet cafe opened on top. The blue-green tower that looks like a submarine vessel is attracting locals and tourists with its new purpose because of the view of the harbor it opens up.

Perhaps the most large-scale example of a multi-purpose building is Copenhill – futuristic, with an unparalleled ski slope and recreational hill on top of a new resource processing center. The center was built in 2017, and additional activities for city residents become available in autumn 2019. The building has bars and restaurants, as well as the largest climbing wall in the city. ‎

Green ideas ‎

GreenKayak is an environmental NGO that engages people in the fight against ocean pollution. Kayaking enthusiasts can borrow one of the organization’s kayaks for free for a few hours, provided they pick up the litter they see in the water along the way. The organization claims that 59,368 volunteers have participated so far and 94.1 tons of ocean waste have been collected.‎

A quarter of the city is made up of green areas. The urban planning code also innovates by introducing the concept of green roofs to newly constructed buildings, with rooftop gardens reducing pollution and harnessing rainwater. Like other European cities, Copenhagen Central Station also has a green roof. Apart from a sustainable solution, it is also aesthetic for those working and living in the buildings around the station.

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