Green Living in Copenhagen

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Green Living in Copenhagen

Thinking about moving abroad and eager to embrace a green lifestyle? You’re not alone! These days, more and more expats are tuning into the importance of climate change and environmental sustainability. Let’s look at green living in Copenhagen.

A frontrunner when it comes to adopting sustainable solutions, Copenhagen has one of the world’s most ambitious climate policies with a goal of being the first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025. With swimmable waterways, more cyclists than cars and giant wind turbines on the horizon serving as a constant reminder of this goal, Copenhagen is surely on track.

Green Living in Copenhagen
In Copenhagen  you can go for a dip in the harbor’s 10 public bathing zones. Photo: Daniel Rasmussen/Visit Copenhagen.

Considered one of the most sustainable cities in the world, Copenhagen has in total 546 km of bicycle paths, a fleet of electric harbor ferries and a majority of the hotel rooms around town are eco-certified.

Copenhagen is often touted as the world’s most eco-friendly city. Copenhagen’s approach to sustainability is comprehensive, involving not just government and businesses but also the active participation of citizens. Through their commitment to reducing CO2 emissions, they have encouraged eco-friendly lifestyles.

Green Living in Copenhagen
From one of the many eco-friendly hotels in Copenhagen. Photo: Tripadvisor.

Copenhagen has a long-standing tradition of pursuing green solutions. As a result, the Copenhagen of today has founded a range of sustainable development initiatives and continues to do so and the locals believe in it too. In a survey from Time Out in 2021, 27,000 city dwellers voted on how sustainable they thought their own city was, and Copenhagen came out on top. The Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index (2022) placed Copenhagen in fourth place. They rank 100 of the world’s cities under three pillars of sustainability: Planet, people, and profit.

Various policies support Copenhagen’s green initiatives, such as tax incentives for green businesses, renewable energy mandates, and building regulations encouraging energy efficiency. The city’s urban planning strategies, focusing on sustainability, have led to the development of eco-friendly communities. The district of Ørestad is one example of this, designed to minimize energy consumption while maximizing green space.

Green Living in Copenhagen
The green roof policy has led to the creation of living roofs across the city. Photo: Architectural Digest.

In the Danish capital, you can ski down the roof of a waste-to-energy plant, take your bike on car-free bicycle bridges, and go for a dip in the harbor’s 10 public bathing zones.

Copenhagen’s investment in cycling infrastructure is a primary reason for its eco-friendly reputation. There are more than 375 kilometers of designated bike lanes and numerous bike-friendly policies. You can find out more about the city’s bike-wide scheme through the Copenhagenize Index. The city has implemented various bike-sharing programs, encouraging even tourists to utilize bikes. Such systems have made bicycles accessible to everyone, further reducing the city’s carbon footprint. With the development of bicycle highways, cycling in Copenhagen has become not only environmentally friendly but also a quick and safe mode of transportation.

Green Living in Copenhagen
‘Green wave’ traffic lights for cyclists – with digital countdowns and footrests at junctions contribute to better commuting for bikers. Photo: Martin Heiberg/Visit Denmark.

Green initiatives in Copenhagen include offshore wind turbines in the Øresund Strait between Denmark and Sweden, an increasing number of electric busses, waste-removing initiatives and ‘green wave’ traffic lights for cyclists – with digital countdowns and footrests at junctions.

Finally, Copenhagen’s devotion to providing green spaces within the city has not only made it beautiful but has also had positive effects on the health and well-being of its residents. With parks like Frederiksberg Gardens and the Botanical Gardens, residents have access to abundant green spaces, offering opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Community gardens foster social cohesion, enabling citizens to grow their vegetables and herbs. This practice further strengthens the bond between urban living and nature. In Copenhagen, the green roof policy has led to the creation of living roofs across the city. These roofs not only reduce heating and cooling costs but also increase biodiversity.

Green Living in Copenhagen, written by Tor Kjolberg

Feature image (on top) Photo © Maria Sattrup/Visit Copenhagen

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