Innovation in Copenhagen


The city of Copenhagen has been named the most innovative city in Europe by Fast Company Magazine, and Denmark remains one of the world’s 10 most innovative countries.

How can a capital in the Northern region foster climate friendly developments, which have bbecome ideals for the rest of the world?

A biking population
Copenhagen is the second most bike friendly city in the world. Nearly 40 percent of Copenhagen’s commutes are on bike, and the public transportation system is well developed. The organization  Gobike is developing new ideas – and make them a reality – and hereby making a greener and more liveable city.

Collaboration across political party lines
At CRCResearch they claim there are three factors critical to Copenhagen’s success:
1. Significant efforts have been made to collaborate across party lines and government departments.
2. Long-term vision.
3. Priorities and initiative based on facts and sound science.

Copenhagen has also been hailed to be one of the best cities to do business in Europe.

Copenhagen Science City
Copenhagen Science City

Open Data Portal and climate targets
Copenhagen has its own unique website sharing several sets of data for free, from traffic and road works information to how to create new business opportunities.

In 2013, a corporate team from Cisco visited Copenhagen, and in 2014 Cisco entered into a partnership with the municipalities of Copenhagen, Albertslund and Frederikssund, to research and develop digital infrastructure for the future, the Internet of Everything. The goal is to strengthen services for citizens while supporting Copenhagen’s climate targets.

Transition to low carbon economy
Entrepreneurs are invited to share their ideas on a website called Vores omstilling (Our transition). It’s a crowdsourced platform to encourage citizens, companies and the public sector to share their projects.

The image below is from the 8 Houd or the Big House, a large mixed-use development built in the shape of a figure 8 on the southern perimeter of the new suburb of Ørestad in Copenhagen.

A unique public-private partnership called the
State of Green is the official green brand for Denmark. Here everybody can find places to improve, test and demonstrate their technologies or systems by exploring the facilities and organizations relating to their themes.

Widespread collaboration
Copenhagen is also looking to reduce consumption and promote collaborative consumption. At the online shop Resecond women can swap nice dresses for a monthly fee of DKK 139 (US$ 20) you have admission to a walk-in closet with quality dresses. You may then swap as many dresses as you like. Jepti is an online portal where citizens can rent, lease or borrow anything from household items and tools to cars.

Financing in Denmark
Copenhagen is still not a financial haven for entrepreneurs, and many have to seek financing from abroad.  However, Michael Eis has founded a crowdfounding platform,, where entrepreneurs, artists and organizations may fund their smart ideas with support from individuals. Today there is also a crowdfunding association, Dansk Crowdfunding Forening.

Number Eight, Orrestaden, Copenhagen
Number Eight, Orrestaden, Copenhagen

Want to adopt Copenhagen’s solutions?
Copenhagen won the European Green Capital Award 2014 ahead of 17 other European cities. The experts were impressed by the efforts in Copenhagen to get more people to bike, and to be carbon neutral by 2025. The city want to share their experiences with the rest of the world.Come and see, and come and share with us,” said Casper Harboe, Programme Manager of Sharing Copenhagen.”

Innovation in Copenhagen, compiled by Tor Kjolberg