Since my TH!NK2 trip to Copenhagen in 2009, I’ve been a huge fan of this future-minded city. Last year’s lectures by Andreas Røhl and Mikael Colville-Andersen here in Vancouver got me even more excited about the unique bicycle culture and infrastructure of the Danish capital.
So, I also very appreciated yesterday’s Oe1 radio programme on “Green Copenhagen – an ecological model city” by Klaus Englert as it once again showed that sustainability doesn’t mean sacrifice or a loss in our quality of life if – as in Copenhagen’s case – there’s an ambitious roadmap to become the first carbon neutral capital in the world that builds on creative ideas, exciting projects and inspiring people.
First of all, three interesting facts from the radio programme which of course also dealt with the issues of mobility, renewable energy, and architecture: Today, a third of Copenhagen’s citizens uses their bicycle to go to work, wind energy not only creates thousands of jobs but should also make Copenhagen carbon neutral by 2025 as well as free of fossil fuels by 2050, and water from the sea is used to cool several buildings, thereby reducing energy consumption by 80% compared to conventional air conditioning.
Moreover, a public pool in Copenhagen’s harbour as well as other sustainable and conscious urban development projects should make citizens familiar with the concept of hedonistic sustainability. Of course, cargo bikes and other exciting ideas were mentioned in the radio programme. And finally, Copenhagen can be truly called Europe’s green capital with its Climate Adaptation Plan that actively and comprehensively deals with increasing sea levels, more rain, higher temperatures and other effects of climate change.
In short, the Copenhagen of the future (and even of today) will become an eco metropolis with a high quality of life and a healthy city where sustainable growth and synergetic thinking meet.