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Exploring the sustainable capital of tomorrow







“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” Niels Bohr, Nobel Laureate in Physics

The Sustainia Guide to Copenhagen 2025 builds on the existing plans for Copenhagen. Although we have added a few teaspoons of creativity and imagination, the book is a realistic scenario of a not so distant future – and not an utopian experiment. However, the future is yet to be written. New technologies may emerge and others may fail. Alternative solutions may appear and plans may change. But one thing remains certain: Our future destination depends on our course today.






welcomeS you

to Copenhagen 2025

Sustainia is all about making what may seem impossible possible. Turning dreams into reality. Making inspiring visions into concrete and achievable actions. Actions that will take us to the fascinating destination Sustainia – a desirable and achievable sustainable future.

Allow us to take you on a journey: Copenhagen in the year 2025. We hope this journey will excite and inspire you. Open your eyes to the fascinating opportunities of living in a sustainianised city. The Sustainia Guide to Copenhagen 2025 builds on the existing and extensive plans for Copenhagen. We visualise


these plans and make them tangible for visitors and citizens. Therefore this Guide isn’t an utopian experiment but a realistic image of a not so distant future. By 2025, Copenhagen will be carbon neutral. However, the city is already a beacon of sustainability. It is part of the city’s sense of self, woven into the heart, soul and mind of Copenhagen. For decades, the city has pursued sustainable policies. Copenhagen is evidence that a sustainable city is not only a cleaner and greener city – but also a city with a high quality of life. A smarter, healthier, happier city. And a more prosperous one. Sustainia is about just that: a better, happier, healthier, smarter – and more enjoyable - world. The journey to that world is fuelled by excitement and the appeal of the destination. In Guide to Sustainia, we explored the sustainable society of tomorrow. We developed the first version of the Sustainia City Principles. Since then we have developed them further, and we will continue to do so as we move along. The Sustainia Guide to Copenhagen 2025 is the first in Sustainia’s series of city guides, in which we envision the cities of tomorrow. By looking through a sustainable lens, we experience these principles in real life.

Let the journey begin! We welcome you to Copenhagen in the year 2025. Enjoy the ride.

Laura Storm Executive Director Sustainia


Sustainia City Principles


All citizens should live within a 5-10 minute walk to green areas


Citizens should have access to fresh food and clean water


The city should work to improve energy efficiency in existing buildings.


New buildings must meet energy efficiency standards– such as LEED certification


Attractive spaces between buildings invite citizens to interact


Walking anywhere in the city should be easy and safe


Easy and efficient public transportation


Clean rivers, harbours and beaches.


Educational opportunities to ensure a young a vibrant atmosphere



Public electric car hires and plenty of charging stations will reduce air and noise pollution


Well designed bike lane infrastructure


Engage citizens in making cities sustainable – ownership and empowerment through education


City leaders should recognize sustainability as a driver for innovation, creativity and prosperity


Sustainable cities improve the quality of life for its citizens


When you explore the different architectural attractions of Copenhagen, remember to take in the best piece of Danish design – the city itself. Copenhagen is designed for people. A city designed to be convenient, creative, efficient and fun. A smart city.


Spotting all of the smart improvements can be difficult. In order to explore this hidden side of the city, take notice of what is missing. Be on watch for:

Less hassle Public transportation is integrated, convenient and fast.

Less waste Flexible systems allow energy to be stored until needed.

Less floods Green roofs, canals and pocket parks help absorb cloud bursts.

Less noise Many cars run on electricity and are nearly silent.

Less random use Appliances such as washing machines respond to information and start when energy prices are low.

Less congestion Intelligent traffic systems adjust the streets of the city to avoid traffic jams.

Less short-sightedness New sustainable buildings ensure low maintenance costs and low total cost of ownership. 11 // ARCHITECTURE


Smart city


If you have the chance, take the Metro to Nordhavn and explore the new district that boosts Copenhagen’s image as an sustainable metropolis. You will discover how sustainability and quality of life go hand in hand. In the dense urban environment at Nordhavn, the natural choice for residents and visitors is to walk, cycle or use public transport, rather than travel by car. Take a stroll through the intimate, compact neighborhood and take in the architecture where old meets new. Notice how old buildings, such as the silos, have been retrofitted and today are modern office buildings. Make sure to look up, too, as some older buildings have been outfitted with additional stories – building new atop the old. The rubble and gravel from the old buildings that were demolished have been reused in the construction of new buildings. Sustainability is an innate part of the district’s design. Efficiency is a top priority, and the neighbourhood is powered by several kinds of renewable energy, including solar, wind and geothermal. Every drop of rainwater is used locally to maintain green elements such as rooftop gardens, pocket parks and green boulevards.

The water promenade in Nordhavn is a great place to spend a sunny day. If you get too hot, cool off inside, where seawater in the district cooling system holds temperatures down. Or, bring your swimsuit and dive into the clean harbour water. Soak up the warmth from the rocks situated in the water resembling Swedish skerries 13 // ARCHITECTURE



This city is made for walking The area is designed on a five-minute-city principle. Short distances from housing and workplaces to public transport, bicycle paths, green areas, public institutions and shops provide resource efficiency and an interesting, inviting and lively urban landscape.

It takes five minutes to walk four hundred metres. Installing conveniences such as shopping and public transport within this distance promotes walking and cycling.

Little Venice. Nordhavn is a district of small islets with kilometres of coastline. It is characterised by houseboats, water sports, canals, harbour buses, a water pocket park, artificial islands, a marina, a harbour bath and direct access to water from the boardwalks. If you arrive by sea, you will see the neighbourhood. It is also home to the dock for cruise ships. When the cruise ships dock at Copenhagen they no longer pose the same environmental hazard as before. Previously, cruise ships burned diesel while in port to generate power – but today the shore to ship system provides cleaner energy from power plants and wind turbines of the city.







If you rent a bike, make sure you ride over the Two Tower Bridge at Marble Pier and the point of Langelinie. Cycling 65 metres above sea level while ferries pass beneath you is an unforgetable experience, and shows you to what lengths – and heights – this city will go for its bikes.

1,800 employees work in UN City – a state-of-theart sustainable building that opened in 2013. The building has solar panels on the roof, is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified and an EU Green Building Partner. Due to security concerns, it is situated on its own island.


Explore business opportunities in the biggest urban development project in Northern Europe. Nordhavn is still under construction, and the city is looking for business partners within smart energy, shore-to-ship technology, electric cars, district cooling, street lighting, smart houses and geothermal energy. When completed in 2060, Nordhavn will be home for 40,000 residents and another 40,000 workers. In 2060, the green loop – containing a super bicycle path and public transport – connects all of Nordhavn’s neighbourhoods, enabling cyclists to get to their destinations quickly.

Meet the Copenhagener Name: Noah Adamsen


Age: 36. Occupation: Project Manager, UNICEF

How do you get around Copenhagen? I bike almost all year round. I love the trip along the waterfront from my home in Islands Brygge to UN City. Often, I have meetings around town and go by bike as well. If I go with one of my colleagues who commute by car, he or she borrows one of the company bikes. On rainy days, though, I might take the Metro to Nordhavn and catch up on iNews. On weekends, my family and I love to spend time in our beach house. It is a two-hour drive from Copenhagen, so we have a weekend subscription to a shared car service.



Tip for the business traveller


Make sure you set aside a whole day to visit the Carlsberg district. Situated where the Carlsberg brewery was established and produced most of its beer for 150 years, this “new” part of town is now a cornucopia of cultural activities, history and city life. The district is also a frontrunner in sustainable urban planning. Getting around Carlsberg requires nothing more than your two feet. This part of town has been specifically designed for the locals who enjoy experiencing the labyrinthlike charm of “secret” pathways and small green parks on foot. Should you feel tempted to join the locals on the bike lanes, take the Carlsberg Route, which connects the classic district of Valby with the downtown bohemian dis20 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

trict of Vesterbro. Carlsberg has an extended grid of bike lanes, including shortcuts and passages between the buildings, which make biking the fastest way of getting around. In the Carlsberg district, you will notice how modern architecture builds upon the remains of the old brewery. In fact, 15 pct. of all the buildings in the area today date back more than 175 years; they tell the story of how hop, yeast and water built the foundation of one of Denmark’s largest companies. These buildings have been retrofitted and modified into energy-efficient structures that today host theatres, concerts and exhibitions. All new buildings in the area have been built to meet stringent energy requirements. 21 // ARCHITECTURE


Old historic buildings combined with modern architecture surround the public squares at Carlsberg. This combination of old and new creates an urban atmosphere favoured by Copenhageners during night and day.

Aesthetics and sustainability In Copenhagen, sustainability has in no way compromised aesthetics – the city is as charming as ever. When walking around Carlsberg today, it can be hard to spot what energy efficiency and carbon neutrality actually looks like. The fact is, it is all around you. Beneath your feet, large pipes transport hot water through the environmentally friendly district heating system, which is connected to all buildings in the area. In the walls surrounding you, a modern smart electric grid distributes clean electricity from wind turbines off the coast of Copenhagen and biomass power plants in the city. This “covert� sustainability means that creating a carbon-neutral district did not have to affect the architectural aesthetics of the urban environment. Today district heating, clean energy and environmentally friendly transportation are such common pieces of everyday life here that no one thinks about them.


In the transformation from industrial use to residential area, urban planners focused on creating life in the neighbourhood before building new houses. Early on, Carlsberg hosted various kinds of cultural events. This meant that by the time new residents started moving into the area, Carlsberg was already a popular destination for culturally aware Copenhageners.

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Concerts The old Bottling Hall Tap 1 proved to be a great venue for concerts, and quickly became one of the favourite music venues in Copenhagen. Tap 1 is still active today – make sure to check out the program while you are in Copenhagen.

A youth environment Storage Cellar 3 was rebuilt into rehearsal rooms and a student café for the local music high school Sankt Annæ. This fostered a creative environment for the younger generations and made the Carlsberg district a big part of the students’ everyday lives.




In one of the old large garage buildings, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts moved in and began hosting exhibitions from upcoming artists. When you visit Carlsberg, stop by – you might be lucky and get a glimpse of the next Picasso or Van Gogh.


Tip for the urban planner - Life before buildings

The Old Town Strolling around parts of old Copenhagen in the December cold you will not only see the shimmering lights from window decorations, you will also notice how the city rooftops are covered by a layer of snow. The snow serves as a reminder that Christmas is around the corner, but the fact that it remains on the roof and doesn’t melt tells a tale of an Old Town whose buildings have been modernised, insulated and optimised to ensure maximum energy reduction.

Retrofitting – an important step towards carbon neutrality On average, only 1 pct. of buildings are replaced per year. Therefore, it wasn’t enough for Copenhagen to merely focus on energy requirements in new construction on the path to becoming carbon neutral. The city therefore initiated numerous retrofitting initiatives for old buildings. Retrofitting is the technique of modernising old buildings with the aim of making them more energy efficient. It has a significant and measurable impact on energy consumption and the indoor climate in buildings. 24 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025



3 Key benefits of the Copenhagen retrofitting initiatives 1



In Copenhagen, retrofitting alone accounts for a decrease of more than 20 pct. in heat consumption and 30 pct. in total energy consumption when comparing 2025 with 2010. Citizens save money on their energy bills without changing their lifestyle.

The average EU citizen spends 90 pct. of his time indoors. Research shows that improved day lighting and air quality in retrofitted buildings enhances productivity and has a positive impact on public health.

The investments in retrofitting have positively affected the economy of the city: Overall energy consumption in Copenhagen de creased, raising the productivity per kWh consumed. The construction sector experienced a much wel- comed boost in demand for their services. The value of retrofitted energy-efficient houses has increased, giving homeowners an economic gain.

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Make sure you visit some of the trendy old industrial areas of Copenhagen such as Carlsberg, Nordhavn and various spots along the waterfront. Here you will get the impression of a city with an authentic historical charm that caters to the needs of a modern city focused on sustainability and livability. In Copenhagen, the focus has shifted from primarily the buildings to the spaces in between, too. An essential question has been: How does the city landscape help raise the quality of life for citizens while contributing to more sustainable development. In other words, how do old spots become hot spots? This mindset has brought with it creative initiatives that continuously find innovative uses of old city spaces for new recreational purposes. The former industrial areas of Carlsberg and Nordhavn serve as good examples of successful revitalization of old city districts. Since the water in the Copenhagen harbour was cleaned many years ago, several public baths have been built along the harbourfront, revitalising old industrial areas and bringing cafĂŠs and urban life with them. One of these harbour baths is the Coralbath in South Harbour


Another interesting case is the harbour baths located throughout Copenhagen. Many years ago, the city decided to clean up the water in the harbour; since then, new harbour baths have sprung up all along the waterfront. Today, the harbour fronts are some of the trendiest spots in Copenhagen. You will see couples strolling along the pier, businessmen and women having a swim after work, and exam-tormented students tanning while cramming in the heart of the Danish capital.


Old spots become hot spots

The Sustainable ArchitecTOUR – 10 must-see sites

If you want to experience the diversity and creativity of sustainable Copenhagen architecture, we recommend visiting these 10 sites. Each of them, in their own way, represents the innovative ideas that have helped shape the carbon-neutral Copenhagen of today. Do as Copenhageners do, hop on a bike – all 10 sites are easily accessed via the green bikeroutes covering town. Bring nothing more than a bike and a camera and prepare for a day full of sustainability impressions.


Start the day by enjoying a coffee and a famous Danish pastry at the harbourfront while observing UN officials from all over the world enter UN City to start their workday. Besides being a remarkable architectural icon shaped in the form of a star, UN City was one of the first buildings in Northern Europe to meet the requirements of LEED Gold certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Not only is the entire roof covered by solar panels that harvest the energy of the sun, but architects added rainwater tanks connected to the toilets, ensuring that all 1,800 employees flush with rainwater.

10 AM: WATER COOLING After enjoying the morning sun at UN City, grab your bike and ride across the Two Tower Bridge – or The Handshake as the locals call it - to Langelinie. Here you will find “The Warehouse,” a modern office building built after the principles of an old warehouse – with warm-coloured bricks and windows in varying shapes, giving the building a vivid and informal expression. Breathe in the fresh sea breeze and enjoy the view of the water surrounding Langelinie - and in this case water is not only pleasing to the eye. In fact, water is used for cooling down The Warehouse during warm summer days, as it is pumped from underground and circulated through the building.

11 AM: BOATS, KIDS AND CARROTS From Langelinie, continue along the bike-designated Harbour Route, which provides a nice view of the Copenhagen harbourfront. Eventually you will come across an unusual building that is literally dipping its toes into the water. This is the South Harbour School, a public elementary school with more than 800 pupils and a special maritime focus. Besides being an elementary school, the South Harbour School offers specialized classes in sailing and navigation. Take a moment to look at how the older kids sail small boats around the harbour and learn to appreciate nature, or how the younger ones sow carrots and water them in the school’s kitchen gardens, giving them firsthand experience in food production and ecology.




The ArchitecTOUR 3 PM: The Osram House

1:30 PM: Green roof terraces Birkegade

NOON: The Korsgade Sports- and Culture Centre

11 AM: The South Harbour School 8:30 PM: The Valby Water Culture Centre



10 AM: The Warehouse 4 PM: The Green Campus

5 PM: The Arsenal

6 PM: Islands Brygge


NOON: LUNCH ON THE HILL From the South Harbour School, bike paths lead you through bohemian Vesterbro to the Lake Route, following the scenic Copenhagen lakes. Close to the third lake, you’ll come to the next stop: Korsgade, a small local street in Nørrebro.

Opening hours MondayThursday: 7.50AM-11PM, Friday: 7.50AM-9PM.

Feeling hungry? Grab a sandwich and enjoy lunch on an urban green hill. The citizens of dense Nørrebro wanted both a recreational spot and a sports and culture centre. With free space scarce, architects had to be creative. The result is found underneath your feet. The Korsgade Sports and Culture Centre literally “grows” out of the ground, forming a green hill. Sports courts are inside; a green roof and walls on the outside offer locals a place to relax and enjoy themselves in the sun, or for kids to go sledding down in the winter. The green roof is also an efficient climate adaptation, insulating against extreme heat and cold, and collecting excess rainwater, which relieves the sewage system during heavy rains.

1:30 PM: GREEN ROOF When biking through the streets of Nørrebro in the afternoon we would usually urge you to watch the traffic on the road. However, also make sure you look up every once in a while – you just might be lucky and spot one of the attractive green roof terraces. One of the most remarkable ones is found not far from Korsgade, in Birkegade. When the roof of a local apartment building started leaking and needed renovation, residents decided they wanted more than just a new roof – they wanted better and greener conditions for their children in the densely populated neighbourhood. The solution came in the form of a 490-square-metre roof terrace containing a small playground, a green hill and an observation post, giving visitors a panoramic view of the Copenhagen skyline. Residents now have a place to enjoy the outdoors away from the busy streets below.

3 PM: DAYLIGHT INSTEAD OF LIGHT BULBS Continue your trip on the wide, pleasant bike paths of Nørrebro towards the Osram House. Opening hours MondayFriday 9AM-10PM, make sure to book tour in advance.


A characteristic of Copenhageners is how much they enjoy spending time outside in the sun during summer. The next stop on the tour is an experiment in how much of the sun’s natural light can be brought indoors.

Today, energy-efficient windows, skylights and glass walls ensure optimal exploitation of daylight and create natural heating of the building through sunlight. Note how electronic displays in the building, which functions as a neighbourhood cultural centre for nearby residents, present the energy consumption in an easily readable manner, making it simple and motivating for users to track and improve their environmental impact.

4 PM: AN INSPIRING STUDENT ENVIRONMENT In the afternoon, stop by the science faculty campus at the University of Copenhagen, in the corner of the University Park, and experience the vibrant student environment. The Green Campus initiatives started many years ago ensure that today sustainable thinking is an integrated part of all academic programmes and the students’ daily lives. A tangible example of the sustainable thinking is The Green Lighthouse, a university building built in 2009 as a result of a successful public-private partnership between governmental institutions and private partners. It was also the first public carbon neutral building in Copenhagen.

To book a tour of the Green Light House go to www.greenlighthouse.

Inspired by a sundial, the building’s shape ensures maximum exploitation of sunlight, giving a sun lit, inspiring environment for students. Furthermore, sunlight has been carefully incorporated into the building’s energy system through solar panels, and excess solar energy is stored as heat underground to be used later when the sun is weaker or at night.

5 PM: SUSTAINABLE PRESERVATION From the youthful student environment, we now bike back to the harbour and through history. In the late afternoon sun, the yellow buildings of the old military installation “The Arsenal” look pretty as ever. Built in 1740, these buildings for many years served as part of Copenhagen’s defences and today represent a city landmark. The buildings underwent comprehensive renovation in 2012, which lowered the energy consumption by 20 pct. Being a historic landmark under protection of the National Heritage Agency, the key to retrofitting the buildings was making inconspicuous changes. Besides new energy-efficient windows, one of the creative ideas was to store heat-emitting electronic equipment in an old underground bunker, ensuring a pleasant climate in the offices inside. Take a stroll around the buildings and enjoy how a city does not have to lose its historical value to become sustainable.



The only light bulb factory ever to exist in Denmark, the Osram House was an iconic choice for a case study in how much of a building’s energy consumption could be displaced by daylight.

6 PM: DINNER IN THE OLD COMMERCIAL HARBOUR The Long Bridge close to The Arsenal will take you to Islands Brygge. On a summer evening, make sure not to miss the vibrant atmosphere of this historic commercial harbour, which many years ago was revitalized and became a hip part of town. We recommend enjoying a barbeque with local Copenhageners, with the two old soy-cake silos as background. Being part of the cultural and industrial heritage of Copenhagen, it was decided that these two silos should remain after commercial activities in the harbour ended. They were transformed into residential buildings. Worth noting is how the apartments are “hanging” on the outside of the silos, giving them an iconic look while staying true to their industrial history. Arrive early in the evening to find a spot for your barbeque; this place is a favourite spot for Copenhageners during the long summer evenings.

8:30 PM: TIME FOR SUSTAINABLE WELLNESS What better way to end a day of biking around town than by treating yourself to a visit to the spa? Our tour concludes at the Valby Water Culture Centre, which was early proof that sustainability did not have to come at the expense of well-being. The Centre houses an indoor swimming pool area with room for play and relaxation – and caters to the well-being of visitors in a sustainable manner.

Opening hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday until 9.30PM.

While relaxing in the hot water, note how the walls of the building are tilted inward. This, with the solar panels on the roof, ensures maximum reflection of cold wind and efficient use of sunlight to heat the building. These measures, combined with recycling of excess heat from shower water to heat the pool area, enables the Valby Water Culture Centre to consume 30 pct. less energy than comparable swimming facilities.


Danes love to enjoy the sun. However, being a northern country, the annual number of sunshine hours is limited. The architects and urban specialists who designed Carlsberg knew that high density was essential to create lively neighbourhoods. But they also wanted to make room for sunlight in the district. They found inspiration in an oldfashioned sun clock. After carefully studying the path of the sun, parks and squares were located just like the hours on a sun clock. At any time, residents can find shaded areas to cool down or spots to enjoy the sun.

9 AM

4 PM

The parks and squares of Carlsberg are carefully located according to the sun’s path over the sky. Enjoy the morning sun in one park, and the evening sun in another. This is also a great excuse for seeing various corners of the neighbourhood.



Urban planning – the Sun Clock model


Population growth of Copenhagen, People living in Copenhagen, thousands.

When visiting Copenhagen, make sure you observe the locals. They are central to the city’s identity, and the personification of the Copenhagen sustainable lifestyle.

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Copenhageners are curious and open towards new initiatives, and have many times taken it upon themselves to come up with innovative new ways of living. In aspects covering food to fashion and exercise, many Copenhageners have embraced sustainability and the green way of living. 36 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

facts about Copenhagen


GMT + 1 hour Time zone

Free Bike rental price

Best view in Copenhagen

From the Two Tower Bridge

Grab one of the public bikes

Read more in the Architecture chapter

Best way to annoy a Copenhagener Average yearly household spending on bikes

DKK 1,190 Average living area per person


Walk on the bike lanes






COPENHAGENERS ARE FINDERS AND KEEPERS The Danes are a tribe of finders and keepers. Are you looking to update your favorite chair, or do you need that special little gizmo for your electrical device? When walking around in Copenhagen you will encounter shops selling spare parts from bikes to electronics and even furniture. Urban mining is also big business, as valuable materials are harvested from old electronics. Fifteen years ago, Danes were the second-largest waste producers in the EU. But the financial crash turned past trends of happily using and throwing things out into a new mindset of finding and keeping. Even the fashionistas of Copenhagen have embraced the concept of finding and keeping. New designers are making clothing that will last years instead of seasons. This doesn’t mean being boring, but sticking with what Copenhagen designers are famous for: the design, the materials and the edgy yet elegant Scandinavian feel. 38 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025


2 Organic food served in public institutions, pct. 90 68




COPENHAGENERS ARE LOCAVORES Copenhageners are crazy about local food. So, if you are a foodie, try eating local. Copenhagen restaurant Noma, the No. 1 restaurant in the world, started an international trend when they popularised the concept of local food, in 2003 – serving food made entirely from the Nordic countries. A region known for anything but food. Saving carbon by eating an apple instead of a mango that has been transported from the other end of the world is now common sense. Community gardens, farmers markets and a renewed focus on personal health and organic, locally produced food has become a part of everyday life and habits. As early as 2012, 77 pct. of public institutions, from daycare centres to retirement homes, served only organic food. If you want to eat like a local, try an App – Locavore – which tells you what veggies are in season and grown in your area. It also shares recipes that you don’t have to be a Michelin Star chef to prepare.


COPENHAGENERS ARE EXERCISOHOLICS Each year, at the end of May, thousands of Copenhageners participate in the Green Marathon. The Green Marathon is a 42 kilometre track that never loses touch with the green elements of the city. It runs within the city boundaries along tree-filled boulevards, and through many of Copenhagen’s green parks. When September comes, even more people gather for the DHL run – a 5-km route on which companies compete against each other. It is not unusual for more than 100,000 people to participate in this event. Besides running, Copenhagen-based companies also engage in bike-to-work campaigns encouraging employees to bike to work through inter-organisational competitions. Last, exercising is even considered an accepted treatment method – and the local doctor might prescribe a paid gym membership rather than medication to improve your health. 40 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

Guerrilla Gardening


COPENHAGENERS ARE URBAN GARDENERS Previously, living in downtown Copenhagen would have precluded the option of having a garden, but not anymore. Urban gardens have sprung up all over town, and Copenhageners are enjoying spending ever-more time maintaining them. These gardens are for present generations what summer cabins were to generations before – a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Today, urban gardens can be found in many variants and at many altitudes – some between buildings, some on balconies and some atop roofs. To Copenhageners, these gardens represent a personal desire to mix the chic urban life with green living – despite living in the city, you can still grow your own carrots and tomatoes.



Ever wonder why flowers grow in the strangest places in Copenhagen? There is a fair chance that this could be the result of the phenomenon known as “urban guerrilla gardening.” This modern graffiti is conducted by preparing so-called “seed bombs,” and then venturing into the night to sow them in small cracks in the street, or on empty spaces of dirt. This phenomenon has become increasingly common in the city over the years; you can even find small underground movements doing it together.


COPENHAGENERS ARE COMPUTER SAVVY Studies show that Danes rank in the top 3 of the most IT-literate countries in the world. Dealing with computers is no longer just for work and play. One time at which Copenhageners have embraced modern technology is when they are sick. Instead of leaving home when they are ill and perhaps not as mobile, telemedicine can offer patients better and more cost-efficient medical treatment while cutting emissions. Copenhageners, young and old, now talk to their doctor in front of their web camera, and measure their blood pressure, pulse and weight with the data transferred directly to their doctors. Telemedicine not only saves Copenhageners multiple visits to the doctor, research shows that it leads to fewer hospital visits and saves hundreds of tons of carbon.




COPENHAGENERS ARE TRUSTING Twenty-five years ago, a now-famous global study was conducted. Scientists left 1,100 wallets on the streets of 33 countries. Each wallet contained up to $50 in local currency together with the name and address of the wallet’s owner. In every country but two, the money disappeared. In Denmark and Norway, all of the wallets were returned – with the money intact. The study illustrates why Danes are considered among the world’s most trusting people. Danes avoid transaction costs because trust replaces written agreements, and reducing the number of expensive legal cases. Danes also have great trust in their government and are positive towards publicprivate partnerships and triple helix models (see Economy chapter). Trust also makes it is easier for the public sector to marshal agreement for new projects and goals.



COPENHAGENERS LOVE THEIR BIKES Copenhageners are born and raised into a biking culture. As kids, many Copenhageners are carried on a parent’s bike – either in one of the famous Christiania cargobikes or in a children’s seat on the back. A few years later, kids are for the first time set free on their own two wheels – usually in one of the many pocket parks all over town. By the time these young Copenhageners start school, most are confident enough in biking that they bike the short route between home and school each day. This culture explains why more than 50 pct. of Copenhageners commute to work or school by bike. When asked whether they might consider buying a car, many Copenhageners simply reply “What would I need a car for? I’ve always biked everywhere. Biking is a much faster and more convenient way of getting around.” 4 4 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

Bike like a Copenhagener

Smile. Cyclists are more likely to experience enjoyment than bus riders or car drivers.


Insist that your cargo bike can hold your two kids, dog and groceries for an entire week – and prove yourself right.


Secretly pity people driving SUVs around town. A year’s worth of parking fees will easily cost them more than the price of your bike. Not to mention the time spared on searching for vacant parking spots.


Practice a facial expression mixing lenience and slight annoyance for when people step in front of you on the bike lane without looking.


Signal anticipated actions. Point to the right or left if you plan to turn; raise your hand if you plan to stop. If others fail to do the same, apply step 4.


Expect to live longer. Half-hour of daily cycling increases life expectancy by 1-2 years.


Remember to look great. In Copenhagen, cycle chic is always in style. Bikes are no excuse to leave the suit or cocktail dress at home.


Familiarise yourself with cyclist shortcuts: cross the water on bike bridges, cycle both ways on one-way-streets and go right on red.


Make the 2-kilometre trip from the Nørrebro Runddel to Nørreport in 6 minutes flat. Don´t worry, the cycle super-highway and green wave ensures an effortless average speed of 20 kilometres per hour.


Develop a secret crush on your bike. Longing to be close to it will make you want to sit next to it on the train.




VISITING THE COPENHAGEN SMART HOME Imagine coming home and the lights turn on automatically, the temperature is perfect; the washing machine is already done cleaning your clothes, the apartment is full of fresh air and best of all; everything has happened with minimum environmental impact. Retrofitted buildings with new windows, new insulation and modern technology is the reality of the Copenhagen smart home. The smart home not only tracks the consumption of the resident, it also ensures that energy usage is always as efficient as possible, while not forcing people to change their lifestyles. Residents tell their smart home how “green” they want to be, and it will guide them through their options. In many ways, the smart home is an energy butler making homes as energy efficient as possible.

Energy and Heating The building receives its outside energy supply from wind farms off the coast of the city and from second-generation biomass facilities. Heating is supplied through the district heating system, where excess heat from biomass and waste-burning facilities is transported to homes.

Water basin A water basin next to the building collects rainwater for use in toilets and washing machines. An average citizen uses 33 litres each day to flush the toilet and 19 litres for washing clothes. Instead of using pure drinking water for these purposes, a big portion is replaced by the rainwater.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES A shared electric car is parked in front of the apartment building, which is attached to a local charging station integrated into the building. The car is shared by the building’s residents, as is the electric bike pump that makes it easy and convenient for residents to keep their bikes ready for the road.


Windows Windows facing north are thicker and more heavily insulated to keep out the cold while windows facing south are thinner to allow natural heating from the sun. Skylights ensure maximum exploitation of daylight in buildings – following the mantra “daylight instead of light bulbs.”

Green walls, green roofs and even rooftop gardens are a natural part of building design in Copenhagen. The benefits of greening buildings are manifold: added insulation, reduced stormwater runoff, absorption of air pollutants, natural habitat for birds, bees and butterflies, and green recreational spots for Copenhageners.

Smartpanel A Smartpanel just outside the building entrance shows the energy, water and heat consumption of the whole building. This allows for easy tracking of the energy efficiency of an apartment block, and is used for community energy-saving initiatives. For Copenhageners, there is a certain amount of pride in being energy efficient.

Solar colleCtors, AND photovoltaics Rooftop solar panels in Copenhagen are a mix of solar collectors heating water for the buildings and photovoltaic panels providing electricity. During hours of excess demand, solar power is supplemented by wind farms or biomass facilities. Conversely, during times when solar power systems are producing a surplus, electricity is sold back into the grid or heat is stored by modern heat pumps under the building for later usage.

LED lighting LED lighting ensures that the home is consuming minimal energy from lighting. Furthermore, sensors built into lamps in each room control the need for lighting based on: occupancy in the room, type of activity in the room (e.g. reading or watching a movie), and the amount of daylight in the room.



Green roofs

GETTING AROUND City of cyclists Going the distance: Copenhageners combined bike a day, mill. km. 1.5 1.2

Perhaps the biggest thrill you can experience in Copenhagen is joining the hordes of cyclists on Copenhagen’s busiest bike corridor during the morning commute. Thousands of cyclists pass here every day – businessmen in suits, kids in cargo bikes, women in stilettos and couples in love. For Copenhageners, bicycles are the most popular form of transport. Fifty percent of trips in Copenhagen are made by bike – a world record, and part of the reason why Copenhagen achieved carbon neutrality this year.



A young couple riding side-by-side talks intimately while a large group of businessmen pedals past at full speed in the fast lane of the bicycle super highway on Nørrebrogade. The intelligent traffic control system detects the front of the large group of cyclists and switches the light at the upcoming intersection to green.



The environment is not the main reason for the popularity of the bike. For most, it is the transportation of choice simply because it is the fastest and the cheapest way to get around. 48 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

Bicycle trips a year in copenhagen 240.000













Copenhagen has designed the city to make people happy - not cars 49 // GETTING AROUND








The bridge over the inner harbour opened in X and is one of


The bridge over GO the inner THE harbour is one of the RSG AD many bridges in CopenE hagen designed for bicycles and pedestrians only.








Kongens Nytorv

The Royal Danish Playhouse

The Opera The National Film School


h Fr. al






Benefits of getting around Copenhagen by bike

2 3 4 5 6

Increases your quality of life. Cyclists are more likely to experience enjoyment from their rides than do bus passengers or car drivers.

Reduces traffic jams and congestion.

Reduces noise.

Reduces the cost of accidents and wear and tear on infrastructure.

Improves air quality and atmosphere in the city.

Combined – accounting for the total cost of air pollution, accidents, congestion – the city saves 0.06 € for every kilometre travelled by bike instead of by car. 51 // GETTING AROUND



Increases your life expectancy. According to the British Medical Association, a half-hour of cycling daily increases mean life expectancy by 1-2 years.

Tip FOR the business traveller Networks exist for businesses and institutions working with bicycles. Contact: The Cycle Secretariat at the City of Copenhagen at Or the Cycling Embassy of Denmark at

Faster, smarter, safer, further

Copenhageners prefer the bike: Daily commuters going to work and places of education by bike, pct. 50



Dedicated and prolonged efforts have improved the conditions for cyclists in the city. Shortcuts have been created across water and over railroads and squares, enabling bikes to beat cars on several routes. Special “green wave” traffic lights allow cyclists to trigger green lights when travelling at a certain speed. Bikes, unlike cars, are allowed to turn right on red and travel both ways on one-way streets. Extra-wide bicycle tracks have been created – 80 pct. of the most popular bicycle routes have three lanes – so overtaking even cycling couples holding hands is no trouble. Because of these efforts, the average travel time for cyclists has been reduced by 15 pct. since 2010. Bicycle tracks are kept in good condition, people feel safe on bikes, and accidents have been reduced by 70 pct. in the past 20 years. Only 10-15 years ago, cycling to work was reserved for those fortunate to live close to the office. Today, bike rides of 10-20 kilometres are not just for athletes. A combination of electrically assisted bikes and bicycle highways has extended what is possible for two-wheeled commuters.



Over the past 20 years, Copenhagen has topped the rankings when it comes to livability. All of the surveys cite the city´s bike culture as one of the reasons. For Copenhageners, the road to improved quality of life is best travelled on a low-cost, healthy, safe transportation alternative that provides easy parking and offers fast and direct transportation from A to B.



Bikes are Convenient + Safe + Easy to park + Low cost + Low noise + Better for your health = Giving you a higher quality of life

Getting around – e-mobility

Remember to look both ways when stepping out from curbs toward the street in Copenhagen. Electric cars are surprisingly quiet and are increasingly part of the vehicle fleet in the city. Electric vehicles – or EVs – make life in the city more livable and sustainable. Fewer Copenhageners experience noise- and pollution-related health problems, and the cars function as a giant battery for renewable energy in the city. Around 10 pct. of the private vehicle fleet in Copenhagen is electric, hybrids or running on biofuels or hydrogen. For the City of Copenhagen fleet, the figure is 85 pct. Large vehicles such as garbage trucks are increasingly running on anything but diesel.


Copenhagen Clean Cab: One way to experience the sound of silence while getting around in Copenhagen is to hail one of the city’s many EV taxis. Notice the energyefficient behaviour of the drivers – as eco-driving courses are mandatory.

Several factors explain the popularity of these cars. Green cars were exempt from the hefty Danish car tax, and free parking existed for electric vehicles when they first appeared. Today, taxes on cars are linked to the level of pollution. All municipal tendering and procurement have fossil-free transportation demands. City zones for green cars only are established. Equally important, the range of most EVs is 300 kilometres – far more than the average daily commute. The fleet of electric vehicles in Copenhagen functions as a giant distributed battery allowing the city to make the most of the renewable energy. Most electric cars are charged at night, when wind turbines often generate surplus power. Energy is retrieved from the batteries during peak-demand hours to meet the daytime power needs of Copenhagen. (See Shopping chapter) 54 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

A Danish fairytale Princess Evie and the Knight of Wind GETTING AROUND

Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Denmark, the Knight of Wind was loved by the people as he would often help them cook their food and wash their clothes. But on stormy nights – when he wanted to help the most – no one needed him and no bed existed in which the Knight of Wind could rest. This left him exhausted by the next morning, when the people needed him once again. So the people were forced to burn oil – even though they had very little of it left – to cook and wash their clothes. Then, one stormy night, a princess arrived; a princess by the name of Evie. That night, the Knight of Wind was once again weary and looking for a place to rest. When the fair princess saw this, she offered him a large battery on which he could sleep. The next morning, the knight had slept well and was full of energy. All day and every day thereafter, he would help the people wash their clothes, cook their food and drive their cars. And Princess Evie and the Knight of Wind lived happily ever after.



Most car owners charge their EVs at home, but due to a national action plan for EV infrastructure, you can also charge at stations throughout Copenhagen. Most hotels and some car parks also feature charging stations.

A vacation destination – for your ears, heart and lungs Today, because of the popularity of e-mobility, bicycles, public transportation and ambitious environmental policies – such as environmental zones – Copenhagen enjoys reduced traffic noise and pollution. However, only 20 years ago, a two-hour bicycle ride during rush hour in Copenhagen, could be detected in your blood. Particles from traffic and woodstoves accounted for hundreds of premature deaths each year in the city. In fact, more people died because of air pollution than in road accidents. Today, fewer people suffer from health problems such as hearing loss, lung cancer, asthma, stress, heart disease and sleep disruption caused by pollution. 56 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

Getting Around – by public transportation

Number of passengers travelling on the metro per year, millions 130

52 34




Buses arrive on time and at frequent intervals, transfer stations are easy to navigate, and an integrated ticket system allows you to transfer between Metro, train and bus – on land and water. All stations feature intelligent information systems – offering riders transit and real-time arrival information for easy use of different modes of transit. Stops are easily recognizable, featuring the same red and white symbol – for the Metro, trains or buses. Notice how the Metro stations are designed to allow natural light to shine below ground – creating a pleasant, well-lit setting and achieving energy and maintenance savings. Besides allowing hassle-free transportation, the transit system is also cited as a reason for Copenhagen’s impressive air quality. A large share of the buses in the city run on alternative fuels such as electricity or biofuels. These efforts have reduced the carbon emissions of the bus service in the city by 70 pct. in the last 15 years.

Tip for the traveller – BIKE ON BOARD We recommend that you experience Copenhagen by bike, which can easily be combined with public transport. Bring your bike onboard trains for free. In especially designed bicycle compartments, you will find bicycle pumps to inflate your tires. The City of Copenhagen works continuously to improve the bike-public transportation connection as an attractive alternative to cars.



Don’t bother hailing a cab when you arrive at Copenhagen Airport. The Metro will take you to the heart of the city in 14 minutes. Use this time to get acquainted with the extensive public transit system in Copenhagen.

Quality – above and below When planning and designing larger infrastructure projects in the Capital, there is a great opportunity to use the project to enhance neighbourhoods at the same time. Therefore citizen involvement is encouraged. In order to increase the quality of the area above the metro stations, locals were involved in the design of the cityscape.

The metro stations in Copenhagen, are designed to ensure maximum usage of daylight. Furthermore, they are designed to blend in well with the surroundings. Here we see the Metro station at City Hall Square.


The CITY ring


Nørrebros Runddel Østerbro Frederiksberg



Kgs. Nytorv

Enghave Plads

Airport Vest Amager

Meet the Copenhagener Name: Oliver Bech


Age: 40. Occupation: Bus driver

Do you have a green job? I actually never considered whether my job is green or not, but it is green– very green. I’m a bus driver in the city driving a bus that runs 100 pct. on electricity, there is no exhaust, no particles polluting the air and no gasoline consumption. The amount of traffic in the city centre has been steadily declining over the past 10 years; there are almost no large trucks left here – my job has never been easier. When my day is over, the bus is hooked up to the city electric grid, feeding it with energy from the wind turbines off the coast of Copenhagen – I guess I truly have a true zero-emission job! The best part is that the more efficiently I drive, the larger is my bonus.



The Metro City Ring (the blue line) opened in 2018 and knits the capital even closer together. Getting from Østerbro (Trianglen) to the Generation Z stronghold at Vesterbro (Enghave Plads) is a 10-minute ride. From Vesterbro, you can get to vibrant Nørrebro (Nørrebros Runddel) in 6 minutes. Right next to the Metro, you’ll find Hans Christian Andersen’s final resting place at Assistens Cemetery.



Bike lanes in Copenhagen, km 482 369 240


2010 2025

THE GREEN AND BLUE COPENHAGEN A unique attribute of Copenhagen is how the city has successfully managed to create an urban environment that combines functional, sustainable and wonderful. During the past 15 years, targeted investments in a greener and better urban landscape have helped develop a city that not only is green, but also enhances the quality of life of its citizens. When visiting the city during spring, it becomes obvious that for Copenhageners spending time outside equals the good life. Notice how, as soon as daytime temperatures pass 10 degrees Celsius, parks, sidewalk cafes and city squares are richly populated by Copenhageners enjoying 60 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025


the sunshine and making up for the winter’s lack of vitamin D. To accommodate this need to get outdoors, the city offers Copenhageners a multitude of recreational areas to choose from. Since 2015, Copenhagen has vowed to ensure that at least 90 pct. of its residents can reach a recreational area on foot in less than 15 minutes. Today, small parks known as pocket parks, harbour baths and green roofs can be found all over town offering a diverse variety of recreational experiences for Copenhageners and visitors alike. Dive into the urban environment of Green and Blue Copenhagen. 61 // ENVIRONMENT


Green areas in Copenhagen: Copenhageners that live within 15 min walking distance of a public park, pct. 90



With a population that has increased by more than a 100,000 during the past 15 years, Copenhagen doesn’t offer much room to create new big parks and recreational areas. Therefore, two new phenomena, inspired by cities such as New York and Zürich, emerged in the city: green roofs and pocket parks. A pocket park is a small urban green spot usually located adjacent to surrounding streets. It is a spot where Copenhageners meet, drink a take-away coffee, play sports, or simply just take a break from the fast-paced city life. Each of the 14 pocket parks in Copenhagen has distinct characteristics – ranging from green and flowery gardens to a parkour playground for urban youngsters. The common denominator for the parks is that they were transformed from unused urban spaces to green spots bringing together Copenhageners. They are great places to kick back and watch the Copenhagen way of life.



Besides the 14 pocket parks, Copenhagen has a number of green bicycle routes enabling Copenhageners to easily reach recreational areas.

Pocket park Green bicycle route

Poul Henningsens plads


Glente plads Odinsgade

Hillerødgade Vanløse skole


Tove Ditlevsens plads

Dantes plads Reventlowsgade


Litauens plads

Cirklen Ved siloerne



Besides pocket parks, Copenhagen has sought to improve the conditions of existing urban squares, turning them into recreational spots. Israel’s Square, in downtown Copenhagen, for instance, was once a worn-out square. Today it flourishes, with Copenhageners enjoying sports facilities, and it completes the corridor between Ă˜rsted Park and the Botanical Garden.




Copenhagen and the Urban Heat Island effect – INSIDE TIP FOR URBAN PLANNERS The urban heat island effect is a phenomenon that occurs when black roofs and grey pavement absorb and then release heat that raises the ambient temperature in the immediate area. In 2003, research conducted in London showed temperature differences of up to 10 degrees Celcius between rural and urban areas due to the urban “heat island” effect. Despite only occurring seldom in Denmark, these extra degrees result in overheated buildings and exacerbate summer heat waves, making homes, workplaces and public transport uncomfortable. Furthermore, increased temperatures have a significant impact on the health of citizens – especially the elderly. Lastly, higher temperatures raise the demand for artificial, energy-consuming cooling such as air-conditioning. In Copenhagen, several solutions have been implemented which amongst other things help minimizing the urban heat island effect: Green roof gardens on the buildings of Copenhagen have significantly lowered the heat storing capacity of buildings in the city as excess heat is vaporized by water in the plants. Leaves on trees and plants absorb heat from the sun by vaporizing some of the water they contain during the summer. Copenhagen’s many trees and green walls contribute to keeping temperatures down 66 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

The more plentiful green areas in Copenhagen help keep temperatures down in summers with heat waves. Green open areas generally have lower temperatures and higher humidity than paved parts of the city. And if parks are elevated compared to the surroundings, cooler air from the parks will during night time “tumble” downhill into surrounding neighbourhoods, pushing hot air upwards – nature’s own air-conditioning.

– GREEN OVER GREY Historically, Copenhagen has been a city of green roofs. Many of the official historic buildings – Parliament, the Stock Exchange and churches – were built with copper roofs, which due to patina, turned green over time. However, the green roofs of “modern” Copenhagen tell a very different story. As the population grew and density increased, new ways of bringing ”green” into the city had to be found – a vision of green over grey was born. The first green roof gardens were built 15 years ago, when it was decided that all new buildings with flat roofs should have gardens. Since then, many have followed. When looking at Copenhagen from above today, you can spot hundreds of small rooftop gardens all over town. Being a city in the north, Copenhagen experiences its fair share of heavy showers and snow storms. Green roofs do not just make the city look pretty, they provide several advantages. They collect precipitation, minimize the urban “heat island” effect and extend the life of the roof significantly, as plants and dirt protect against UV radiation, wind and water. 67 // ENVIRONMENT


Copenhagen roof gardens

The Urban Green Corridor Although many rooftop parks are private, some of the most interesting ones are open to the public. One worth visiting is the Urban Green Corridor at Kalvebod Brygge. Stretching across the roofs of The National Archives, a bank headquarters and a 4-star hotel, this flowery corridor for pedestrians and cyclists is a green short-cut, providing Copenhageners with an alternative to the car-filled streets. The Urban Green Corridor was a forerunner within the green-over-grey vision, inspired by the High Line in New York, and shows how to optimize the usage of urban space in a busy metropolis.

Bees in the city When walking around Copenhagen, you might spot bees flying from roof to roof cross-pollinating garden flowers. This used to be a rare sight in Copenhagen, but the green roofs have provided habitat for more insects, bees among them. There are even examples of apartment co-ops hosting beehives and harvesting the delicious Copenhagen Honey. 68 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

THE BLUE COPENHAGEN PROMENADES AND HARBOUR SWIMMING Previously, the Copenhagen harbourfront was dominated by commercial districts that divided the city between the “mainland” and the island of Amager. Today, this area has been revitalized with green promenades, harbour swimming pools and cafés that bring Copenhageners living on both sides of the water together.

The harbour in Copenhagen wasn’t always clean. At one time, it was considered a health hazard to go for a swim in it. Like many other big cities around the world, the harbour functioned as a back up when sewers flooded. More than 100 overflow channels fed wastewater into the harbour. The key to revitalizing the harbour was closing the overflow channels and constructing underground delay pools capable of easing the pressure on the sewage system during heavy rains. Feel like cooling off on hot summer days? Look for the lollipopcoloured towers along the harbour marking a public swimming pool, and feel free to take a swim in the clean Copenhagen waters. The swimming pool on Islands Brygge was the first of these and opened in 2002.



The first Copenhagen harbour swimming pool opened in 2002 at Islands Brygge. It quickly became a huge success. Visit on a hot summer day and you will find families, students and businessmen alike enjoying the promenade and the water – enjoying the best of the green and the blue Copenhagen.


Swimming possibilities


Harbour swimming pool Urban beach

Winter swimming facility



5 blue hot spots of Copenhagen Today, you can walk down Copenhagen Harbour along promenades stretching all the way from the Valby Beach in the south to UN City in the north. Several public harbour pool areas offer you a place to cool down in the water, or enjoy a coffee at shore. 70 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025



Kalvebod Wave is located just across from the popular Islands Brygge neighbourhood, and is a wave-shaped pier. Here, kayak-loving Copenhageners and visitors can rent kayaks to tour the canals of Copenhagen, or enjoy cultural activities at the new theatre scene established adjacent to the wave.

Valby Beach This recently established beach marks the southern tip of the Copenhagen Harbour area. Make sure you visit in late July when the annual “Green Concert” takes place. The musical event attracts thousands of Copenhageners who swim at the beach during the day and listen to rock concerts in the adjacent Valby Park at night.

Nordhavn harbour swimming pool Nordhavn is one of the city districts, and a place where you can experience the lifestyle of Copenhagen families. The local harbour swimming pool here is definitely worth a visit. It has been built to resemble Swedish skerries, and is made up of large pieces of rock placed in the water.

4 5

Trekroner fortress This old military installation used to be part of Copenhagen’s defence towards the sea. Today, a newly established beach lets you go for a swim, and on a clear day you can spot the Swedish coast on the horizon. Grab one of the harbour buses, and bring nothing but a towel and your swim trunks and visit this new Copenhagen hot spot.

The floating swimming pool When walking along the harbourfront, you might come across a large, strange floating device. This is the new floating swimming pool, which moves from place to place during the summer. A day spent in this swimming pool can take you past various sights, and let you see Copenhagen from the seaside while cooling off in the pool.




Kalvebod Wave

5 Characteristics of the green and blue Copenhagen 1 2 3 4 5

The city adapts to the climate. In Copenhagen, climate change has resulted in more extreme weather. Intense summer heat waves and occasional heavy rains flood city sewers, streets and basements. Pocket parks and green roofs adapts the city to this new climate, as parks cool down the city, and green roofs collect as much as 60 pct. of the yearly precipitation. The city has healthy and productive citizens. The availability of recreational opportunities affects how inhabitants of a city function. Research shows that a lack of recreational spaces has a lasting detrimental effect on people, weakening their active participation in society, their productivity at work and their health. The city creates local economic growth. Real estate values of housing close to parks and harbour swimming pools have increased significantly compared to other areas, adding value for local residents. Furthermore, the activity generated by recreational areas creates a foundation for local businesses such as cafés, restaurants, and bars that did not exist before.. The city creates quality of life. Aristotle once said: “A city exists for the sake of a good life – not for the sake of life only.” It shouldn’t be overlooked that recreational areas have a significant impact on the liveability of a city and on the quality of life for its inhabitants. The city is aesthetic. With rooftop gardens and pocket parks all over town, Copenhagen shows off a new and interesting look. Dominated by grey and black surfaces before, the city is now a pallet of green natural colours, changing form and expression along with the seasons. 72 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

Meet the Copenhagener Name: Storm Anker


Age: 24. Occupation: Carpenter apprentice

When I was younger and still lived with my parents, I would usually go play basketball with my friends in the Stengade pocket park; it has a great basketball court, and is the place where all the local kids meet. And it was where I had my first kiss.

Practical information: Never worry about dirty water A regional water treatment company owned by eight municipalities around Copenhagen makes sure that you can always jump in the harbour and enjoy clean water. Wastewater is cleaned and can be safely disposed into the sea. The sludge is incinerated, creating energy that is fed into the district heating system to keep you and the people around Copenhagen warm.



What is your favourite spot in Copenhagen? It depends on what I am in the mood for. When I need to get out of my dorm and just want to relax and read a book, I enjoy spending time in the shared rooftop garden of my parents’ building, close by the lakes. Here I can lie on the grass and listen to the quiet humming coming from the city below or the bees flying from roof to roof. But, when I hang out with friends during the summer, we usually grab a water bus and go to Trekroner Fortress with our portable barbeques. The new beach there is amazing and the historic surroundings create a cool atmosphere for relaxing and enjoying the summer vacation. We usually stick around until late evening, when the last boat departs.

HISTORY Today, Copenhagen is famous for being the world’s first carbon-neutral capital. However, Copenhagen did not evolve to be carbon neutral overnight. In fact, the political, technical and cultural building blocks that combined make the Copenhagen we see today, were the result of more than a century of visionary politicians, persistent citizens and innovative businesses. The City of Copenhagen, citizens and local businesses have, over the past century, taken important steps towards creating an environmentally friendly city that fosters economic growth and a high quality of life for its citizens. Wind turbines, district cooling, the smart grid, biking strategies, carbon neutral buildings, public harbour swimming pools and pocket parks are only part of the story behind the Copenhagen of today. 74 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025



Historic timeline of carbon neutral Copenhagen

1947 1910 The first bike lane is established in Copenhagen as the bridle paths paved with loose stones along the lakes are opened up to cyclists.

1863 The first public transportation option is unveiled in Copenhagen. The horse tram carried 20 passengers at a time from Sankt Annæ Plads to Frederiksberg Runddel.

The plan for Copenhagen’s urban development, “The Finger Plan,” is developed. It emphasises green wedges of recreational areas for Copenhageners to enjoy in between the “fingers” of urbanization.

1992 Wind turbines are raised in the waters just off the easternmost part of Copenhagen harbour, supplying 900 households with clean energy.

1976 1925 The first steps towards a centralised district heating system in Copenhagen are taken.

The first Wastewater Management Plan is formulated. The plan is the first step towards the revitalisation of the Copenhagen harbour and diminishes the health hazards of sewage.


2006 2001 The world’s most efficient Combined Heat and Power plant is built, warming houses in the city with excess heat from power production.

2002 The first public harbour swimming pool is opened, officially marking the revitalisation of the harbour.

2002 1995 “Bycyklen” (The City Bike) is introduced. It is the world’s first large-scale urban bikesharing programme.

The first phase of the Copenhagen Metro is opened with the inauguration of 11 stations.

“Bryggebroen”, a bridge solely for pedestrians and bicyclists spanning the harbour in Copenhagen, opens – it creates a new shortcut for cyclists over the harbour.

2008 “The Environmental Zone” is launched. It prohibits dieselfuelled vehicles without particle filters from entering the city. Previously, it was estimated that particle pollution caused hundreds of premature deaths annually in Copenhagen.



2011 2010

2009 A unanimous City Council signs the “Copenhagen Climate Plan,” putting forth ambitions of a carbon neutral Copenhagen in 2025.

2009 100 pct. electric-powered buses become part of the public transportation system in Copenhagen.


Copenhagen opens its first district cooling system, making it possible to cool office buildings in the summer using sea water..

2011 The first discussions on solutions for traffic congestion in Copenhagen commences.

Copenhagen experienced the worst floodsin for more than 50 years leaving large parts of the city kneedeep in water for days – this increased the awareness and focus of climate adaption amongst politicians and citizens

2012 “Project Clean Cab” is launched, introducing the city’s first taxis running on 100 pct. electricity.

2050 Denmark becomes independent of fossil fuels.

2025 Copenhagen becomes the first carbon-neutral capital in the world.

2015 Fourteen new pocket parks are opened to the public, making the city greener than ever.

2025 Half of all Copenhageners now commute to work and places of education by bike.

2016 The first inhabitants move into the new Carlsberg district – the first carbon neutral part of Copenhagen, with more than 3,000 homes and green areas for residents.


2018 The Metro City Ring opens, making it more convenient than ever to commute via public transit.

CITIES THAT INSPIRED COPENHAGEn Hamburg Instead of expanding the city into its periphery, it is moving into the unused old inner city area of the port. Creating a new vibrant area and helping to reach the city’s climate targets.

London Establishment of thousands of vegetable gardens on rooftops and in community gardens.

Portland Active citizen engagement helped Portland to focus on meaningful public transportation.

New York city The High Line is an old railway converted into attractive park promenade.

CURITIBA People centered urban design, environmental management and integrated solutions.


Beijing 4,000 outdoor gyms providing free exercise opportunities.

Songpa Sønderborg

Engaging citizens via the “Green Songpa” website with tips for energyreducing behavior.

Although small, it is the first city in a public-private partnership that works to combine growth and climate change and achieve carbon neutrality.

Singapore Abundant parks and gardens.

Melbourne The world’s most livable city – a success story in stopping urban sprawl and instead using the urban spaces better, building on top of existing buildings in a well-known and comfortable scale.

Masdar City First city with net-zero carbon emission. Cars are banned. 80 pct. of water is recycled.


The Circle Bridge, resembling ship masts, is a kind reference to the maritime history of Christianshavn. The bridge in the inner harbour connects new architectural buildings with the old warehouses across and works for both cyclists and pedestrians but can swing to the side and make way for ships needing to go through.



BUMPS ON THE ROAD TO COPENHAGEN 2025 Designing a city for an extra 100,000 people in 2025, and still reaching ambitious climate targets was not always easy. Here are two of the bumps on the road to Copenhagen 2025. Both turned out to become great learning experiences for the city in how to plan and structure the Copenhagen we see today.


Combating congestion In 2011, the proposal for a congestion ring around Copenhagen was shot down. As in the cities that have successfully introduced a congestion ring, the public discussion in Copenhagen focused on the upfront cost of the ring instead of its socio-economic benefits. Second, the issue was used as a tool to oppose to the newly elected national government. New strategy and communication efforts shed more light on the benefits of the congestion ring and were inspired by the solutions in other capitals. When ready, Copenhagen will be able to introduce the best possible solution to limit the amount of traffic in and out of the city.

The ambitious plan for developing this part of the city was to turn Copenhagen away from low houses and close density and towards remarkable architectural icons and new apartment buildings clustered along a new Metro line. The results were indeed iconic buildings, but also wind corridors, big empty spaces between the buildings, and a dearth of local retail and grocery stores. What went wrong, some say, is that life was built out of the buildings. Large closed surfaces, and the big empty spaces, made the area seem deserted. The lesson learned: Design your city like you would your living room, with close proximity to everything you need, comfort and small scales. The new neighborhoods of Nordhavn and Carlsberg are filled with small recreational spaces, shops, and the focus has been to create life before iconic buildings. (See more in the Architecture chapter).




ECONOMY The green tiger Copenhagen boasts one of the world’s best business environments. It is easy to establish a business, interact with public services, corporate taxation is low and a highly educated workforce exists. But perhaps the most interesting part of the economy – and the core reason for its prosperity – is the link between business and sustainability. The city is a frontrunner when it comes to understanding sustainability as an opportunity to develop new sources of growth rather than as a constraint. Therefore, global economic trends have enormous positive impact on the economy and businesses of the city. The resource crisis and the 8 billion people now inhabiting the planet have fuelled skyrocketing prices of energy, materials and commodities. Because of these global trends, and due to encouraging framework conditions, the Copenhagen economy is in full bloom. Green business continues to be an important growth engine for Copenhagen. This is the main reason why the city has experienced 5 pct. economic growth annually in the past decade.


World population 8,012

Estimates in million

7,675 7,302 6,909

6,512 6,115







World Energy Consumption Quadrillion British thermal units (Btu)

671 619 ECONOMY

573 505








Mainstreaming sustainability – an economy beyond green In the first decade of the century, the green sector in Copenhagen had soared. Turnover and export generated in the sector experienced double-digit growth – even through the great recession of the early 2010s. Today, however, the green sector has lost its special status. No one talks of the “sustainable economy” anymore. No one mentions “green jobs.” Now it´s just “jobs and economy” – and of course both are sustainable. In recent years, green has been mainstreamed into every corner of the economy – into the business plan of every entrepreneur, into the shopping cart of every consumer and into the strategy of every company, institution and organisation in Copenhagen. Today, there is not a green economy and a brown economy. Today, there is just the economy. And it is booming.


A sustainable economy Sustainability in general and resource efficiency in particular make businesses in Copenhagen – and the city itself – highly competitive. In the past 10-15 years, Copenhagen has:

Reduced the consumption of electricity and heat by 30 pct. and 20 pct. respectively compared to 2010.


Ensured that 50 pct. of all trips to work and study in Copenhagen are made on bikes, keeping transportation costs down and improving public health, with fewer sick days in return.


Installed 360 MW of wind power, which supplies cheap electricity at night to the city’s vehicle fleet.


Monitored and reduced energy consumption via smart technologies.


Constructed a smart and flexible energy system that reduces losses and hedges against expensive peak demand by integrating energy storage from the district heating system.


Constructed a new combined heat and power plant running on cheap biomass.


Developed a concept whereby plumbers, electricians and contractors act as free energy consultants to small businesses.


Ensured a low total cost of ownership for new buildings, and invested in smart solutions during the construction phase to keep annual costs down.


Changed taxation of low-energy buildings. Now net area instead of gross area is taxed, creating incentives for increased insulation.



Educated all employees in climate-conscious behaviour such as ecodriving.



Three is a welcomed crowd ACADEMIA

– The Danish windmill adventure



An important chapter in the history of the green economy in Denmark has been the Danish Wind Turbine Adventure, bringing with it thousands of jobs. The adventure was made possible by the triple-helix model – a model for cooperation between academia, industry and the state. Beginning in the late 1970s, the Danish government financially supported energy providers in developing and testing bigger and better wind turbines. The goal of the triple-helix model is to create the synergies needed to ensure sustainable economic growth based on technology and innovation. An important cultural trait crucial to making the triple-helix model function efficiently in Denmark, however, is trust (read more about trust in the People and Culture chapter). A high level of trust makes knowledge sharing easier, and is essential in creating an environment fostering innovation in the business community and academia. This triple-helix model, and the knowledge sharing it has brought with it, has been claimed to be one of the main reasons why Denmark is, today, the world leader in sustainable solutions. 86 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

COPENHAGEN 2010-2025 2.500.000



Carbon emission in tons from the city



Percentage of citizens going to work on bikes




MW electric capacity from windmills

*2015 figure


Percentage of Copenhageners living within min walk of a public park


Percentage of young Copenhageners who complete a secondary education



Thousands of people living in the city



*2015 figure

Percentage of food served in public institutions which is organic





Kilometres of bike lane in Copenhagen

10 Economic hotspots

1 CO2


Green City Exports Copenhagen is carbon neutral. This stimulates the export of solutions within energy production, energy efficiency, waste management, district heating and cooling, and sustainable urban planning to cities around the world.

Home grown energy Web-based tools for identifying suitable rooftops for solar panels spur private installations in Copenhagen. Many companies and cooperatives (Copenhagen was also a firstmover with wind turbine cooperatives) are also solar energy producers. Residents and companies responded to the city’s successful attempt to alter the framework conditions for solar. See Shopping chapter.


E-mobility Close to 15 pct. of cars on the road in Copenhagen do not run on fossil fuels. For small vehicles owned by the municipality, the share is 95 pct. The rise of e-mobility is closely linked to investments in infrastructure for these cars.



Urban farming


Upcycling and Urban Mining

Green roofs in the city allow residents to grow their own vegetables. Many families and day-care centres take advantage of the rooftop gardens to teach children about food production. The green roofs were originally implemented under the adaption plan, as the plants absorb rainwater and shelter buildings from extreme temperatures, but for many Copenhageners they have become a favourite pastime. And sources of pride, too, as the yearly competition for the biggest vegetables and most beautiful gardens testify



Shared-use Copenhagen was an early mover in shared transportation. The city bike – a shared fleet of bikes – was introduced 30 years ago, in 1995. At that time, cars were used inefficiently. They used to sit idle 80 pct. of the time and occupied streets and areas now used for parks. Shared cars paved the way for shared business models for other products Copenhageners seldom use such as gardening and home improvement tools and suitcases.


The practice of converting waste materials into products of greater value has a long tradition in Copenhagen. Early on, the REnescience facility at AmagerforbrĂŚndingen sorted and secured valuable components from the waste generated in the city. Today, several companies are recycling valuable metals and materials from old products and have re-imagined and redefined the concept of waste.


Sights on bikes – bicycle tourism The “I bike Copenhagen” is as iconic and beloved as the “I heart NY” – and with good reason. Tourists flock to the Danish capital to experience sights on bikes. Today, 50 pct. of Copenhagen residents cycle to work, and an increasing share of tourists choose Copenhagen as their destination because of the bicycle culture. See Getting Around chapter.





Copenhagen is frequently called the world’s best city to live in, and is praised for the quality of life. The smart city design facilitates a harmonised and advanced lifestyle. Architects, urban planners and companies are working towards bottling this “copenhagenism� through the intelligent sustainable design of products, buildings and cities.

Smart Grid The smart grid enables information and energy to run both ways between consumers and energy companies. Washing machines start automatically at night, when energy prices are low. Electric cars are programmed to sell energy if energy prices are high and the battery has sufficient energy to spare. The strategies reduce energy use at times of peak demand and overall.

Smart City It is not only the power grid that has become smart. The entire city is becoming smarter for the convenience of its citizens. Buildings, roads and even waste disposal systems are intelligent and make the lives of Copenhageners easier and more resource efficient.



Quality of life

SHOPPING If you are looking for a souvenir – forget about Little Mermaid figurines – bring back a wind turbine. Copenhagen is carbon neutral, and Denmark is en route to becoming independent of fossil fuels by 2050. What better way to purchase a little bit of Copenhagen than a turbine? In one of the first wind cooperatives in Copenhagen, 8,650 locals bought individual shares for $809, which represented the production of 1,000 kilowatt-hours per year – increasing public support for the project. The City of Copenhagen made a profit from the sale of its first successful wind farm, and revenue has been channelled back into city projects. 360 Megawatts of wind power have been installed, and at least 20 pct. of the production is sold to wind turbine cooperatives, where locals buy shares. For large investors, such as pension funds, green energy infrastructure is an attractive asset in an era of volatile markets, as wind farms have a very appealing risk-return profile. However, the secret to Copenhagen´s success in becoming carbon neutral is right below you. The Copenhagen energy system has been an integrated and smart system for years. The system combines the production of heat and power, using all available types of technologies and fuels: waste, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, district heating and cooling. The smart system can handle this diversified selection of renewable energy sources, and even store and exchange power and heat. 92 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025



Tip FOR the business traveller – Energy Saving Companies and Energy Finance Consultants Copenhagen has plenty of businesses that help companies achieve energy savings. In some partnerships, a portion of the savings is used to develop renewable energy projects, by, for example, pledging to buy blocks of power production from a wind farm. While in Copenhagen, you will also notice much construction and retrofitting under way. The reason for this is a new business and finance model for low-energy buildings. The business model removes risk by guaranteeing the building owner defined energy savings. Eliminating that risk makes investments in energy savings more calculable and attractive, and easier to finance .

Power from the people As mentioned, the Copenhagen energy system is the main reason why the city has been able to reach its zero-carbon target. However, Copenhageners take pride in fighting carbon. Copenhageners are not just CONsumers anymore – they have become PROsumers. A PROsumer is a resident who not only consumes energy, but also produces it via local technical solutions. Many homeowners and apartment co-ops have solar panels installed on rooftops, and are small-time energy tycoons. The smart grid allows them to sell energy to the grid when they have excess production or energy prices are high. Also, if you walk into any apartment building in Copenhagen you will notice on some doors the green electron label. These apartments purchase green energy from their energy provider. The price is slightly higher than conventional energy – but part of the deal is an unburdened conscience and the prestigious green electron label that Copenhageners love to flash. A power brand in every sense. Also, Copenhageners are doing their best to avoid consumption – because when it comes to power shopping – less is more. 94 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

Second hand – hot deals Ever noticed how kitchens are usually a warm place? Cooking generates a lot of excess heat. Making Danish meatballs will not only keep the wolf from the door, it also warms your kitchen. The same goes for power. In order to produce electricity for your television, waste or straw is burned at the power plant. This process yields a valuable byproduct: heat. In conventional power generation, the heat is wasted, but in Copenhagen 98 pct. of homes is heated by this second-hand product. The combined heat and power system provides low-cost, low-carbon heat. Besides being a more environmentally friendly solution, district heating is cheaper and more hassle-free for the end-user compared to individual heat sources. However, it is not just district heating that makes the energy system worth looking at – it is the system itself. SHOPPING

Bulk buying – Tip for shopaholics Single technologies are great but not always sufficient to meet the massive challenge of large-scale projects – such as building entirely new, energy-efficient cities. Are you in the market for collective solutions – systems already working? Then check out the one-stop shop at the Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster where you can get an overview of all the initiatives, knowledge and possible partners in the area. Visit



Solar Panels Solar panels generate electricity and also shade rooftops to lower buildings’ need for cooling in the summer. Larger solar farms are installed outside the city to harvest power from the unlimited potential of the sun.

Sunlight heats up liquid inside a collector, which is then circulated to a boiler heating up water. Some solar collectors can heat up the liquid to temperatures as high as 100 degrees Celsius.

Heat storage

GeotHermal ENERGY

Nordhavn holds one of the world biggest heat storages. Working as a gigantic thermos, the former dry dock can hold up to 300,000 cubic meters of hot water. The storage is an integrated part of the heat and power production in the city. The water is kept warm until the Copenhageners demand hot showers in the morning - avoiding the expensive peaks in demand.

Energy is extracted from the core of the Earth by drilling down to the hot rocks underneath the surface. By injecting water into to the drilled well, hot water can be extracted and turned into electricity through a turbine above ground.

District Cooling District cooling is a system where water is chilled – partly by cold water from the sea – and distributed via insulated pipelines underground to cool commercial and industrial buildings in central Copenhagen. The system reduces electricity bills and strain on the environment.


Smart Grid The smart grid connects various energy sources into one system, to make better use of fluctuating energy sources like wind. The grid is able to handle a two-way-flow of electricity, meaning that citizens are not only able to consume energy, but also to produce energy and sell it back to the grid.

COMBINED HEAT AND POWER PLANT District heating exploits surplus heat from electricity production and distributes it to Copenhagen homes through large pipes. Today more than 98 pct. of the heat demand in Copenhagen is covered by district heating. The system can make use of various renewable sources biomass, geothermal and solar and send it into the system.

Waste to energy Collected household waste is separated and turned into energy. Excess heat from incinerated waste is sent into the district heating system.

International perspective The grid is connected to other countries. Excess energy is sold internationally when the demand is met in Denmark so wind energy doesn’t go to waste.


(This illustration is inspired by: Scientific American, September 2011)

Off shore wind Wind turbines installed off the costs of the city provide electricity to the Copenhageners. These wind farms are sold as cooperatives to the locals increasing public support and creating revenue for the city.


Copenhagerner’s organic food consumption, pct. 20 16




The Heat and Power Exchange

The heat and power exchange is a key part of the smart energy system in Copenhagen. What makes the system smart is its ability to handle both stable and fluctuating sources of energy. The system combines the strengths of different solutions, allowing for clean but fluctuating wind to be backed up by more dispatchable sources of energy that in turn create balance and resilience. Copenhagen is continuously working to optimize the interplay between wind, geothermal energy, biomass, combined heat and power plants, and district heating. The system enables renewable energy such as wind power to be stored as heat. Also, electric vehicles function in particular at night as energy storage. When electric vehicles are plugged in to charge the batteries, they relieve the energy system of surplus production from wind power. Alternatively – and this is the really smart point – the grid may shortly cut off charging or even ‘borrow’ energy from the batteries if there is too little energy in the grid. A seamless energy mobility system.



Sustainable Shopping The current resource crisis have spurred the need to redesign the way we live, work, travel, produce and consume. Here are some items to add to your sustainable shopping list while in Copenhagen.

Eco design (Ecouture)



The Danes are famous for their design. And, to Danes, design is more than mere aesthetics. Design is about making life easier, better and more sustainable. Copenhagen designers understand that less is more; acknowledge that you may own a product, but only borrow the materials it consists of; and respect that natural resources are something you hold and look after for the next generation.

In the mood for some

light shopping?

Waste recycling: Waste not recycled and thus sent to landfill, pct. 40

15 pct. of your electricity bill goes to lighting. But why buy what you can get for free? When browsing in Copenhagen, notice how new houses and offices are designed to harvest daylight, reducing the need to purchase artificial light. Daylight has a better “light quality” than electric lighting, and is linked to increased productivity, learning capacity and well-being. Being a northern city, you will find bargains on daylight during summer – whereas sunlight on sale during winter can be hard to come by.

Tax free shopping – not just an airport thing

2 1988


For decades, Denmark has integrated environmental considerations into its tax system, for a wide range of products and services. For a long period, green cars were exempt from the 180 pct. car tax. Today, polluting cars are still taxed more heavily than green cars. Because of Denmark’s green tax reforms, consumers have demanded cleaner products, and industry has invested in materials and processes with less environmental impact. Denmark is considering lowering the VAT on fruits and vegetables that are local and in season. 100 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

Bio based beauty products In Copenhagen, you will have a vast selection of alternatives to the high-value products we previously sourced from oil, such as plastic. Copenhagen has been using waste as a resource for decades – turning trash into treasure. In refinery plants, industrial and household waste and agricultural biomass are turned into bio-based commodities such as pharmaceutical ingredients, cosmetics, chemicals, materials and fuel. The biomass and waste that does get incinerated generates power and heat for thousands of households, and makes use of the valuable energy contained within the city’s trash.

If you plan to stay in Copenhagen for a longer period, we recommend you subscribe to a once-a-year company. Instead of buying seldom-used power tools or ten chairs for the annual dinner party, people in Copenhagen subscribe to an OY company. The company guarantees delivery within two hours. Most companies have cargo bikes cycling around the city, and will arrive much faster. Orders are placed via your smart phone. You save a small fortune, and avoid the hassle of storing the stuff. 101 // SHOPPING


The oncea-yearsubscription (OYs)

Wind-made products When you browse in the shops of Copenhagen, notice how many of the products are labelled. Copenhageners particularly love products that are organic, fair-trade and made with wind power. Due to the Danes love affair with wind, WindMade – the first global label dedicated to a single renewable energy source – became immensely popular when it was first introduced on products in Denmark.


Meet the Copenhagener Name: Anna Lund Age: 29. Occupation: Founder and CEO, Your Closet. (A shareuse company renting fashion)


What is your best shopping tip? I’m in the shared-used business myself, so it comes natural to my family and me to think in terms of value instead of ownership. We recently upgraded our once-a-year subscription. Now my husband can play with all the power tools he wants without me complaining about the lack of storage. But if you ask my twins – they are 4 years old - they would say our wind turbines. In order for my company to become carbon neutral, I invested in shares in the wind farm just outside Copenhagen harbour. I’ve hung the certificates in the kids’ rooms, so now they talk about their wind turbines and track the share of wind energy in the grid. “Mom, wind is 60 pct., can we download a movie?” they´ll say.



Saeson Lets you know what fruits and vegetables are in season.

2 Energy Tycoon Provides

real-time energy prices, and allows you to trade energy from your solar panels or electric car.



Your power Tells you the current share of renewable energy in the grid.

4 Green meter Rates the eco-

efficiency of your driving via the phone’s accelerometer – inspiring you to become a “hypermiler.” Commute Greener Tracks the

5 car, bicycle, public transport

or walking journeys you take and the resulting carbon emissions.


Top five app sales in Copenhagen


Copenhagen has a lot to offer, far more than you can see in 24 hours, or 72 hours for that matter. For the busy traveller keen on getting the “Copenhagen experience”, what follows is a tour to spending 24 or 72 hours in the sustainable capital of Denmark.


24 HOURS IN THE SUSTAINABLE CAPITAL 9:30 AM: Brew ’n’ breakfast at Carlsberg Our day starts in the old brewing district of Carlsberg, which is now a prosperous and lively part of town. It was also the first carbon-neutral district of Copenhagen (See the Architecture chapter). Take a moment to breathe in the historical atmosphere of this place, which for more than 150 years was the main production site for Carlsberg beer. If you want to catch the morning sun, go to the Carls Garden in the eastern part of the district. Here you can find a few cafés serving delicious Danish breakfast, including the renowned Danish pastry. And since you are on holiday, why not treat yourself to one of the refreshing local brew served in the neighbourhood? They come in many fruity flavours. If you are interested in learning more about the sustainability focus of the urban planning of Carlsberg, make sure to book a guided tour at

When planning your trip to Copenhagen, don’t bother looking for an expensive hotel room. Instead, visit one of the many online apartmentsharing communities, and get the experience of staying in a true Copenhagen home together with a new friend.

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Tip to budget travel in Copenhagen

1 PM: LOCAL NORDIC DELICACIES AND URBAN HANGOUTS The French have their “cuisine,” Italians their “cucina” and Copenhageners their “køkken.” After visiting the Carlsberg district, a 15-min bike ride will take you to Torvehallerne – Copenhageners’ favourite marketplace. Here you can experience everything the Nordic kitchen has to offer. Copenhageners, being locavores (read more about locavores in the People and Culture chapter), prefer cooking with local ingredients, and in Torvehallerne you can find everything that is local and in season. Local ingredients ensure freshness and taste. And, when you eat local food, you can do so with a good conscience – one of the perks of being a locavore is the reduction in environmental impact from avoided transport. Adjacent to Torvehallerne you will find Israel’s Square (find photo in the Environment chapter). This spot is an urban hangout for Copenhageners of all ages; young kids play in the lowered green playground under the treetops, while older ones play basketball in the courts on the square. Bring your selections from Torvehallerne to this square and find a bench in the sun or shade. Sit down and feel like a Copenhagener for a moment.

If you do not feel like taking a long trip, how about bringing your loved one to one of the small floating islands inside The Wave’s basin?

4 PM: KAYAKING IN THE HARBOUR AND DINNER AT THE FLOATING CAFÉ With Copenhagen being the “Green and Blue Capital,” you cannot spend 24 hours in the city and not engage with the blue element. So make your way by bike to the harbour, more specifically to the Kalvebod Brygge. In front of the hotels and corporate headquarters, you will find “The Kalvebod Wave,” as Copenhageners call it. This wave-shaped pier is the hub for kayaking in the city, and here you can rent kayaks by the hour. Don’t be afraid to jump into it; should you find it difficult, you can always ask one of the locals for a few tips – they are very helpful. We recommend taking the trip through the inner canals of Copenhagen, past Parliament and the former Stock Exchange. On your way back, stop at one of the floating cafés along the harbour that are specifically built to serve kayakers on the water – here you can truly enjoy a dinner at sea.


8 PM: JAZZ IN THE HARBOUR Read more about the Copenhagen Jazz Festival at

Returning to The Wave after dinner, what could be better than a cold beer or glass of wine and a jazz concert? The Wave is home not just to the largest kayak rental centre in Copenhagen but also hosts several cafés and a stage with occasional live music and stand-up comedy. Make sure you check out the program for the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in early July – you might be lucky and see a superstar on the Wave Stage.

Want to experience Copenhagen from above? Ride the Metro to the Bella Sky Hotel, in Ørestaden, where the sky bar gives you the perfect panoramic view of Copenhagen. On bright summer nights, you can spot the wind turbines off the coast of Copenhagen, and get a good impression of how green the city is. Be sure to try the “Bella Be Sour” cocktail in the bar. The drink includes honey made on the roof of the hotel, where more than 600,000 bees reside in an urban bee farm supporting the local ecosystem (read more about urban bees in the Environment chapter).

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9:00 AM: Copenhagen goes abroad – a case of green history After a day of Copenhagen fun, it is time to take the 20-min Metro ride across the Øresund Bridge and go abroad to the Swedish city of Malmö. Or, maybe not abroad, because the largest group of immigrants in Malmö are actually Danes. In the early 1990s, when the recession hit hard in Sweden, Malmö lost a third of its jobs, and crime rates were the highest in the country. But an ambitious strategy was hatched to change the image of the city, to attract young people and make the city truly green. The strategy ranged from a principle of only investing in buildings that lived up to sustainability standards to placing additional solar panels on the facades of buildings to make clean energy visible – instead of “just” rooftop installations that no one sees. Today, half of the solar installations in Sweden are in Malmö, and for the last five years the city has been running on 100 pct. renewable energy. The city is, besides a great place to shop due to a favorable exchange rate, proof that political determination can pave the way for a successful green city.

Loop City is a vision for expanding the light rail to form a regional ring around Øresund and creating a cross border region between Sweden and Denmark, an area the size of the San Francisco Bay area.

Regional Loop Light Rail S-train




The new Nørreport station is the busiest station in Copenhagen and was finished in 2014. Its reconstruction together with the expansion of the metro in 2018 significantly improved the public transportation infrastructure of Copenhagen.

Back at the new Nørreport Station, the key transportation hub in Copenhagen, take a moment and pause – because you can. You are not in a hurry, and you have not been stuck in traffic. From here, you can connect to city bikes, electric buses, light-rail, local or regional trains, or the Metro, and it’s all just a ticket away on your phone. To cut travel time, you can take the new light-rail, which connects 10 municipalities and saves commuters heaps of time every day. The light-rail is the first step in the loop city vision that will link Copenhagen and Sweden even more. You can always check the easiest route to a destination on the smart pillar at the station. The pillar monitors the traffic all over Copenhagen, and can tell you the easiest way to go and where to transfer at any time of day, be it on a bus, Metro, train or bike.

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3:00 PM: Not Stuck in Traffic

3:05 PM: Biking is bliss After leaving the train, grab a city bike and pedal to Nordhavn. You’ll pass sights like the Little Mermaid, you can take a fresh dip in the harbour bath, and catch a glimpse of busy people at UN City. You can also take in the amazing view and experience the nerve-wrecking thrill of biking in a height of 65 metres over the Two Tower Bridge while cruise ships and ferries pass by underneath you

If the journey has let a bit of the air out of your tires, you need not to worry. Throughout the city, there are bike pump stations where you can get some fresh air. (Read more about Nordhavn in the Architecture chapter.)

7:00 PM: Dinner by the sea After a long day of sightseeing, it is time to relax with your friends in a true Danish fashion – the potluck dinner. For your contribution to the dinner, stop by one of the little fishing boats along the harbour in Nordhavn. Buy some fresh fish straight from the local fishermen, and take the ferry bus from Nordhavn to Trekroner Fortress. Here you can use the public barbeques and prepare dinner while your friends are setting the wooden tables. After dinner, enjoy the sunset and the music from the DJ; if you want, dance until sunrise.


72 HOURS 10:00 AM: Senior Sustainability Start your last day in Copenhagen by doing a universal thing: go to a sunny place, and get a cup of coffee in one of the city’s many pocket parks. If you think sustainability is only for the young, visit the nursing home in Lyngby Taarbæk, north of Copenhagen. The nursing home is located in a green area, with an elementary school, university and daycare centre close by – all to make the area a vibrant and lively place to be. The building is energy efficient and takes care of people. In each resident’s room, there is a sensor that can detect movement; if a person falls and can’t get up, the sensor alerts staff that there has not been movement in the room for an extended period. Sensors can also detect whether someone has forgotten to turn off the TV or radio and, if so, turn it off. (See the People and Shopping chapter on Visiting the Copenhagen Smart Home) The nursing home is also connected to the Danish Technical University, which will conduct research on welfare technology based on observations of the residents’ behavior. Before you leave the Grannies for the return trip to the city, fill your water bottle at the kitchen tap. Every Dane drinks tap water; it is cleaner and more environmentally friendly than bottled water.

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TION primary ve tunr easy,

2:00 PM: Visiting a Copenhagen home

It is now time to explore how the real Copenhageners live and visit a home BIKE RACKS AND L COMMUNITY GARDENS AND PARKS in Gullandsgården, an old social-housing association that used bit bike lanes and Requiring businesses and homes to to be a Ample See page 58 dodgy but reinvented itself, adding an extra floor and new features likemore a people to ride separate trash, recyclables and comrooftop garden and green walls. The facility is even carbon neutral. Before they also promote fitn post spares landfills; collection chargreaching for the doorbell, look to your right and notice the little lake – this es dropby asstormwater trash drops pipes to reduce the risk of is actually rainwater collected flooding. Inside the home, it is light, warm and comfy but remember the Danish custom and remove your shoes when you enter. Don’t worry, the district heating system keeps you warm, and the solar panels attached to the balcony are used for under-floor heating to keep your toes warm when (This illustration inspiredon by: the bathroom floor tiles. (See the People and Culture chapter). youisstep Scientific American, September 2011)

5:00 pm: Take a walk on the wild side After spending the afternoon inside, take the train to Åmarken station and enjoy your last hours in Copenhagen at Harrestrup Creek. In the past, this 30-kilometre-long creek was contaminated and lead wastewater from surrounding municipalities all the way into Copenhagen. Today, it has been transformed into a green natural resort by the nine neighboring municipalities. Local people now have access to a recreational space where they can run, walk and play. The newly designed creek includes different levels, which is not only pretty but serves as a climate adaptation strategy. In case of flooding, the creek won’t overflow its banks. Additionally, stormwater reservoirs run by different municipalities along the creek’s route help to adjust the water levels and keep the creek cleaner.


7:00 PM: Going home Conclude your stay with a peaceful walk in Frederiksberg. From there, go to your vacation rental apartment and get your belongings. Hop on the Metro for the 20-min ride to the airport. Copenhagen is a city full of things to see and do; 72 hours is not nearly enough. The next chance you get, come back to explore what you missed this time around.

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COMING BACK IN 2050 Becoming carbon neutral by 2025 has been a key milestone in the history of Copenhagen. However, concern over population growth, increasing energy demands and resource scarcity does not stop in 2025. These challenges are global, and will continue indefinitely. Cities will have to keep evolving and keep pushing the boundaries for sustainable living. In 2050, the population of Copenhagen will approach 800,000 citizens. For Copenhagen to stay at the forefront of sustainable development, even more innovative thinking and optimization of the energy system, the urban environment, the city infrastructure and the economic foundation of the city is needed. In 2050, all of Denmark will be independent of fossil fuels. What started as an ambitious vision in Copenhagen has now become the reality for all of Denmark. Moving forward, cities will continue to be key drivers of innovation, growth and sustainable development – this includes Copenhagen. “Dreamers,” “visionaries” or “madmen”? No matter what we call them, the fact is that many of these individuals exist and continue to share their creative ideas – ideas that alter perceptions of what is possible and push the boundaries of our imagination. This chapter offers a glimpse into some of the ideas that could be realized by 2050 that will continue improving and re-inventing life in Copenhagen. 114 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

How Copenhagen will look when you return in 2050 is anyone’s guess. Here is ours.


MOUNT COPENHAGEN In 2050, the construction of Mount Copenhagen has commenced. Construction will take more than 200 years, but, once finished, a 3.5-kilometre mountain will be located just outside the city. It will be the biggest manmade object in history. The potential of this mountain as a source of energy is enormous. The peak will, during winter, be covered in snow. Melt water from this snow will flow through planned canals and rivers, producing enough hydropower to make the mountain a significant part of the Copenhagen energy system.

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Undertaking a project as big as Mount Copenhagen has lifted the innovative capacity in Copenhagen to new

heights. It has created a research environment never before seen in Denmark, one in which the spillover effects bring economic growth to all corners of the national economy.

Read more about the Mount Copenhagen initiative on



What started out as crazy idea has now put Copenhagen on the world map. Mount Copenhagen is not only a new source of energy and international attention but a biodiversity hotspot, enriching Danish nature with new species of animals, plants and vegetation.

LADEGAARDS CREEK The focus on livability continued after 2025, and the “Green and Blue Copenhagen” has become even more green and blue. In 2050, Ladegaards Creek, which was paved over in the 1950s, flows freely once more. For many years, this creek was forced into pipes running underneath the heavily trafficked road Aaboulevarden. But an increased focus on making cities for people and not for cars pushed Copenhagen to expand its public transportation system, which made the city even more bikeable. This made it possible to dig out the old creek. What used to be a gray concrete neighbourhood has been revitalized into a green and blue one, with new cafés and shops clustered along the creek creating new way of life in this part of town. The creek also efficiently redirects stormwater during heavy rains, making it a natural part of Copenhagen’s climate adaptation.

SUSTAINABLE SUBURBIA What began as a project to make the dense city centre of Copenhagen sustainable has been expanded to include the greater Copenhagen area. In 2050, the majority of Danes will still be living in single-family houses, meaning that 116 // GUIDE TO COPENHAGEN 2025

the Copenhagen suburbs will be as full of life as ever. All around Copenhagen, these dwellings have been modernized and retrofitted into energy-efficient homes. Energy financing, where loans are repaid from the energy savings of a renovated building, has turned nearly every home in Copenhagen into an energy-efficient building, and has reduced energy consumption noticeably. Local energy co-ops have transformed suburb dwellers from CONsumers to PROsumers of energy – energy is produced locally by solar panels scattered on the roofs of suburban Copenhagen homes. When the panels generate a surplus, the cooperatives sell energy back into the grid. In 2050, the connection between the suburbs and city centre runs smoothly; the Metro and light-rail connect all parts of the city, making commuting easy and fast. This high level of public transport connectivity has rendered cars largely obsolete; biking, along with public transportation, is today the natural choice for a vast majority of Copenhageners.


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Keep on exploring We hope you enjoyed the journey to the future of Copenhagen with us. The Sustainia Guide to Copenhagen 2025 is the first publication in our Sustainia City Guides series. In our guides, we apply the principles of Sustainia to existing cities, and showcase why life in sustainable cities will be easier, healthier, better and more fun. You may explore the Sustainia universe further in the following:

The book “Guide to Sustainia” The full vision and integrated storytelling Guide to Sustainia describes the overall vision of Sustainia, and explains in clear and simple language and illustrations how your city, home, energy system and transportation could look in 2020. It demonstrates a new way of communicating about sustainability – a new tone of voice. Rather than depicting a future of sacrifices and restraints, the Guide to Sustainia illustrates how sustainable solutions can contribute to real improvements in people’s lives.

Sustainia City and Sector Guides Exploring the sustainable cities and industries of tomorrow The Sustainia Guide to Copenhagen in 2025 is the first publication in our series of city and sector guides. Our goal for the series is to visualize the benefits of living in sustainable cities and the opportunities of sustainable businesses and industries. Do you have suggestions for a new Sustainia City or Sector guide, please get in contact with us.


Sustainia100 Overview of the solutions that will help create Sustainia To complement the Guide to Sustainia, which is the overall storytelling, the Sustainia100 is the pool of powerful solutions that will take us to Sustainia. They are great ideas, innovations and technologies that help build a sustainable tomorrow. The long-term vision is to establish an annual Sustainia500 – an alternative to the Fortune500 – that each year identifies the solutions we need to invest in to ensure we reach Sustainia.

Sustainia Award The No 1 sustainability award The Sustainia Award will be selected from the Sustainia100 and aims to create global awareness around successful sustainable solutions. The Sustainia Award honours outstanding performance within sustainability and is headed by a high-level committee of global sustainability leaders (see below). The Sustainia Award has the following objectives:

a renowned annual global award on sustainability * Establish award the solutions with the most potential to be disseminated * Annually widely year ensure a strong focus from media on sustainable develop * Each ment – features on how last year’s winner has proven successful and the objectives of this year’s winner

The Sustainia Award Committee consists of the following: Former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (Chair of the Committee), Ms. Connie Hedegaard (European Commissioner for Climate Action), Gro Harlem Brundtland (the woman behind the Brundtland Report and the first Rio meeting in 1992), and Dr. Pachauri (Nobel Laureate and Chair of the IPCC)

The Sustainia Index The Global Sustainability Monitor The index will assess whether the world is on the right pathway over time, and offers a ranking of nations according to their achievements, thereby identifying the role models and providing a better understanding of how countries and regions are performing. The index builds on indicators such as GDP growth, innovation, equality, health, education, renewable energy, natural resources and biodiversity and is the first index to combine economic- environmental- and social sustainability into one ranking. The Sustainia Index allows us to see how far nations have come towards making Sustainia a reality.

Sustainia’s virtual world The global online construction site for the sustainable society We are building Sustainia brick by brick on a virtual platform that allows you to visit Sustainia – and even become a citizen of Sustainia.

For more information please visit


FURTHER READING 25 eksempler på vellykket renovering, Grundejernes Investeringsfond, 2012 - Aftale om budget 2012, Københavns Kommune, 2011 - Architecture and Quality of Life, Architects Council of Europe, 2004 - Befolkningsfremskrivning for København 2012-2026, Københavns Kommune Koncernservice Statistik, 2011 - Copenhagen Beyond Green, Green Growth Leaders, 2011 - Copenhagen: Solutions for sustainable cities, Københavns Kommune, 2011 - Cycling towards health and safety, British Medical Association, 1992 - Cykelpolitik 2002-2012, Københavns Kommune, 2002 - Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser, Luftforurening med partikler i København, Miljøministeriet, 2003 - Danmark klar til nyt klima, Dansk Industri, 2012 - Daylight & Architecture Issue 13, Velux Group, 2010 - Daylight & Architecture Issue 14, Velux Group, 2010 - Det blir et yndigt land, Realdania & Mandag Morgen, 2012 - Det Grønne København, Parkpolitik, Københavns Kommune, 2003 - District Heating in Copenhagen - An Energy Efficient Low Carbon, and Cost Effective Energy System, Danish Board of District Heating - Economic Survey of Denmark 2012, OECD, 2012 - Eksponering for ultrafine partikler fra trafikken i København, Miljøministeriet, 2005 - Energirenovering i fredede bygninger, Midtvejs Rapport, REALEA, 2009 - Energy Outlook 2030, British Petroleum, 2011 - Environmental Programme for the City of Malmö 2009 – 2020, Malmö Stad, 2009 - Erhvervsstruktur og erhvervsbyggeri, Københavns Kommune, 2011 - Fra god til verdens bedste. Københavns cykelstrategi 2011-2025, Københavns Kommune, 2011 - Genopretning af Harrestrup Å, Københavns Kommune, 2006 - Grønne tage det livgivende, klimatilpassede alternativ, Københavns Kommune, 2010 - Guide to Sustainia, Sustainia, 2011 - Gullandsgården, Amager Copenhagen, Velux Group, 2011 - Hvidbog Om Bygningsrenovering, Bygherreforeningen og Grundejernes Investeringsfond, 2011 - International Energy Outlook 2011, US Energy Information Administration, 2011 - Klimavenligt Pakhus på Langelinie, COWI, 2012 - Kommuneplan 2011, Københavns Kommune, 2011 - Konklusioner fra Copenhagen Business Taskforce, Copenhagen Business Taskforce, 2011 - Københavns Klimaplan, Københavns Kommune, 2009 - LIFE in the City - Innovative solutions for Europe’s urban environment, European Comission, 2006 - Lommeparker, træer og andet grønt, Københavns Kommune, 2009 - Luftforurening med partikler – et sundhedsproblem, Aarhus Universitet, Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser, 2009 - Midtvejsmåling september 2011, Københavns Madhus, 2011 - Nordhavn – Urban Strategy, Københavns Kommune, 2009 – Notat, Økonomiske konsekvenser af retningslinjer for grønne tage, Københavns Kommune, 2010 - Overview of the energy sector, Danish Energy Agency, 2012 - Pakhuset - en arkitektonisk perle med unik beliggenhed på Langelinie Allé, ATP Ejendomme - På rundtur i renoveringslandskabet, Bygherreforeningen, 2012 - Reducing Urban Heat Islands: Compendium of Strategies, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008 - Spearhead Project – Valby Water Culture Center, Københavns Kommune & Rambøll - Summer Temperature Variability May Increase Mortality Risk for Elderly with Chronic Disease, Harvard School of Public Health, 2012 – Sydhavnsskolen, JJW Arkitekter, 2011 - Tag Parken i Lommen, Københavns Kommune, 2009 - The Danish Secret, Monday Morning, 2009 - The Global Information Technology Report 2012 data platform, World Economic Forum, 2012 - The World in 2025, Rising Asia and Sociological Transition, European Commission, 2009 - Towards a new innovation policy for green growth and welfare in the Nordic Region, Nordic Innovation, 2012 - Udstillingerne ”SKRALD!” og ”På Cykel i København”, Københavns Bymuseum, 2010-2011 - Udvidelse af metroen - “Cityringen”, Transportministeriet - Vidensblade for by og land – ”Den klimavenlige by – økologiske potentialer”, Københavns Universitet, 2009 - Vindmøller i Danmark, Energistyrelsen, 2009 - Vision for Harrestrup Å-system og Kalveboderne, Københavns Kommune, 2007 - World Economic Outlook 2011, International Monetary Fund, 2011 - World Energy Outlook 2011, International Energy Agency, 2011 - World Urbanization Prospects, The 2011 Revision, UN - Economic & Social Affairs, 2012.


PHOTOS INSIDE Adam Mørk, p. 33 top – BBP Arkitekter, p. 32 top – Aron/Dan/Flickr, p. 77 (Beijing) - By & Havn/3XN, cover, p. 18, p. 29 top - City of Melbourne, p. 77 – Claus Starup/Bella Center, p. 107 – COBE, front page, cover, p. 12, p. 15 – COBE & Public Architects, cover, p. 109 – COBE & Sweco, p. 64-65 – Vestas Wind Systems A/S, p. 93 – Danielsen Architecture, cover, p 27 – Entasis Architects, p. 105, p. 111 - Gitte Lontinga / Københavns Kommune, p. 61 – HafenCity/ELBE@FLUT, p. 77 – JDS Architects, p. 32 middle, p. 106, p. 107 – JJW Architects, cover, p. 29 bottom, p. 34 top – Kiyong2/Flickr/Licensed Under Creative Commons, p. 77 (Songpa) – Københavns Kommune, p. 69 - Københavns Museum, p. 75 – Lars Gundersen, p. 33 bottom - Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter A/S, p. 29 middle – Masdar City, p. 77 – Meik Wiking, p. 90, p. 110 - Metroselskabet I/S, p. 58 – Mikael Colville-Andersen/ Copenhagen Media Center, p. 76 – Morten Jerichau/Copenhagen Media Center, p. 25 - Olafur Eliasson, p. 79 - Project Zero, p. 77 (Sønderborg) – René Strandbygaard/DSB, p. 57 – Steven Holl Architects/By & Havn, cover, p. 15-16 – Studio Bednarski/ Københavns Kommune, p. 50 - Torben Eskerud/ VELUX, p. 32 – Torvehallerne KBH, p. 106 – Utopian Cityscape, p. 20-12.


The people behind Sustainia Guide to Copenhagen 2025 The idea and vision for this book has been developed by the partners of Green Growth Leaders and Sustainia. Editorial team Jakob Anker Hansen, Solvej Karlshøj Christiansen, Meik Wiking and Morten Jastrup Special thanks to TASK FORCE: Else Kloppenborg (Dong Energy), Eske Kock Pedersen (City of Copenhagen), Ghita Borring (Velux), Lone Feifer (Velux), Mads Kruse (City of Copenhagen), Kurt Emil Eriksen (Velux), Signe Gaarde (City of Copenhagen), and Stuart.D.Brewer (DNV) EXPERTS Anders Vikkelsø (DONG Energy), Charles Nielsen (DONG Energy) , Christian Schaarup (DONG Energy), Didde Fuhr (3XN Architetcs), Dorte Rømø (City of Copenhagen), Henrik Kærgaard (NIRAS), Jacob M. Andersen (Carlsberg Properties), Jørn Ipsen (LyngbyTaarbæk Municipality), Lars Anker Angantyr (City of Copenhagen), Lærke Flader (The Danish Electric Vehicle Alliance), Peter Presmann (By & Havn - CPH City & Port), Anders Dyrelund (Rambøll), Signe Cold, (Entasis Architects), and Vivi Lena Andersen (Museum of Copenhagen). Proofread Justin Gerdes Design Michael Hernvig and Lisa Haglund Get involved in Sustainia Want to get involved in Sustainia? Please contact Executive Director Laura Storm ( Want to know more about Copenhagen in 2025? Please contact Director Meik Wiking ( The Sustainia Secretariat c/o Monday Morning Valkendorfsgade 13, P.O. Box 1127 DK-1009 Copenhagen, Denmark


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Strategic Partners

Green Growth Leaders Strategic Partners

Sustainia Knowledge Partners


Urban gardening, swarms of cyclists, harbour baths, pocket parks, smart city, green roofs, sustainable shopping, urban mining, and floating cafĂŠs.

Get ready to explore the sustainable capital of tomorrow! The Sustainia Guide to Copenhagen 2025 shows you how a sustainable city is a cleaner, greener, healthier, smarter and happier city. A city with a higher quality of life. Welcome to Copenhagen in 2025


Guide to Copenhagen 2025  

Guide to Copenhagen 2025 lays out an achievable scenario for a carbon-neutral Copenhagen by year 2025. In the book, you’ll meet the future c...

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