Living the Green Life in Copenhagen

It’s official, not only is Copenhagen one of the world’s healthiest cities, it is also the greenest city. According to the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI), Copenhagen is perceived to be the world’s greenest city for the second time in a row with a perfect score of 100 in each category. The report, which was released Monday, measures cities around the world. Here is why we are living the green life in Copenhagen:

1. LEADERSHIP AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Despite receiving numerous acknowledgements for their green efforts, leaders in Copenhagen are constantly looking for new ways to improve green life in Copenhagen even further. The city aims to be Europe’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025, an ambitious task indeed but one they are making great strides towards. The leadership in Copenhagen shows their dedication to the “green life” cause by continually developing new eco-friendly initiatives with the future of Copenhagen and its people in mind.

2. MARKETS AND INVESTMENTS

Copenhagen’s leaders view their initiatives as investments for the future quality of life in the city. It’s no secret that Copenhagen is a bike-friendly city, with approximately 50% of all commutes taking place on bicycle. The city of Copenhagen has invested heavily in improving the cycling infrastructure, adding and improving bike paths to enhance the safety and feasibility of cycling as a means of transportation.

Cycling in Copenhagen Healthiest City

Approximately 50% of all commutes are made by bicycle in Copenhagen.

3. EFFICIENCY SECTORS

The government recently established a green fund totalling nearly $1 billion to attract private capital to be used towards reducing energy consumption and funding renewable energy projects. This means that companies and businesses in Denmark can receive loans from this fund to invest in their own energy efficiency and support green innovation in the energy sector.

4. ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL CAPITAL

The city of Copenhagen has also made a commitment to improving the natural capital already in place in the city. Fifteen years ago, the water in Copenhagen’s harbour was dirty and full of health risks – no one would have considered taking a swim in it. The city leaders decided to take action and invested in rainwater reservoirs and conduits, allowing the sewage system to better process rainwater. In this short time period, the harbour in Copenhagen has improved drastically. As a result, harbours are now a clean and safe place for swimming.

Today, the Copenhagen harbour is clean and prime for swimmers in the summer time - or winter for those brave enough!

Today, the Copenhagen harbour is clean and prime for swimmers in the summer time – or winter for those brave enough!

The transition to green life and a green economy in a city is not an easy one. It requires an absolute commitment from leaders and city dwellers alike to make changes that accelerate toward a more sustainable future. It requires both public and private investment, and the mindset that what we do now should positively affect the future as much as possible. One of the key points in Copenhagen is that, despite fairing so well on these types of surveys, lawmakers are constantly trying to improve the city’s green life factor. They won’t look at this survey and decide that enough has been done, they will continue striving towards even more green innovation.

It is also important to point out that the other Scandinavian cities faired well in the survey, and a commitment towards green life is shared by Denmark’s neighbours. Stockholm came in third place while bike-friendly Amsterdam landed in second place. When dealing with countries as a whole, Denmark was edged out slightly by Germany and came in second place with a score of 92.8, followed by Sweden and Norway in the third and fourth places.

The GGEI is released by the American firm, Dual Citizen, and has been released every year since 2010.

Image from here


Anna Guastello
21 Oct 2014

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