When scratching the surface of what Copenhagen has to offer, it may be difficult to see past the well-known Carlsberg beer and delicious “smørrebrød” aka open face sandwiches . However, upon further investigation, the environmentally conscious changes to the urban infrastructure in Copenhagen make the city a world leader in “greener” urban environments. These changes set the bar for other cities around the world.
Copenhagen’s offshore wind farm “Middelgrunden”, in 2000 was the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Since 2000, additional wind farms have been constructed around the world, (although mainly in European countries). In the United States, the first offshore wind turbine in the Americas to send electricity into the power grid was a part of research by the University of Maine.
The city’s efforts towards their goal of becoming the world’s first carbon neutral capital by 2025 makes Copenhagen a leader in creating a “greener” urban environment. Launched in 2010, the Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster is one such example of the efforts towards clean energy taking place in Copenhagen. The mission of Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster is “to create an attractive platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration between Danish and foreign companies, knowledge institutions, organizations and authorities in order to promote growth and employment, support entrepreneurs and growth in SME’s and increase international awareness of Danish competencies and possibilities within cleantech”.
In addition to the strides towards fueling the country using clean energy, alternative means of transportation also make the city a leader in “greener” urban environments.
Copenhagen is well known as a bicycle friendly city. 37% of Copenhageners make their daily commute to work on bikes. Whereas, according to 2008-2012 Census data, 1.3% of workers in Chicago commuted by bicycle.
Furthermore, Copenhagen has recently installed a wireless network of streetlamps and sensors. “Aimed at saving money, cutting the use of fossil fuels and easing mobility, the installations are part of a growing wireless network of streetlamps and sensors that officials hope will help this city of roughly 1.2 million meet its ambitious goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025,” according to the New York Times.
Read more about the “Green Wave” in Copenhagen here: Copenhagen Lighting the Way to Greener, More Efficient Cities