Building on its strong environmental credentials, Copenhagen (Denmark) has placed green growth and quality of life at the centre of its city policy, underpinning its goal to be the ‘world’s first carbon-neutral capital’ by 2025. Copenhagen’s environmental policy leadership spans renewable energy, district heating, waste management, regeneration of its former industrial harbour and promotes cycling, a recognizable trademark of the city.
Fostering a pedestrian and cycling culture and regenerating public spaces underlie the city’s green policy agenda. An integrated transport and land-use strategy initiated more than six decades ago transformed the once congested and polluted metropolis, and led to the development of dense, walkable urban centres connected by rail-based public transport.
The Copenhagen ‘Finger Plan’ first proposed in 1947 remains a powerful spatial concept that has since been given renewed regulatory support at the national level. It has promoted urban growth along rail corridors emanating from the city centre, while protecting ‘green wedges’ from development. To maximize the value of density, the city has targeted the creative use of its urban public spaces and features. The Plan is currently being updated for high-density mobility and to counter vehicle-dependence in the city, by increasing green mobility through new transit-oriented developments for walking, cycling, public transport and car-sharing.
In the Norrebro district of Copenhagen, the Superkilen public space was built in 2011 as a large-scale meeting space to service one of Copenhagen’s most ethnically-diverse neighbourhoods and as an attraction for the rest of the city. The idea behind the project was to create a space that both includes and reflects the 60 nationalities living in the local area, and the area’s design was driven by public participation. The space is 750 m long and comprises trails for pedestrians and cyclists that traverse three main zones: a square for sports, a green area including a children’s playground, and a market and picnic area.
Source: IUAV, report for Study Area 3