Copenhagen cuts down to level up.
In 2005 Copenhagen decided to become the first carbon-neutral city in the world by 2025, and they’re on a mission to achieve this admirable plan! Copenhagen was one of the first cities in the world to understand that it needed to become better and greener—in the first place for its own inhabitants. Lowering their CO2 emissions, creating better bike lanes, greener transport, and sustainable urban development are just a few of the initiatives they took.
Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard reckoned in 2009 that the plan had cost them a pretty penny at the time, but he and other political stakeholders also understood that it was an investment with good returns. Financially speaking, the return is yet to come. In terms of health, performance, and wellbeing, for all those who live, work and visit Copenhagen, the return is already tangible.
Over 70% of the world’s CO2 emissions come from cities. Cities hold the key to the global climate challenge. Copenhagen took the lead with their Climate Plan, as they cared for their city, their inhabitants, their country, and the planet.
Any city today should think, act and plan like a brand.
Only when cities are well-governed— which means only when they think ahead and adapt to the changing needs of their inhabitants and the challenges they face—will they remain relevant.
What I love about Copenhagen’s approach is that they announced from the start that their plan was dynamic. The city’s white paper, which can be downloaded free of charge, states that ‘not all initiatives will look exactly as they are described here. We are part of a changing world, and national and global laws also influence our climate’.50 Copenhagen not only proved to have great vision, it also demonstrated the flexible and agile mindset needed to reach their goals.
I can’t wait to go back and test a car that runs on wind energy and visit the new science centre to learn more about climate education!
Want to find out more about Copenhagen’s urban development? Read on here.