Copenhagen: A Case Study in Sustainable Urban Design


After visiting the public green spaces of Paris, one of the cities I visited was Copenhagen. I had never been before and was eager to experience a new destination. What I found was a wonderful and progressive city full of a wide variety of amenities, kind people, a sense of communal responsibility, and a series of attributes we associate with sustainable design.

Immediately upon exiting Copenhagen Central Station, one notices that this is a biking town. Just outside the station are rows and stacks of bicycles. The city and surrounding suburbs are equipped with an extensive network of bike lanes. Since the Metro system is not quite as dense as, say, Paris, and points of interest are often located a bit longer walking distance than many may find comfortable, biking is very common. In fact, 1/3 of Copenhagen citizens ride their bikes to work or school every day. Here, bicyclists obey the same traffic lights as vehicles, yield to pedestrians and peddle very, very quickly. It was quite a change of pace to be in a city where biking was a standard and very legitimate form of transportation— something that green design certification systems like LEED are merely striving to achieve. Continues at