a progressive city that offers enjoyable living conditions to its inhabitants
2019, May 14th
Copenhagen is widely viewed as a progressive city that offers enjoyable living conditions to its inhabitants. For decades now the Danish capital has increasingly committed itself to becoming more green and sustainable, notably by favouring cyclists and pedestrians rather than cars- which is incidentally where the ‘Copenhagenisation’ concept comes from. In 2010, Copenhagen adopted the vision "A metropolis for People (2010-2015)” aimed to improve the satisfaction its inhabitants. Having achieved the majority of these objectives, a new 2025 vision has been established: "Co-create Copenhagen", which goes even further in terms of ambitions than the last strategy.
The 2025 Climate Plan of Copenhagen aims to make it a carbon neutral city by 2025. To reach this very ambitious goal, adopting a soft mobility is a top priority. The city is encouraging walking as a soft mobility and regularly undertakes actions to make the city accessible and comfortable for pedestrians. The city is constantly investing in the creation and/or restoration of pedestrian sidewalks and the implementation of projects related to road safety. In addition, the city inaugurated in 2014 a massive replacement of streetlights with LED lights, which are more efficient and are also a useful tool against insecurity.
In order to decrease the use of private cars, Copenhagen is increasing its public transport network by expanding metro lines and setting up cycle highways. Indeed, the city is known to be particularly friendly towards cyclists. An ambitious strategy has been implemented since 2011 and aims to increase by 50% the number of cyclists using bicycles to go to work or school. In 2016, the inhabitants had about 5 times more bicycles than cars (675,000 bicycles for 120,000 cars), a trend that policymakers would like to strengthen in the future.
Being outside is a great opportunity to ensure a sense of belonging to a community, that’s why Copenhaguen has always been keen to implement outdoor activities. The creation of the Superkilen Park for example was the result of a consultation with the residents of the surrounding multicultural neighborhoods. The park celebrates the diversity of inhabitants and contains a lot of references to different cultures.
In order to raise the time spent in public places, “A metropolis for People” has increased by 126% the number of licenses given for outdoor terraces and by 300% the ones for market stalls. The overall number of outdoor events has increased by 216% in the capital. One of the first objective of Co-Create Copenhaguen is to continue to develop urban spaces to host many of these events with a focus on day-to-day activities. The idea is to be innovative and creative when it comes to using the public space.
Physical education and exercise are compulsory in all public schools in Denmark, including Copenhagen. All children exercise for an average of 45 minutes per day as part of their school day: this is the result of an ambitious strategy of the government to promote physical activity.
In 2014, cabinets in charge of culture, environment, health, youth, social affairs and education have collaborated in order to deliver a strategy to focus on inclusive sport for all to increase the participation of minorities, girls, and people with disabilities . During the same year, many initiatives were launched to tackle childhood overweight and obesity by improving the rate of physical activities at school. For example, a communication campaign was designed to promote cycling and to encourage a more active mobility.
Well-being at work is essential for many Danish people, they even named it «arbedjdsglaede». Therefore, activities related to sport are very important to maintain a positive dynamic among employees. A national survey shows that three of the most popular activities performed at work are lift weights, cardiovascular exercises (steppers, treadmills, etc.), and various types of aerobics.
Since January 2012, the Danish Working Environment Authority has been charged to implement a program encouraging dialogue on health promotion as part of the Workplace Strategy 2020. This program focuses on the psychological work environment, but also on well-being in general, including physical activity. All Danish workplaces with employees are required by law to conduct a WPA which is a legally binding assessment designed as a tool to enable workplaces to work pre-emptively on these kind of issues.