Copenhagen received the European Commission’s European Green Capital Award in 2014 and ranks number one on the European Green City Index. It also often tops international happiness surveys. The city is not only on track to be carbon neutral by 2025, it is also designed to be livable and people-friendly. On your next trip to Copenhagen, why not fully dive into discovering all things sustainable this eco-friendly city offers its citizens?
Take a Bike Tour
Copenhagen is world famous for its biking culture and even has its own Cycling Embassy. Danes love cycling and 36% of Copenhageners actually ride their bike to work. Thanks to municipal policies that encourage a bike-friendly design of the city, Copenhagen offers 390 kilometers of designated bike lanes. So, do as the Copenhageners do and get on a bike. You can take a guided bike tour with the Cycling Embassy and learn more about the city’s biking culture and infrastructure. Or go on a green bike tour with GoGreenCopenhagen to meet green initiatives, learn about environmental city development, and discover sustainable architecture. Of course, you can also rent a bike yourself and discover the city on your own.
Visit an Offshore Wind Farm
Denmark was a pioneer in developing commercial wind power and is now home to a large wind turbine industry. Wind energy cooperatives have played an essential role in advancing the wind energy sector and in increasing its social acceptance in Denmark. The large offshore wind farm Middelgrunden is located 3.5 kilometers outside of Copenhagen and produces about 4% of Copenhagen’s energy. As with many wind projects in Denmark, it was started by wind energy enthusiasts who formed a cooperative. Why not learn more about it by taking a boat trip to Middelgrunden? If the wind is blowing too hard, you can also book a lecture that will be held in the Secretariat on Rådhuspladsen 77.
Get a Taste of the New Nordic Cuisine
The New Nordic Cuisine focuses on seasonal cooking with local products. The world famous restaurant Noma and its chefs René Redzepi and Claus Meyer practically invented the idea of New Nordic cuisine. With their insistence that nature and its exploration should be the foundation of cooking, they reshaped gastronomic creativity, and Noma has been ranked as the best restaurant worldwide several times. If you are lucky enough to get a table, you should definitely enjoy a gourmet green meal at Noma. If not, you can still have a nice meal elsewhere, as their ideas have influenced other restaurants. Two-star Michelin restaurant Geranium, a fully organic restaurant located in the park Fælledparken, is a good option, for example. If gourmet restaurants are not up your alley, you could also check out Nose2Tail, a restaurant that cooks with Danish ingredients and uses all parts of the animal to avoid waste. Another option is BioMio, a CLIMATE+ restaurant that is completely organic.
Take a Dip in the Harbor Baths
For many years, the Copenhagen harbor was used for heavy shipping traffic and the water was polluted. These days, the city aims to improve the water quality to such an extent that it’s possible to go swimming there. Thanks to the resulting environmental transformation, you can now take a dip in several harbor baths in the city center. In addition to benefiting the environment, these efforts have added to the quality of life in the city. Go check them out for yourself and jump right in. It’s refreshing in the summer, and if you dare, you can go swimming in the cold months as well. Or just relax in the sauna.
Check out The Green Lighthouse
The Green Lighthouse is Copenhagen’s first carbon neutral public building. This university building was constructed in 2009 and is the result of a public-private partnership. Architecturally, the house was inspired by the sundial and the movement of the sun around the house. Clever integration of daylight has been used in the design of the house and daylight is the primary light source in the sun-dial shaped structure. The energy concept of the house combines district heating, solar cells, solar heating and cooling, and seasonal storage. Thanks to the architectural design and the energy concept, the Green Lighthouse uses 75% less energy than regular buildings. The house also proves that you can construct buildings that are environmentally friendly and functional at the same time.
Of course, a city with such ambitious sustainability goals offers many more green attractions that are worth visiting. And with the development of the city, new ones are waiting to be discovered all the time. The GoGreen Copenhagen app can help you dive deeper into eco-friendly Copenhagen. If you explore a spot that’s a definite must-see, let us know about it in the comments.
(Header Harbor Bath – Islands Brygge. Photo by Webjay via FlickrCC)