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Getting to know Copenhagen…

December 15, 2009
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As the COP15 climate talk comes to an exciting climax as the high-level segments begin, I think it’s about time we get to know Copenhagen. Our team from ECO has been here for over a week now and as limited access to Bella Centre bears down on us, we increasingly find ourselves in search of activities to fill out our day.

So today we went exploring the city (and managed to do some light shopping too!) and after that I got to thinking about why they chose Copenhagen to be the official venue for COP15. COP has traditionally been in European cities such as Germany, France, The Netherlands and Italy except for the occassional meetings in non-European countries such as Canada, India, Thailand and Ghana (UNFCCC). It is also interesting to note that Mexico City and South Africa have been chosen to host COP16 and COP17 respectively, while it has also been announced COP18 will be held in Asia (Climate Action).

So what is so special about Copenhagen and how do we make the best of our time here apart from doing our part in the negotiations to determine a deal before or on the 19th of December?

Apparently, Copenhageners love their bike and cycle year-round, whatever the weather. They pedal more than 1.13 million kilometers a day! www.meetincopenhagen.com has so many other funny facts about Copenhagen and it’s really comforting to note that it’s such a eco-friendly city and the lifestyles of its people are really in line with the Danish government’s vision.

Here are more facts about Denmark:

The Kingdom of Denmark is a small country of 407 islands and the peninsula Jutland, located in Northern Europe.

Denmark is the world’s oldest kingdom. The reigning monarch, Queen Margrethe II, who lives in Copenhagen, can trace her ancestry back – over 1,000 years – to the Viking age. Copenhagen was founded in 1167 and has been Denmark’s capital since 1417.

Characteristic features of Denmark

Characteristic features of Denmark are primarily the welfare system, which ensures equal rights and access to public services for all, and the democratic government. Denmark is also characterised by gender equality, freedom of speech, an active business life and high-quality research and development environments.

The Danish industries

Denmark has an open economy, and trade with the rest of the world is of great importance. Among the commodities that have made Denmark known abroad are, in addition to agricultural produce, beer, medicines, furniture, shipping, wind turbines and products of the advanced metal industries. Both agriculture and industry are highly effective. Agriculture and fisheries employ only 3.7%, and industry and construction 23% of the population. The remaining 73% are employed in the service sector, 35% in public and personal services and 38% in private business, including financial activities and the traditional shipping trade.

The Danish weather

The weather in Denmark is caracterised by cool summers with a mean temperature of around 16ºC and winters that are not particularly cold, with mean temperatures of around 0.5ºC. Denmark is thus placed in the temperate climate zone.

The Danes

The Danes are generally well educated, well informed, yet at the same time enjoy a distinctly Danish lack of formality. This gives the Danes a relaxed and often humorous attitude to authorities and life itself. The official language is Danish, however, English and German are spoken widely and to a high standard.

Facts

  • Form of government: Constitutional monarchy
  • Area: 43,098 sq. km
  • Population: 5.4 million inhabitants
  • Population density: approx. 126 inhabitants per sq. km
  • Average life expectancy: men 75.6 years, women 80.2 years
  • Capital: København (Copenhagen), 1.16 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area
  • Major cities: Århus (294,954), Odense (185,871), Aalborg (163,228)
  • Language: Danish (almost all Danes speak English)
  • Religion: 83.3% belong to the National Lutheran Church
  • GDP per capita: $ 44,805
  • Currency: Danish krone (DKK). One Euro is 7.44 Danish Kroner
  • Member of EU since 1973
  • 85% of the population lives in towns

Source: www.denmark.dk

So now that we know more about Copenhagen and Denmark as a whole, how can we emulate the Danes in their efforts toward creating a more sustainable city and more importantly, a livable city for its citizens and visitors. I think that Singapore has a lot to learn from other cities around the world such as Copenhagen but perhaps the technology needs to be translated into a more Asian context to be better applicable to tropical climates such as ours. Maybe I’ll pick up something at the Cities and Climate Change talk tomorrow at the University of Copenhagen about how to make cities more climate friendly!

Signing out and with love from COP15,

Mel

Eco Singapore

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Donaldson permalink
    December 16, 2009 12:34 pm

    Someone forgot to mention Bali (Indonesia)

  2. Mellow permalink*
    December 16, 2009 7:59 pm

    Well there were quite a few to mention but thanks for highlighting Bali. 🙂

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  1. Getting to know Copenhagen… « ECO @ COP 15 | Denmark News BaVaBa

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