Copenhagen: A case study on sustainability

Sustainability Development is the peace policy of the future- Klaus Topfer

Sustainability is viewed differently by everyone.  Adopting ways of thinking and behavior in which the needs of the present are met and fulfilled without disturbing or diminishing the needs of future generation is sustainability. It is also the study of the functioning of natural systems, diversity and producing everything to remain in ecology balance. It appreciates that human civilization takes resources to sustain a modern way of life. Overall it aims to remove poverty, achieve the best standards for health and education, remove inequality and maintain a proper climatic condition.

Three pillars of sustainability are Economic development (ability to support economic production indefinitely), Social development (ability of a social system to function at a defined level of social well-being indefinitely) and Environmental protection (ability to maintain rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and non-renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely)

Sustainable development allows people to take note of their potentials and thereby improve their life quality simultaneously improving earth’s system. A sustainable future aims at a healthy environment, economic prosperity and social justice to ensure well-being.

sustainable society leads to equal access to health care, nutrition, clean water, shelter, education, energy, economic opportunities and employment in which humans live in harmony in the present and preserve for future as well.

Why Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is a part of sustainable city project because it aims for sustainability, has received European Green Capital Award for 2014 and it seeks to become Carbon neutral capital by 2025 – thus satisfying the experts and fulfilling environmental protection pillar of sustainability. Such results can’t be achieved alone and need partnerships and citizen involvement.

The Case Study

Copenhagen is a green city surrounded by water, parks, with climate-friendly citizens growing, just like other cities, but also facing challenges such as carbon emissions, traffic congestion, and waste accumulation. It has looked for smart and practical solutions in other cities. Good public transit, attractive public spaces, strong bike-ability, and energy efficiency are the core principles.

Its goal is to provide an excellent quality of life along with sustainability. There is a desire to put community good first and self-interest later. It is the European Green Capital for the year 2014 and aims to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025.

It works on the ground basis of “Copenhagen Model” stating a unique vision of city life combing environmental initiatives, economic growth, and quality of life.

Copenhagen Sustainability Goals

  1. Copenhagenise – to make city more bicycle friendly resulting in reduced pollution, less congestion, and healthier lives, thereby to become the world’s best city for cyclists
  2. Implement Noise Pollution Act – to allow the peaceful sleep of people by soundproofing and repairing roads to achieve low traffic noise
  3. Ocean Quay is the sustainable turnaround port in Copenhagen
  4. Integrated transportation to be included – to develop physical and online integration between bus, train and metro to enable seamless movement of passengers
  5. To maintain drinking water supply based on groundwater – Management of water resources by the use of new technologies to monitor and prevent leaks in the groundwater level
  6. To maximize usage of the wind energy – by encouraging public support in the form of community-owned facilities and local skills to generate wind power
  7. Work upon retrofitting, to improve quality of work and living, pollution reduction, and waste recycling to create less waste
  8. To become the world’s first CO2 neutral capital, 42% of all energy consumption produced by windmills, 55% commuters bike use in the city and 90% of building waste to be reused
  9. The UN Global Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen in 2015 is considered the world first eco-certified international political summit

The Critical Aspect of Sustainability

Copenhagen believes reducing carbon emissions is just a small part of being a sustainable city. It is also about a growing economy and, ultimately, improving the quality of life of residents. A sustainable city is also a livable city where people can live and breathe, work and recreate. Green mobility with the combination of the better living conditions and efficient and integrated public transportation makes way for green growth and quality of life.