Copenhagen is a global frontrunner in sustainable urban development, aiming to become the first carbon neutral capital in the world by 2025. Moreover, it wants to show that the reduction of carbon emissions can be combined with growth, development and increased quality of life. In order to achieve this, Copenhagen is emphasising public-private partnerships, and using a quadruple helix approach to engage companies/organisations, universities and citizens. Its new Resource and Waste Management Plan sets new ambitious goals for reaching climate neutrality by adding a reduction of 59,000 tonnes CO2, a KPI of 70% reuse by 2024, well ahead of the EU target of 55% in 2030.

Public partnerships and innovation are core avenues to maintain Copenhagen’s global lead in carbon neutrality, along with value chains that add value to both public and private sectors. An example is the current 45% reduction of CO2 in heating, where partnerships have created a data-driven energy management system for buildings (the EnergyKey platform by KMD) that doubles as a system management tool (Forsynometer) for the local heating company (Hofor).

Copenhagen has ambitious mobility goals: in 2025 at least 75% of the trips taken by its residents must be on foot, by bike, or by public transport. In this regard, it helps that Copenhagen, together with Amsterdam, already is a leading ‘cycling city’. Almost 63% of the citizens commute to work or school on a bicycle, thanks to a focus on designing city infrastructure to safeguard cyclists, while maintaining a strong focus on creating livable cities for citizens with a high degree of civic inclusion and local democracy. This has proven to be global asset to green city development.