From Intro to Human Geography 2014

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[edit] Introduction

Topping charts for the happiest place in the world, as well as one of the top five places to live, Copenhagen is the Danish capital. Home of Hamlet’s Castle, Carlsberg, and The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen is the most populated city of Denmark. It is the largest city in Scandinavia with approximately 30% of Denmark's population residing there.[1] There is plenty of history in its name, the original Danish name meant “merchants harbor” and through popular German translation became Copenhagen. Denmark, including Copenhagen is a constitutional monarchy allowing for democracy.

This large city is on the forefront of green and sustainable living with over 55% of the population biking as a method of transportation; it has over 400 kilometers of bicycle paths. From sleepy fishing village to smart Metropol, Copenhagen's thousand-year history has seen its share of war, pestilence and hardship, coming out relatively unscathed from this sometimes turbulent past as a personable, relaxed capital known worldwide for its liberal outlook and green focus.

Image: copenhagen.jpg

[edit] Guide to Copenhagen

Below is a 9 minute video displaying a Guide to Copenhagen.

[edit] Location

Map of Copenhagen
Map of Copenhagen

Copenhagen is situated on the eastern shore of the island of Zealand, enviable located on the banks of the important Øresund Strait. This particular strait separates the Danish island Zealand from the Swedish province of Scania. Copenhagen is also a border town with the city of Malmo, Sweden, which is connected by a bridge.

[edit] Globalization

[edit] Introduction

Globalization networks link us with other people and places, and the flow of technology is a daily way in which we are interlinked with the globe. Since the turn of the millennium, Copenhagen has been on the forefront of green living, modern technology and has set an example across the globe. They have had immaculate growth in urban, cultural and economic development. The government implicates investments in institutions and infrastructure making Copenhagen a great model for the rest of the globe.

[edit] Ambitious Goals

Green Bikers in Copenhagen
Green Bikers in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is the largest Scandinavian city and an important European capital. The nearness of forest and sea take away from the typical "capitol city bustle." This could lead to why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world. Even so, Copenhagen is setting a standard for the healthy and clean cities of the future. [2] City officials are dedicated to making Copenhagen the first carbon neutral city in the world by 2025. This means, there will be no carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. This in turn also creates many more Green jobs, making this city a centre for future sustainable research.

[edit] Economy

As previously stated, Copenhagen is widely recognized as a leader in "green" economy. On top of green economy, Copenhagen accounts for nearly 40% of all of Denmark's output. [3] Copenhagen is the economic and financial centre of Denmark. On a national scale, the Danish GPD ranks in the top 10 in the world. The economy prides itself on compact urban form, strong innovation, high skills and employment, low emissions and environmental quality. They remain one of the most productive city in Europe with gross value per person exceed $80,000 US per year. [4] The city of Copenhagen has a track record of comprehensive long-term planning and regulation for climate change, and is seen as an innovative leader in several areas including wind energy, district heating, and bicycle transportation.

[edit] Imports and Exports

The top 5 products exported by Denmark include:

  1. Packaged Medicaments (8.4%)
  2. Refined Petroleum (5.0%)
  3. Crude Petroleum (4.7%)
  4. Pig Meat (3.6%)
  5. Human and Animal Blood (1.9%)

The top 5 products imported by Denmark include:

  1. Refined Petroleum (5.8%)
  2. Cars (3.4%)
  3. Packaged Medicaments (3.1%)
  4. Crude Petroleum (3.0%)
  5. Computers (2.8%) [5]

[edit] Sustainable Development

As previously touched on, Copenhagen represents the future of sustainability and this is why:

  • The Environmental Protection Act, passed in the 1970’s, provided Denmark with a legislative foundation to make incremental advancements in sustainability over the years.
  • Higher taxes have providing the government and municipalities with most of the revenue for large projects.
  • Tax incentives for renewable energy
  • Subsidies and feed in tariffs for renewable securing investments in wind farms.
  • Wind co-ops have helped increase investment in renewable energy and increasing public support for windmills.
  • A strong tradition of collaboration between political parties, municipalities, and different branches of government
  • Extensive planning processes, with 4-year cycles and 12-year horizons are standard
  • Ensuring continuous improvement
  • The Integrated District Heating providing more efficient and affordable heating with lower emissions
  • Combined heat and power plants use waste products from one system to create efficiencies which translate to reduced emissions and a more affordable energy supply.
  • Investments in cycling infrastructure contributes to health and reduced emissions.
  • Waste incineration for heat has both decreased waste being sent to landfill and provided a local source of energy.
  • The Finger Plan, a comprehensive urban plan dating back to the mid 1940’s [6]

[edit] Political Geography

The city of Copenhagen is helmed by Lord Mayor Frank Jensen. At the top of the governmental body hierarchy, there is the City Council, which is made up of 55 elected officials for four year terms. Below that, there are seven different committees. Each committee consists of eleven members, including the mayor of that specific committee. The Finance Committee is the exception - there are 13 members, including the Lord Mayor, the mayors from the other 6 committees, and six members of the City Council. Other committees include the Culture and Leisure, Children and Youth, Health and Care, Social Services, Technical and Environmental, Employment and Integration committees. Underneath the committees, there are administrations for each specific committee, put in place to work with tasks related to its committee. [7]

[edit] International Relations

The Copenhagen government presents themselves as a tourist destination. There are multiple initiatives set in place, such as Wonderful Copenhagen and Copenhagen Capacity to attract both tourists and businesses respectively. Copenhagen Eventures also promotes large events within the city. Copenhagen also participates in many international networks and organizations such as C40, which works with other countries to prevent climate change, and Eurocities, of which their mayor Frank Jensen was the president until November of 2012. [8]

[edit] Population

[edit] Demography

Denmark Population Density
Denmark Population Density [9]

Denmark is a Nordic country that covers over 43,094 square kilometres of land, which is inhabited by over 5,627,235 people according to the latest numbers from 2014. Immigrants and other descendants establish a large 600,647 of the Danish community. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark has a population of 1,246,611 people as of 2014. The average life expectancy for these inhabitants is close in age; women tend to live to 81.9 years on average, and men live until roughly 78 years.[10]


Denmark has a large population, however over the years, there is a significant decrease in the birth rate among Danish women. According to the Copenhagen hospital Righospitalet, in 2012, 57,916 children were born in comparison to the 65,000 that were born in 2008. [12] Statistics show that regardless of a family’s want for children, there is still a 1/5 chance that a couple will not have a child in their lifetime. On average, a typical Danish family will have approximately 1.7 children, which when considering long term effects, it is not enough to sustain the current population of Denmark. Many families have little to no children simply because there is a lack of planning. These families wait a considerable amount of time, which has an effect on the fertility and reproductive organs within a woman. “Today, the average age is 29 and the number of women that are waiting until they are over 35 to conceive is increasing.” [13] l As many families wait to have children, more complications arise which can lead to the need for fertility treatments, among many other options. The costs for these additional treatments may cause a family to decide otherwise when having children as they may not be able to afford it. "Women are waiting longer, and that causes problems in getting the children they want, and fertility treatments do not always solve the problem.” [14]

[edit] Religion

Brorsons Kirke Church
Brorsons Kirke Church [15]

Copenhagen is home to a variety of different religions, however the official religion in Denmark is Evangelical Lutheran according to the Danish Constitution. [16] Evangelical Lutheran is a religion that was founded by a 16th century priest named Martin Luther, hence the name “Lutheran”. Lutheranism is primarily focused on the central concept of faith and salvation among Christian practices. To achieve this salvation, weekly mass is held to allows followers of Lutherism to practice scripture, hymns and praises. The standard confession, confirmation and marriage may also occur within Lutherism, however it is not mandated under Lutheran sacraments. Baptisms and the practices for the Eucharist are also completed as a part of high mass. There are a number of significantly older churches that date back to the 13th century. Many of the historical churches that are still in use also serve as a tourist attraction, as many visit to enjoy the different architectural buildings and the various meanings and background behind each individual church. Secondary to Evangelical Lutheran, immigrants of Islamic background constitute the next largest population following Lutherism. As globalization continues to grow over time, it allows Copenhagen to establish a wide variety of different cultural backgrounds that entail different religions. [17]

[edit] Quality of Life

Denmark Quality of Living
Denmark Quality of Living [18]

Over time, Copenhagen proves to rank very high time and time again on international charts for the exceptional quality of living that this city provides to its inhabitants. According to Monocle’s quality of life survey for 2014, for the second year in a row, Copenhagen has declared the top spot for the best quality of life. [19] Copenhagen was able to maintain this top rank by utilizing their culture, tolerance, efficient public transport, use of green space, global connectivity and numerous locations with clever architecture.“A ranking as the most liveable city in the world for Copenhagen underlines that Denmark is not only a good place to do business – here you get the full package. We know that quality of life is an important element when companies and skilled employees choose their next location, and I hope that this new survey will result in increased interest in establishing a presence in Copenhagen and the rest of Denmark.” [20] Copenhagen continues to prosper over the years, simply because the city stays innovative while maintaining a sense of “livability and coziness”. There are many efficient transportation options that are readily available and accessible for everyone, however they are also located in a city that makes it simple to bike to locations, which benefits a number of environmental factors as well. Copenhagen tops Tokyo on the quality of life list - Tokyo being one of the most technologically advanced cities - simply because of the atmosphere that the inhabitants exude among daily life.

[edit] Migration

[edit] Immigration

Up until the 1960s, the main immigrants within Copenhagen immigrated from Norway, Sweden (Copenhagen is a border town to the city of Malmo from Sweden) United Kingdom, and the USA. Due to economic growth in the late 1960s, there was an inflow of labour recruitments hailing from the former Yugoslavia, Pakistan and Turkey. In the 1990's, mostly immigrants hailing from Somalia and other African countries. From the year 2000, most of the immigrants have been coming to Copenhagen from other European Union countries, North America and Asia, while the flow from Africa has decreased since the late 1990's. [21] Between the years of 2000 and 2012, Copenhagen has seen a steady in immigration. In the year 2000, Copenhagen had 46,370 people immigrating into their city, while in the year 2012, that number had increased to 58,910 new citizens. [22] There are also issues of illegal immigration into Copenhagen, since the country of Denmark is a welfare state, and a very attractive place to live because of all the financial aid. [23]

[edit] Emigration

Denmark has a long history of neutrality as a country in terms of world wars. Because of this, the emigration has been low since the first world war, except for a brief period when people were leaving the capital city, mostly to the country of Canada. Roughly 80,000 Danes emigrated from Denmark between the two world wars, and about 80,000 emigrated from Denmark between 1945 and 1968. [24] Similarly to immigration, Copenhagen has seen a general increase in their citizens emigrating elsewhere, though the increase has fluctuated over the years. In the year 2000, there were 44,936 emigrants from Copenhagen. By the year 2012, that number had increased to 51,054. [25]

[edit] Climate

Copenhagen has a mild climate with cool winters and mild summers which are brought on by the west winds influencing the Gulf Stream current system. [26] Inhabitants experience four defined seasons of:

  • Spring: March- May
  • Summer: June- August
  • Fall: September- November
  • Winter: December- February

[edit] Social Geography

[edit] Social Assisting

There is a great amount of equality in Copenhagen, as this city is located in the country of Denmark. Denmark has what is referred to as the Scandinavian welfare model. Every citizen has equal rights to social security, as well as a wide variety of services that are readily available to all citizens at no cost. Copenhagen provides its inhabitants with free education at all levels, in some cases students can have a salary to attend university. [27] Because of these factors, there is an extremely thin gap between rich and poor, and that in fact mostly everybody is middle class. The gap is ranked is the 2nd smallest out of the 34 most developed countries [28] Copenhagen has very high taxes, but when surveyed if the residents of Copenhagen were happy paying there taxes, at least majority said they "partly" agreed. [29]

[edit] Tolerance

Copenhagen Pride
Copenhagen Pride [30]

Denmark legalized same-sex marriages in the year of 1989, which allowed them to become the first country in the world to do so. According to Lonely Planet, Copenhagen is the number one gay friendly city in the world. [31] Many non European Union citizens who are gay, will travel to Copenhagen to be legally married since it is relatively easy. Copenhagen is home to a very large Pride festival every August.[32] Copenhagen was also home to one of the first openly gay bars, in the 1950s.

[edit] Neighbourhoods

Copenhagen has various neighbourhoods in the city. Indre By, Norrebro, Osterbro, Vesterbro, Frederiksberg, and Christianshavn. Osterbro and Frederiskberg are a bit more affluent than the rest. Norrebro is a very multicultural neighbourhood and has lots of the arts and young people located in this neighbourhood. Vesterbro is the financial part of Copenhagen, and is also home to the red light district. [33]

[edit] Culture

[edit] Arts

The city of Copenhagen is full of culture. Copenhagen is home to many art galleries, theatres, concert halls and dance halls. There is a large variety of old venues to very cotemporary venues, as the city keep investing into the arts. [34] The more popular venue is the Tivoli Concert Hall inside Tivoli Gardens, which is also serves as an amusement park, located right in the city’s center. [35] Copenhagen plays hosts to many festivals, ranging from food festivals, Europe's Fashion festivals, Copenhagen Pride, Strøm music festival, Opera Festival, film festival, and their street party festival called Distortion. [36]

Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens[37]

[edit] Cycling

Copenhagen is world renowned for it’s cycling, and was dubbed the first official bike city in the world. There are over 390 kilometres of bike lanes in the city [38] 55% of Copenhagen resident’s commute by bike. [39] As the majority of residents continue to commute by bicycle, the city of Copenhagen has future plans to be the first capital city that is carbon dioxide neutral by 2025. [40] Tourists and locals have the option to rent a bike as a means of commuting in various locations across the city.

[edit] Cuisine and Beverages

Copenhagen is home to 15 michelin starred restaurants, and one among these is noma which was voted best restaurant in the world [41] The cuisine is a wide variety of food, from danish hot dogs to open style sandwiches, to elegant dishes prepared by world renown chefs. Since Copenhagen is a harbour city, fresh fish is always an option in a dish prepared in the city.

Mermaid [42]

The laws on alcohol are extremely liberal, and there are lots of breweries in Copenhagen, most notably Carlsberg. Ever since Carlsberg's gaining world popularity, there are presently around 100 microbreweries located in the city. Bars stay open as long as they want in Copenhagen. [43] The famous Mermaid in Copenhagen, was a gift from the heir of the Carlsberg brewery Carl Jacobsen to Copenhagen. It was inspired by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. [44] This mermaid encapsulates allot about culture in Copenhagen, that it’s a harbour city, donated by a brewer, based on a tale by a very famous author from that city.

[edit] Sports

Parken Stadium during an FC Copenhagen Champions League match
Parken Stadium during an FC Copenhagen Champions League match [45]

Copenhagen is also home to FC Copenhagen who play in the Danish Superliga. They play out of Telia Parken, which is the home ground for the Danish National team. Soccer has been a substantial part of sport culture in Copenhagen, and most notably the FC Copenhagen has qualified for the UEFA Champions league twelve times; their most successful run coming in 2011, when they were up against the world famous club Chelsea from London, England. [46] FC Copenhagen usually sit at top of the table for their domestic league. Copenhagen also has other professional teams for such sports as handball, rugby, and hockey - a sport that is becoming increasingly popular in Copenhagen.

[edit] Notes and References

  1. Denmark green living, December 2014).
  2. Sustainable Development (accessed December 2014)
  3. Green Economy Leader (accessed December 2014)
  4. Green Economy Leader (accessed December 2014)
  5. Denmark Profile (accessed December 2014)
  6. City of Copenhagen (accessed December 2014)
  7. Copenhagen City Government 2014-2017, (accessed December 9th, 2014).
  8. International Relations, (accessed December 9th, 2014)
  9. Denmark Population Density, December 2014).
  10. Denmark Statistics , (accessed December 2014).
  11. Fertility rates, (accessed December 2014).
  12. Fertility rates, (accessed December 2014).
  13. Fertility rates, (accessed December 2014).
  14. Fertility rates, (accessed December 2014).
  15. Brorsons Kirke Church, (accessed December 2014).
  16. Evangelical Lutheran, December 2014).
  17. Copenhagen Religion, December 2014).
  18. Denmark Quality of Living, December 2014).
  19. Quality of Life, (accessed December 2014).
  20. Quality of Life, (accessed December 2014).
  21. Copenhagen Immigration information, Accessed December 9th 2014
  22. Fact sheet from Statistics Copenhagen, (accessed December 9th, 2014).
  23. Copenhagen Illegal Immigration, Accessed December 9th, 2014
  24. Denmark Emigration, Accessed December 10th, 2014
  25. Fact sheet from Statistics Copenhagen, (accessed December 9th, 2014).
  26. Yearly Weather Summary, (accessed December 2014).
  27. Welfare in Copenhagen, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  28. Wealth Gap?, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  29. Wealth Gap?, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  30. Copenhagen Pride, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  31. Copenhagen LGBT, (accessed December 14th 2014).
  32. NY times Copenhagen, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  33. BBC on Copenhagen, (accessed December 14th, 2014).
  34. Visit Denmark, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  35. Tivoli, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  36. Copenhagen Festivals, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  37. Tivoli, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  38. Copenhagen Cycling Info, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  39. Visit Copenhagen, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  40. Visit Copenhagen, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  41. Danish Food, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  42. Mermaid, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  43. NY times on Copenhagen, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  44. Copenhagen Media Center, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  45. Parken, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
  46. FC Copenhagen, (accessed December 4th, 2014).
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