Copenhagen, and City Planning


Copenhagen, Denmark is a city of roughly half a million people, and one of the most beautifully designed places in the world. From its innovative “Five Finger Plan” (see right) to its continued growth of connectivity as its ever increasing population demands, it has served as an example of an environment-friendly, successful city.

Five Finger Plan

The Five Finger Plan is the basic layout of Copenhagen, each finger serving as another district, and representing the common routes of transportation.

To oversimplify:

  • The pinky finger is where all the rich people live
  • The ring finger and middle finger are where most middle class families reside
  • The pointer finger has the lowest income (per capita) and the highest crime rate
  • The thumb has a mix of lower and middle class inhabitants


Public transportation (trains, busses, etc.) rides along the outline of the fingers. Public transportation is a key part of Copenhagen, because, like the rest of Europe, the biking scene is huge.

It is so important, in fact, that there is a Wikipedia article on Cycling in Copenhagen, which includes this graphic: Copenhagen_Bicycle_modalshares

According to Mental Floss, and a multitude of other sources, Copenhagen is the most bike-friendly city in the world.

Cyclists enjoy 390 kilometers (about 242 miles) of designated bike lanes, and Greater Copenhagen now has a “Cycle Super Highway” which connects the city to the town of Albertslund with plenty of amenities along the way, like air pumps, safer intersections, and traffic lights timed to average cycling speed to minimize stopping.


Copenhagen is dedicated to becoming more and more green, and has been recognized for their efforts. They have twice been ranked as the top green city by the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI).

With the offshore wind turbine generators, increased number of buildings using solar panels, and, of course, the large number of citizens who bike everywhere, the Denmark capital has big plans for the future, as well. By 2025, they aim to be carbon-neutral, have 75% of trips made on foot, by bike, or by using public transit, and, of the cars that would still be in operation,  20–30% will run on electricity or biofuel.

Copenhagen, through its classical European architecture as well as its forward-thinking city planning, is one of the most interesting cities in the world, and in my opinion, the most impressive.

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