Title: What Copenhagen can teach the world
Author: BBC Travel
The Internet, Online, 11/3/2015
While Denmark’s capital may not be perfect, its successes in sustainability and liveability provide teaching points for metropolises across the globe….
Family is central to Danish life. According to BBC News, parents typically receive an entire year of maternity/paternity leave (which can be spread out over nine years), half fully paid and half up to 90% paid. In addition, government subsidies often cover 75% of pre-kindergarten childcare costs and the majority of education and healthcare. Culturally, BBC News adds, there is little pressure to work overtime, leaving people more time to spend with their families.
While all of this leads to much higher taxes (Denmark has the highest income tax in the world), Danes are willing to bear the cost since, studies show, they have a high degree of trust in their government.
The importance of liveability in Danish culture is exemplified in the sustainable infrastructure of its capital city. Copenhagen is friendly to pedestrians, and perhaps even friendlier to cyclists. Nearly 480,000 people (40% of residents) commute by bike each day, causing some to call Copenhagen the number one cycling city in the world. The city’s bike-sharing program, Bycyklen København, provides bikes to locals and visitors for free, and Copenhagen has a network of about 350km of off-road bike paths, complete with traffic lights. Plus, there’s the S-tog commuter train, the Metro and an extensive bus system. …….
Science and technology
The city’s many research companies are being joined by thriving medical technology and communications technology sectors, all big job creators, according to the German news source Der Spiegel……….
Copenhagen consumes more organic food than any other place in Europe, is home to more breweries per capita than anywhere else in Europe (many of which are organic), and also has more Michelin stars than any other Scandinavian city – 14 to be exact………..