Copenhagen’s Grand Opening
29th January 2014
A number of events were held last week for the launch of Sharing Copenhagen, European Green Capital 2014. Copenhagen’s year as European Green Capital is all about sharing green solutions with cities around the world. The award pays tribute to Copenhagen’s record of consistently high environmental standards and its ambitious green goals. Copenhagen officially held its grand opening last week on Wednesday 22nd & Thursday 23rd January, 2014.
On Wednesday, a Festival of Light took place in nine squares in central Copenhagen, focussing on the theme of ‘sustainability’. People were invited to write messages about sustainability under the light of candles made from wax supplied by the city’s bees.
In less than four hours many of the squares played host to symbolic quotations reflecting on various aspects of sustainability and environmental issues. Street lights and shop lighting were also turned off and many of the streets were closed to traffic to allow musicians to fill Copenhagen with music.
Photos from the #SHARINGCPH and #DELDITKBH Instagram contest were also on display in an open exhibition held in the City Hall. The best pictures received prizes presented by Morten Kaball, Mayor of Copenhagen’s Technical and Environmental Administration. To view the winning photographs and some of the fantastic entries click here.
In addition, Copenhagen’s city utility company HOFOR, along with Mayor Kabell, officially opened three new windmills on the artificial island of Prøvestenen. The windmills will play a key role in the city’s transition to green energy.
On Thursday morning, a series of keynote sessions entitled Copenhagen Insights – Sharing Urban Learnings took place. This three hour seminar introduced Copenhagen as an international role model for green cities. It also provided a platform to discuss how cities develop and how future urban dilemmas can be addressed. Morten Kabell and George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, European Green Capital 2015, were among the speakers.
In the afternoon, the first meeting of the new European Green Capital Finalist Network also took place. Membership of this network is limited to cities that have been shortlisted for the European Green Capital Award. The concept of the network is to enable the most progressive green cities in Europe to share knowledge and push the environmental agenda forward together.
Finally, to mark the end of the official Opening Ceremony, over 150 brave winter swimmers jumped into the clean, almost freezing, Copenhagen harbour bath at Islands Brygge, Only 15 years ago, to swim in the harbour would have been impossible due to high levels of water pollution. Today, the situation is vastly improved as a result of Copenhagen Municipality’s efforts to improve the recreational environment in the harbour
Throughout the year, Copenhagen will host over 200 green events, conferences, master classes and guided tours as European Green Capital 2014. The full programme of events can be viewed here.
For more information on the European Green Capital Award click here.