Copenhagen: Cycle to civic life

The “Five-Finger Plan” was developed in 1947 by Steen Eiler Rasmussen and Christian Erhard Bredsdorff in collaboration with the Urban Planning Laboratory. The plan focuses on Green spaces and the transportation system with metropolitan train lines. These transportation systems spread in the form of five fingers from the Palm which is Copenhagen’s City Center, hence the title “five finger plan”. One of the most defining features of Copenhagen are the bike lanes and green areas. Nearly 40% of people ride bicycles daily, and the numbers are expected to rise. In addition, it is a walkable city with shopping areas which are pedestrian-accessible. There are playgrounds for children and gathering places. The city has also found ways to maximize its spaces by taking down the fences and designing areas to support a wide variety of activities. An example: a large courtyard next to a marketplace that serves as both a schoolyard playground and common space with a basketball court. During lunch, multiple worlds collide in one cohesive space. And in terms of policy, the city is redesigning all of its schoolyards to be fenceless so they are open and welcoming to the community. The parks are unique, playful, and a reflection of the surrounding neighborhood.

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