New study: The benefits of green city planning go far beyond green jobs and CO2 reductions

    13. oktober 2011
    Copenhagen’s green city strategy does not only create green jobs and reduce CO2 emissions – it also brings a long line of documented social and economic benefits for the city as a whole, concludes a new study.

    50 percent of the people working and living in Copenhagen use their bike with a total avoided cost of an estimated $43 million and in just 9 years the prices of apartments close to the new public harbor bath has increased by 57 percent while apartments in the same area of town but further from the harbor only increased by 12 percent. These are just some of the benefits that can be attracted from Copenhagen’s green city strategy.

    As the green ambitions flourish in cities all over the world, new societal and economic potentials of ambitious green city planning are becoming more and more evident. The study “Copenhagen: Beyond Green – the socioeconomic benefits of being a green city”, which is released today by Green Growth Leaders, is the first of its kind to examine the concrete economic and social benefits of making an ambitious green city strategy reality. It looks at the concrete results and positive outcome of Copenhagen’s green strategic urban planning and environmental ambitions for the city as a whole.

    The study documents that Copenhagen’s green city strategy has not only brought great reductions in the CO2 emissions, decreased pollution, created several green jobs and produced annual growth rates of an impressive 12 percent in the green sector. The city’s green ambitions have also triggered a great improvement of the quality of life for the citizens of Copenhagen and created growth, export and job opportunities throughout the entire economy of the city – not just in the clean-tech sector.

    ”A key challenge is to create a city that can sustain both economic and sustainable growth. In Copenhagen we do both. We will continue to develop a city where people enjoy living because it is clean and healthy and offers attracting surroundings for our families, young and old. At the same time we will stimulate economic growth in the clean tech sector”, says Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen.

    The study outlines 7 examples of green initiatives implemented in Copenhagen and analyses their positive economic and social effects. E.g. an ambitious water management strategy from Copenhagen municipality has resulted in a reduction in water consumption of 26 percent. This constitutes to savings of $84 million annually. Yet another example from the study is Copenhagen’s project of cleaning the water in the harbor, which has not only improved the environment, but also has increased real estate values of apartments by 57 percent and local business life with more 300 percent in number of cafés, bars and restaurants, in the harbor area.

    "As the report demonstrates, Copenhagen has shown tremendous leadership in promoting the growth of its green sector. By doing so, it has strengthened its social and economic environment, improving the ability of its citizens to compete in the global export market. Copenhagen's successful policies can serve as a model for other cities in the C40 network" says Julie Chapgier, chief financial officer and director of operations at the C40 Climate Leadership Group, Bloomberg Foundation. 

    Read the full study here

    The study is published in connection with the thought leaders symposium “Take Lead” at Copenhagen Town Hall, convenes 350 experts and leaders from all over the world. For program, speakers etc, go to

    Media/journalists are welcome at Take Lead. Please register at