Bringing a Little Bit of Copenhagen Home

Exactly one week ago, 8 80 Cities and Knight Foundation concluded an intensive and immersive four day study tour in Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as a one day excursion to Malmo, Sweden. All 28 participants –city leaders from 13 US “Knight” cities– arrived with clear plans for improving public life and sustainable mobility in their cities. After experiencing Copenhagen’s innovative public infrastructure first-hand and hearing from the city’s best and brightest urbanists, these plans were either revised or scrapped in favour of new priorities.

The group went home infused with new energy, approaches, and ideas for transforming their cities into places where people are at the very centre of all urban design, planning, policy, and decision-making processes.

Check out some of the study tour highlights below!

  The 8 80 Cities Team with Ilmar Reepalu, former Mayor of Malmo (1994-2013). Ilmar was a central figure in transforming Malmo from a depressed, deindustrializing port city into a green, knowledge-based economy. (Photo credit: Kyle Kutuchief)


Malmo’s central station is also home to a refugee welcome centre.

View of Malmo’s Western Harbour from the top of the Turning Torso.

The concept of Malmo’s Fairytale Playground was developed by local children who were heavily consulted during an innovative public engagement process.

The bike parking situation at Copenhagen’s Norreport Station. (Photo credit: Kyle Kutuchief)

State of the art skate park in Copenhagen’s Faelledparken. Similar to Malmo’s Fairytale Playground, the City of Copenhagen enlisted young skateboarders to help design the skate park.

Kayak polo in Copenhagen’s Harbour Bath/Harbour Park.

Study Tour participants arrive at Copenhagen’s Street Food, a repurposed warehouse for small food vendors. (Photo credit: Kyle Kutuchief)

Bicycle counter welcomes cyclists onto Dronning Louises Bro a popular bridge for cyclists, pedestrians and those who want to linger and people-watch.

The people-watching scene at Dronning Louises Bro.

Helle Søholt, CEO and Co-Founder of Gehl Architects, gives an inspiring presentation about changing mindsets.

Bi-directional bike trail along one of Copenhagen’s inner city lakes.

Participants listen closely to a compelling presentation by Tina Saaby, Chief Planner of the City of Copenhagen.

Participants gathered in House of Green for lightning presentations from Better Block, Cycle Embassy of Denmark, Copenhagenize, Copenhagen Solutions Lab, and Danish Foundation for Sport and Culture.

Wrap up session hosted by 8 80 Cities in the Dome of Visions.

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