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A CITY FOR EVERYONE

A CITY FOR EVERYONE
By Michela Fancello -

Copenhagen is a pleasant surprise. As a city that has never stopped trying to better itself, Copenhagen as a lesson that things can always be improved on - a point it makes without pedantry, showing that things really can be simple. Copenhagen is a capital city for everyone, the city par excellence designed for people. Not just certain groups of people, but really for everybody: children, young adults, adults, artists, sports enthusiasts and so on. It is a city that astounds you for its simple, straightforward can-do approach, not least in the way it considers what for most are its shortcomings: virtual darkness for part of the year and sub-zero temperatures. Copenhagen aptly sums up the key features of Danish design: minimal, functional yet highly aesthetic. These features are everywhere in the city: in the attention to user comfort, and the care taken in public space design that combines functionality, beauty, and meticulous focus on materials and details. It is the attention to detail that makes the difference and gives that added plus to everyday quality of life. Like, for example, the famous cyclist footrests to be found at many street intersections allowing riders to push off easily from a standstill. Until a cyclist turns up and stops at a red light, you hardly even notice them. Some even have words of thanks from the city authorities to citizens who opt to move around on two wheels. Then there are the easy-to-reach inclined garbage cans along cycle routes, designed to allow cyclists to pop that piece of paper in a bin without getting off their bikes. Perhaps it is this series of small thoughtful measures and gestures that make the difference in this city. Why Copenhagen has become such an attractive city despite its latitude and temperatures is a question everyone asks. And following on from that is the question of how it is that everyone seems to buy into the mindset of continual improvement; for Copenhagen was not always this brilliant northern...

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