Contented Streets: Why Copenhagen Is the World’s Happiest Capital

Why have Danes again been named the happiest people on the planet? Early this year ABC News cited bikes as "perhaps … the best symbol of Danish happiness," and in this clip from "Contested Streets" it isn’t hard to see why. Here, livable streets guru Jan Gehl and others explain the many ways an increase in bike traffic (now one-third of all commutes) has improved life in the capital city of Copenhagen.

But it didn’t happen overnight. Rather, it took four decades of gradual change to make Copenhagen the place it is today. As for replicating that success elsewhere, says Gehl: "if you don’t have enough nice spaces, you can see these [become] overcrowded spaces. Then you should just make more spaces."

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Danish architect and urban planner Jan Gehl, who led Copenhagen’s turn away from car-domination toward streets and public spaces for people, is on a U.S. tour. I got to sit down with him this week in Washington. Where traffic engineers count cars, Gehl and his colleagues count people. So instead of telling city officials to […]

Notes on Bicycling in Copenhagen

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Copenhagen, Denmark is not a natural bicycling city. In the early 1960’s it was very much of a car town. In 1962 the city created its first pedestrian street, the Stroget, and every year since then Copenhagen has allocated more and more of its public space to bicycles, pedestrians and people who just want to sit […]

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Department of Transportation First Deputy Commissioner Judith Bergtraum, a top aide to former commissioner Iris Weinshall, is leaving DOT for a job at the City University of New York where Weinshall is now a vice chancellor. As first reported by the Daily News’ Elizabeth Benjamin, DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan just returned from a quick trip […]

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