18 August 2009

Copenhagenize Meets NBC Nightly News

It's an interesting year for Copenhagen. There are a slough of events and conferences in the Danish capital this year. From the OutGames to the IOC Conference where the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games will be chosen to the massive COP15 UN Climate Conference in December.

The number of news crews visiting the city will peak in December but there are more than usual throughout the summer.

The NBC Nightly News, from the US, were in town with their Environmental Affairs Correspondant, Anne Thompson. They were in Greenland to see the effects of global warming on the ice cap firsthand and they then spent some time in Copenhagen and environs doing reportage on various environmental issues.

They visited a Hydrogen Community on the Danish island of Lolland and, not surprisingly, they spent a good deal of time on our bicycle culture. They interviewed me and our 'bicycle mayor' Klaus Bondam, as well as our rock-star urban planning legend Jan Gehl.

I figured I'd get Anne Thompson's view on my city and interviewed her in a break from shooting on the King's New Square in Copenhagen. It's always interesting to hear how other people view the city and the bicycle culture.


Anonymous said...

what is Danish Reserve?

Mikael said...

it is the popular idea that Danes are a reserved people.

spiderleggreen said...

Nice city!

Emar Tino said...

Moving toward green energy is worthwhile, but it worries me that if the USA does go green with energy, it will not Copenhagenize the US. Green energy is talked about instead of changing our use and development patterns. If we do develop a green energy economy, we will use it to power electric cars and keep on building unsustainable suburbs and sprawl, the "American Way of Life". Wind/Solar/Biomass... none of these things will make more people in the US bicycle. I'd guess they might even do the opposite.

lagatta à montréal said...

Emar, you are right. One of the most positive proposals from the US of late was Obama and Biden calling for the building or rebuilding of rapid rail corridors - for us this would mean re-establishing the corridor to Boston, via Vermont and New Hampshire. I could go visit chiccylist Charlotte in Boston! It is absurd that this is not possible - it is 5 hours by car, and there are a lot of exchanges, whether academic and hockey related, between the main cities of New England and la Nouvelle France.

Green cars can be a good technology in sparsely-populated rural areas, or for specific purposes (ambulances, some delivery etc) but sustainability entails eliminating mass car use in urban areas and suburban sprawl.

There are already moves in that direction, but they are cruelly inegalitarian.

Emar Tino said...

Thanks, lagatta. I was just in Montreal 2 weeks ago - you have a fantastic city. Columbus, Ohio (and almost every other large US city) could learn a great deal from Montreal...and Copenhagen.

lagatta à montréal said...

Yes, we are a long way from Copenhagen, Amsterdam and other cycling-friendly cities, but the relatively good network of bicycle paths - and the strong "urban cycling" culture, I mean in normal clothing, not lycra are the result of many years of advocacy by groups such as Le Monde à bicyclette, Vélo Québec and newer groups that have taken up the gauntlet.

We are far ahead of Toronto in terms of cycling, although their winters are less severe than ours. On the other hand, Montréal made the mistake of going along with the plot to destroy tram networks, while the TTC in Toronto has kept and developed at least some of their tramlines. Now it is a hard struggle for us to bring back the trams.