How Do You Plan a City for the Next 90 Years?

Planners in Copenhagen are bringing new meaning to the concept of long-term planning. A 10-person team is focused solely on envisioning how the city will adapt to the next 90 years of climate change.
October 9, 2013, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Visualise the world in 2050: convex streets that collect water from superstorms and pocket parks that absorb heat and can be turned into reservoirs. Welcome to Copenhagen, where planners are preparing the city for the effects of climate change several generations from now," writes Elisabeth Braw. 

"If all goes according to plan, Copenhagen's sustainable climate change adaptation plan – which recently won the Index Design Award – will be completed by 2033," she notes. "To be sure, Danish city planners operate in an enviable setup, where politicians and local residents alike support sustainable climate change adaptation and are willing to commit the funds required."

"The difference between Copenhagen and other major cities is that they're very concrete in the short term and also look at what they need to do for the very, very long-term future," says Brian Vad Mathiesen, an associate professor of development and planning at Aalborg University"But in Denmark, sustainable city planning is not a niche; it's just what we do."

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Published on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 in The Guardian
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