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Copenhagen is a city of many stories, from the time-honoured Hans Christian Andersen classics and that lovely little mermaid, to gripping contemporary tales about the world’s best quality of life, clean air, summers of wonder and the finest food in the world (depending on whom you ask). One yarn that’s definitely worth listening to is that of Copenhagen’s deft touch with sustainable living, its subtle way with green initiatives and its knack of living very well indeed, but doing so within its means.

So how is that possible – and how do you put all that on a postcard? We’ll tell you over the next 12 pages (OK, sure: that’s a little longer than a postcard) as we explain how Copenhagen manages to be a crown jewel of cool, enjoying the party to the full, while also making sure that it can get up the next day and do it all again. Then again, as you’ll see, residents dive into the harbour before getting on their bikes every morning, so that would wake anyone up to reality.

Caring about the air that people breathe and the water that everyone drinks and bathes in has been hard-wired into Copenhagen’s urban plan for decades, and the fruits of that foresight are sweet. The stories that the city tells are still wonderful and they’re all concerned with ensuring a happy ending. Mixing good living and good sense? It might have to catch on.

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