Danes get ‘smart’ with sustainability and quality of life rankings

Recent surveys indicate Denmark as a top scorer for inhabitants and visitors alike

Melting sea ice is creating challenges and opportunities in Greenland (Photo: John Lumen)
November 27th, 2012 8:25 am| by admin
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Denmark has swept the statistical rankings yet again, this time topping two new international lists.

According to recent findings from Co.Exist, an innovation-related website from the magazine Fast Company, Copenhagen ranks as the overall smartest city in Europe, not only beating out its Scandinavian neighbour Stockholm, but other European powerhouses like London and Berlin.

The survey pointed to six key components as indicative of a ‘smart’ city. Of those, Copenhagen soared to the top in both the ‘smart people’ and ‘smart environment’ categories. While the people category emphasised an inclusive society with citizens who value creativity and high-quality education, the environmental category cited green buildings, energy and urban planning as top factors.

That sustainability is attractive to more than just Danish citizens – it’s drawing more international visitors than ever before. Wonderful Copenhagen recently reported that a record 56 international conventions have been booked in the city in 2012 alone, up almost a dozen from the 2011 count. And these visitors are flocking to the capital in increasingly large numbers: many of those conventions boast upwards of 2,000 attendees.

How is Copenhagen beating out its European peers so easily? No surprise here – booking officials again suggested that the city’s green profile, especially with regards to the availability of eco-friendly hotel facilities and meeting venues, leads organisers to choose the Danish capital.

And perhaps those convention attendees can be persuaded to stick around a while. Denmark has also sailed into the top five of the world’s best countries for a child, according to a recent index from The Economist. This particular survey compared varying quality of life indicators such as income, health of family life and trust in public institutions in determining which countries offered the healthiest and most prosperous future for a baby born in 2013.

But, alas, Denmark can’t win them all. The highest scorers for quality of life also scored the lowest in the ‘yawn index’ – the extent to which a country might be undeniably boring, despite having other advantages.

So apparently while those Danish babies can look forward to a bright future of sustainable cycling and 21st century education, they may not lead the most thrilling childhoods.

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