“….I applied to intern with a startup company matching my interests in sustainability and smart technologies. I had a hunch that working directly within the community and experiencing the process a startup in the sustainability field undertakes, within a city known for encouraging sustainable practices, would help equip me for my own plans to help transition our local and global community to a more sustainable and equitable future. Once I received a letter of acceptance and funding to make the summer possible, I knew that a new chapter in my life had begun” (excerpt taken from the end of last week’s “Summer In Copenhagen, Introduction” post).
I found a reasonable flight from Charlotte to Vancouver and from Vancouver to Denmark and thus began my summer journey with a short visit to a friend in Vancouver. I had read about Vancouver’s Greenest City initiative, with goals to source 100% renewable energy before 2050. Already, the city claims to have the lowest GHG emissions per capita of any major North American city. It was also recently ranked third in North America for the sustainability of its transportation system by the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Mobility Index.
While I was there, my friend and I attended one of his Engineering meetings, about future city plans for Vancouver, and I learned about the personal and professional opinions of engineers concerning pipelines, bridges and earthquakes, traffic and human and environmental safety.
My friend also took me to trek Vancouver’s Sea Wall, which is part of the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path. The Seawall is a stone wall that surrounds Stanley Park to prevent the erosion of the park’s foreshore and has become a great pathway for walking, biking and recreational activities.
We also went to see the beautiful snow-capped mountains, where I met a wild seal for the first time and saw a few bears munching on daisies.
After soaking up a bit of the Vancouver air, I boarded my flight to Denmark.
12 hours of flight-time later, I landed in Copenhagen to begin my summer internship.
Copenhagen is one of those cities where you can find yourself – that innermost intimate voice — over and over again, just in a walk to the cafe. The bustling energy of a Copenhagen spring invites a desire to linger in the streets, where the art of performers and the allure of winding pedestrian cobblestone paths continuously reward curiosity. Grand old wooden gates shield mysterious cavities, occasionally left ajar to reveal a glimpse of private courtyard life.
The city of Copenhagen is a walkable, bike-friendly haven offering a network of pedestrian streets and wide, devoted bicycle lanes. In the pedestrian only sections of town, people dine in the streets as performers play the violin or sometimes the accordion nearby. The city is equipped with excellent public transportation via buses, metros and trains. After a short period of feeling puzzled by the pace of boarding and alighting, I soon became comfortable utilizing the metro to get from my apartment outside of the city itself to class and work.