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DENMARK Day 3: Architecture and Sustainability... and Churros

By: Joy Ren

· Denmark 2023

DAY 3: May 19th, 2023

Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog! Today was our first full day at Denmark and it was filled with so many exciting views and activities.

We started the day with breakfast at the Danhostel (where some students were brave enough to try the local fried grasshoppers and worms). The weather was just as nice today with blue skies and wispy clouds. After a long walk and a metro train ride, we arrived at the headquarters of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), a private investment firm specializing in sustainability infrastructure. We were greeted by a kind lady who led us to a spacious meeting room where the sunlight shone directly through the giant glass windows and walls. As a former UN diplomat and now an employee at CIP, she gave a very eye-opening presentation about the state of the sustainability movement across the world. Not only is the shift toward a greener way of living difficult due to stagnation on the policy-making and government side, but humanitarian crises such as war or unstable governments also make this shift difficult to achieve globally. Still, CIP has been able to raise a significant amount of funding and is currently running 30 projects. They aim to reduce 100 megatons of CO2 emissions by 2023. Seeing the priority for sustainability initiatives in Copenhagen, we hope to bring this attitude to America and the rest of the world as well.

Next, we went to a rooftop garden — Gro Spiseri. The owner, Stephen, explained that he started the rooftop garden on an old car display building to spread awareness about the plant and animal farming industry. From office workers who want to take a break to people who enjoy gardening, many choose to volunteer at Gro Spiseri and have a nice lunch with their fresh produce. Stephen made many funny jokes but I unfortunately cannot repeat them here (you will just have to use your imagination).

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Our last guided activity was a walking tour by Sofia, a tour guide from the Danish Architecture Center. As the World Captial for Architecture for 2023, the city of Copenhagen contains many beautiful buildings and constructions in progress. Sofia explained that the architects focused on bringing “soul” to the city by infusing both modern buildings such as a geometric building that was transformed from an old silo with old-styled buildings with orange bricks. One of my favorite buildings was the Copenhagen International School which had square blue solar panels completely covering its perimeter. They are currently working on a project in Nordhavn to make new living quarters and buildings structured into islands that have easy access to waters and canals.

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After the long tour, everyone was absolutely exhausted and we all took a nap (at least everyone in my room did) the moment we got back to the hostel. However, we ended the night with a late-night snack at Rajissimo that was very kindly paid for by the teachers!

Follow us to our activities tomorrow — goodnight!