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Copenhagen Greenground Map – a green guide for walkers and cyclists

Copenhagen Greenground Map – Connecting parks & open spaces

I’ve visited Copenhagen three times – once while waiting my connected flight to Manchester, then on a work trip when I worked for a Danish company and third time on my own, just because I couldn’t find a place to stay in Amsterdam over the Easter. In a way Copenhagen is not immediately on everyone’s travel list like Amsterdam or Paris is, but even though my trips there have almost been accidental, I’ve grown to love this cool, sustainably thinking city, that is now one of my favourite European destinations. It’s also why I’ve been looking forward creating this map and sharing the Copenhagen experience with other urban explorers.

Copenhagen has a very similar feeling to my hometown Tallinn – the narrow streets and water surrounded fortresses immediately feel familiar, maybe because Tallinn was ruled by Danes from 13th to 14th century and some of the city planning could go back to this era. In my 20s and early 30s I always looked for the exotic places to travel, whereas now, when I’m older I find this familiarity comforting and cosy. To walk along the paved pathways in the dusk, surrounded by narrow houses with nordic style simple fronts, seeing designer lamps and cats on window sills. This is what the Danes are all about, comfort and style without lavish.

With 385 kilometres (239 miles) dedicated bike lanes in the city and even bike bridges crossing the harbour it’s easy to get around on the bike. This is remarkable considering London had about the same length of bike lanes by the end of 2020 (this data may have changed by now), when being a city nearly 9 times bigger in size. This is even better, if you know that you can also take your bike on metro or S-Train outside rush hours or even catch the harbour bus for the price of public transport. All this makes Copenhagen one of the most bike friendly cities in the world and nearly half of the Copenhagen population cycle to work or school.

If you have time in your hands Copenhagen is also a great city to explore on foot and travelling on the public transport network is a great way to get around the city. The travel in Copenhagen area is relatively cheap considering the 3 zone ticket costs around 5€ . The airport for example is in zone 3 and the Greenground Map shouldn’t cover area past zone 5. The tickets are even cheaper with local travel card, although you have to pay for getting one. Depending how long you stay this option may be worth to explore.

As usual the Greenground Map does not show the transport network itself, but it shows where to go! The map connects the parks and interest points to give you the oversight of the city based of its landscape and natural connections, so the Copenhagen becomes an intertwined network of canals, rivers, green paths, nature reserves and coastline. It will change the way you’ll perceive the city and helps finding interest points outside the centre, whether these are forests, hill-tops, beaches or even giant wooden trolls!

The lucky Copenhageners have around 42 m2 of public green space per person (although this may have changed since this report was published), whereas in Paris this number is less than 10 m2. In any way Copenhagen residents have plenty of opportunities to get close to nature as you’re never further than 300 m from a park, waterway or coastline. With free designated camping sites in Greater Copenhagen as well you can also spend a night or two outdoors, if your hiking or biking trips stretch for longer than a day.

If you love art and design just as I do, then Greenground Map has a dedicated line for museums, many of them surrounded by greenery or located near the water. Either you’re into contemporary art or more traditional folk art, you’ll probably find something to match your interest or just have a nice day out in cultural surroundings. And if you’re planning a day with kids, you can take them to a free nature playground or for a pirate style day-out on a beach near an old military fort.

Crowing seems to be in the nature of the Copenhageners and you can find new and older experiments in the city such as this remarkable neighbourhood of round allotments from 1948. But now, when the space is limited, the planting seems to have moved on rooftops, where creative growers have started new era of urban farms with accompanying restaurants. You can also find organic food in Copenhagen street markets, best places to hang out, eat & drink and people spot in the warm late-summer sun.

The Copenhagen Greenground Map is available here for €12 (includes shipping)

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Park Connection Map second version

As the first Park Connection Map received lot of positive feedback and many wonderful suggestions to include more parks, I designed the second map with 80 additional open spaces and three new lines. I would have liked to fit in even more suggestions, but as you can see below, the map is getting quite busy! Maybe next version will cover even more green ground.🤞

For those who did not see the first version, this is a creative park connection map connecting parks, open spaces and waterways. The idea of the map is to create a green ground network that can be cycled or walked, based on the idea of classic London Tube Map. The aim of this map is to inspire people to spend more time overground and on healthier green infrastructure. 🍃

The six original ‘lines’ connect Royal parks and City parks, link open spaces in North and South London and follow Thames and Regent’s Canal. The three new lines run along Lea and Brent river and create a BeeLine. Suggested by map makers, BeeLine is a corridor of safe havens for pollinating insects linking London’s green spaces and gardens. 🐝

As a seedling of an idea the Park Connection Map gets watered by the inspiring ideas of National Park City and its aim of making London greener, healthier and wilder, with contributing suggestions from outdoor lovers and green organisations. 🌱


Greenground Map v2

Greenground Map v2 PDF

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Park connection map in Londonist


Lovely M@ [read: Matt] from Londonist shared the park connection map alongside with great suggestions to his readers for the long weekend. His article The Greenground: A Tube Map Of Parks And How To Get Between Them highlights the map with a challenge to a reader ‘Imagine a ‘tube map’ showing the parks of London, joined together in ways you might want to walk or cycle.’ and invites to ‘Get out there and explore!’

Helen’s map isn’t intended as a detailed navigational aid, but more as an inspiring prompt to encourage exploration. A walk from Highgate Wood to Clissold Park via Woodberry Wetlands, for example, strikes us as a smashing way to spend a Sunday. Likewise, we can imagine a very pleasant cycle ride from Wandsworth Common to Richmond Park, taking in Putney Heath and Wimbledon Common.

Matt himself is a keen explorer who has taken few outdoor adventures out and about London. He has even compiled his own London Walker’s Tube Map based on most prominent walking routes.

A London Walker's Tube Map by Matt Brown
A London Walker’s Tube Map by Matt Brown

Londonist – Things to see and do in London is an online source to latest news in London, what’s on and events, the best London food and pubs, history and trivia, what’s free and cheap in London. Twitter Account

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Creative park connection map

Greenground Map


Idea The idea behind this map is to connect parks using environmentally friendly transport like cycling and walking . The creative ‘greenground’ network is made of six lines – Thames, Regent, Royal, South, City and North which connect parks in similar way tube lines connect stations. The map also suggest outdoor activity points such as kayaking on the canal and swimming in the park. This map idea is inspired by the National Park City Foundation green concept of making London the world’s first National Park City.

Why? This map could help to organise routes in accessible way, helping the green commuter to navigate from park to park in the order they are depicted on the map. Each of the lines could be cycled and walked and Thames line suggest River Bus connection points.