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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)

Main resources:
https://www.visitdenmark.com
https://www.visitcopenhagen.com
http://cyclingincopenhagen.com
https://thomasdambo.com/works/forgotten-giants/

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Bristol Greenground Map – connecting parks and open spaces in and around Bristol

Bristol map is the third map of the Greenground Map series and connects the parks and open spaces to inspire walks (and bike rides) inside and further out in the city. With 10 inspiring green lines and around 250 green spaces to explore, the map does not only include the inner Bristol, but expands to other areas such as coastal town Portishead as well as links to surrounding countryside; also including the Bristol and Bath railway Path – a walking and cycling path to neighbouring city Bath.

Bristol’s most famous and recognisable landmark is River Avon, which also becomes the first line on the map. River Avon Trail is also the most easiest line to navigate, running from Avonmouth to Bath. I’ve included two more river lines – Frome and Hazel Trym that offer nice walks along the riverbank, if not all the way then at least on some sections on the line. The Woody Line in the West of Bristol covers the leafiest area – Leigh Woods and Ashton Court as well as some of the nature preserves further away.

As Bristol is very creative city and the street art has become a very important scene over the past years I also included a Street Art line which includes some more nature inspired works. The Upfest festival location on North Street is one of the main areas to see murals such as One Love Coral Reef by Louis Masai or Cheeky Seagull near the Greville Smyth Park. Park murals also include Ollie Gillard’s nature murals in the Redcatch Park, a new St George Park mural and Eurasian Lynx by ATM near King’s Square.

Working on this map was an opportunity to take a walk down to memory lane, as I walked and cycled all over and up & down Bristol during my MA. I remember long walks to Bower Ashton from Bedminster on weekends and crossing the misty Avon on the bike on my way to work in the mornings. Although I know few of the routes covered on this map, there are many more I haven’t walked on and making this map has been truly mind expanding. I hope you enjoy using this map as much as I did making it!

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The first Edinburgh Greenground Map

It’s been a while since my last post and I thought it’s about time I created something new! As the London Greenground Map has turned out to be my most successful project so far with 46,000 downloads and 500 paper maps sold up to now, I have decided to keep creating these schematic walking maps, which people like and I love making. So the next map in the Greenground series is another green capital – Edinburgh! πŸ°β›°οΈ

Edinburgh is much more compact than London and this map aims to connect most Edinburgh parks and open spaces and some further afield. I have not included Queensferry as I wanted to keep the diamond shape of the map, but I am open to all suggestions & comments to make this map spread wider in future versions. Right now it covers around 220 Edinburgh open spaces and has 9 creative green and blue lines.

Those who follow me on Twitter know I base my maps on Google Maps, which is great tool to work with, but is not always accurately showing all the green spaces. For Edinburgh map I also used Parks and Gardens list of Edinburgh Council to find smaller parks. Some of these parks do not come up on Google maps and can be located using this directory. The Muir line is based on John Muir Way and more detailed maps can be seen on their website.

Edinburgh is a very walkable city and also in a walking distance from the countryside. To show this I extended the lines to south up to Pentland Hills Regional Park, that’s only 6 miles away from the centre or 8 miles via scenic Water of Leith walking path. However walking and cycling from Edinburgh can be challenging due the bypass that divides Edinburgh & the great outdoors as well as numerous golf clubs that are green, but closed off from public.

The Edinburgh map is in chillier tones than London map, reflecting the cool northern vibe. I’ve only visited Edinburgh during low light autumn/winter season and I think it’s a beautiful quiet time of year to walk in the parks & by the seaside and follow the river paths on the bike. As we are heading to this season now I hope the map helps Edinburgh locals to get out and discover new green spaces during this winter. πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈπŸš΄

For closer look see the PDF
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London Greenground map with distances

The newest of London Greenground maps has more fluid lines, especially for Thames line that now follows the river more naturally, includes 100 more parks with 400 parks and open spaces total and as a new feature shows the walking distances between parks. I have also began to locate the green ways that are long linear parks usually by the waterway or railway tracks and sketched in some new suggestions for creative walking loops. πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈβ™ΎοΈ

This diametrical map does not show the exact routes, but rather acts as a starting point in planning more precise journeys. The distance line lengths between parks and open spaces vary as the walking routes are not always straightforward and at times can be quite winding. This is why a mile on a map is represented with considerable difference. However I hope the map gives a larger scope for someone planning a green route in Greater London.

In most cases the distances are calculated from park centre to park centre and sometimes, especially with large parks, the walking distance between differs. For example Kensington and Hyde Park are next to each other and could be crossed over in minutes, but walking from centre to centre is a mile long route and takes considerably more time. As no one would be walking only to the edge of the park I thought centre distances would make more sense.

The loops and lines that make up the map are suggestions rather than fixed routes and the main intention of the map is to show London as one connected green network and encourage active movement between parks and along the waterways. Currently not all the London roads are quiet or safe because of traffic, but hopefully this will change soon when more people are becoming interested in active travel. πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈ

For closer exploration see the PDF
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