Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 3618 | UrbanStreets Seattle began to build a connected network of raised, protected bike lanes between foot and auto traffic. Eventually, after many years of incremental progress, the network included almost every ma- jor street. Bike use began to climb back up, and the city began to reopen its his- toric plazas to people. When Klaus Bondam moved to Co- penhagen in 1982 to study airport cus- toms, the change was still very much incomplete. “It was a completely worn-out city with a lot of two-room flats,” he said in an interview. “It was full of students and as a student your only ambition was to get out of Copenhagen and move to the suburbs.” “There was no places you could sit outside,” Bondam, who served as Co- penhagen’s mayor for transportation policy from 2009 to 2012, recalled. “People would say, ‘We are not Ital- ians.’” Over the next 30 years, the city re- placed passing and parking lanes with protected bike lanes and parking lots with public cafes. Parking became more difficult, but in exchange, the city became quieter and cleaner, even as it added residents and jobs. Increasingly, it became a tourist destination, and also a place where people became eager to live and work. These days, fewer than three out of 100,000 Danes die in traffic each year, less than a third of the U.S. rate. But even better, thanks to these and many other social policies, Copen- hagen has one of Europe’s strongest urban economies and (thanks in part to an unusually young, educated and entrepreneurial population) is a sig- nificant hub for creative and digital startups. Denmark is also the world’s second-most egalitarian country by after-tax income. But perhaps most importantly, Danes are the most likely people in the world to describe them- selves as happy. Sitting in his office, down the block from the Torvehallerne public market that has inspired imitators around the world, Bondam said that many Copen- hageners were upset or confused by the changes at first. But once they saw the payoff, it was obvious to them which city was better. “My generation, we all remember when there were parking spaces over there,” Bondam said of Torvehallerne. “We all see, OK, this is what we got in exchange? I mean, I’d much rather have that.” To spend time in Copenhagen is to understand that the point of great bike lanes isn’t just to get more people on bicycles. It’s to make an entire city bet- ter by creating business districts and entertainment spots that don’t have to be surrounded by vast parking lots. It’s to have streets that can carry 30 times more people per square foot, because a personal vehicle takes up far less space (especially while moving) when it’s a bicycle. It’s to make streets safer for driving, biking and walking alike. It’s to live in a city full of people who are happy and healthy. “The swan is the national bird of Denmark,” Bondam said. “And that of course is based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling — which turned out to be a beautiful swan.” Martha Roskowski Kay Lewis Kay Lewis Danes are the most likely people in the world to describe themselves as happy. Copenhagen SEATTLE NAT F2016 SWFIN.indd 4 11/29/16 8:09 AM