“We’ve had a 10% increase in the number of citizens in Copenhagen over the past five years, and we expect a 20% growth rate in the number of inhabitants until 2020,” Copenhagen mayor Frank Jensen told fDi Magazine at Mipim 2016 in Cannes, expressing his city’s need for increased property investment. “We need a lot of new housing units; 45,000 new housing units before 2020, and 2.8 million square metres of office and retail space.” 

The Copenhagen mayor was one of hundreds of city and regional officials promoting real estate investment and projects at the three-day annual conference, one of the biggest property events in the world. Mr Jensen went on to promote the new business district of Greater Copenhagen, which covers 3.9 million inhabitants including Zealand and southern Sweden, comprising 70 municipalities and three regions. This is being promoted in an effort to counter disadvantages the city might face because of its small size. 

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“I am happy to say that since my first time at Mipim seven years ago, foreign investors in the Greater Copenhagen area have increased by 50%,” said Mr Jensen. “So that is a lot who have come to do business with us in the city and we would like to see more in Greater Copenhagen.” 

Copenhagen has established itself in Europe as a leader in sustainable practices, with an ambitious goal to become the first carbon-neutral city by 2020. “We’ve reduced our carbon emissions by 50% since 1995, and that is because of our very efficient district heating system,” said Mr Jensen. “Ninety-eight percent of all houses are linked to district heating, and we’ve now introduced district cooling, which can reduce energy spent on cooling buildings and factories by 70% compared with conventional air conditioning. So we have a lot of Copenhagen solutions in the field of green transformation of our cities.” 

Of all the new real estate investments in Denmark, 20% to 25% are foreign, according to Mr Jensen, a figure he hopes will continue to grow. “So I invite investors in real estate to come to Copenhagen and do business because there is a lot of potential, and a growing city needs investors,” he said.