From the beginning, Glen Lennox has been a visionary neighborhood, and today that vision has us looking towards Europe – Copenhagen, Denmark, to be precise.
Grubb Properties, the owner of Glen Lennox, is the first private developer to bring the groundbreaking work of Copenhagenize Design to North America. Based on the principles of its hometown of Copenhagen, this internationally-renowned firm uses best-practice knowledge acquired over decades to ensure that bicycles and foot traffic are encouraged and integrated into site design.
The result will be a Glen Lennox community that reverses the typical American car-centric culture in favor of a more sustainable, people- and bike-friendly climate. Cars will still be part of the design, but Copenhagenize Design’s recommendations will help solidify a renewed vision for Glen Lennox as a live-work-play community that will deliver a net reduction in automotive traffic in favor of the more practical, sustainable, and healthier alternatives provided by an increase in bicycle and foot travel.
Their model is Copenhagen, which, like many cities, had growing problems with pollution and traffic as more and more cars took over the city. With urban planners designing for the movement of automobiles instead of people, cities become gridlocked, physical health deteriorated and social interaction was stunted. In response, Copenhagen made a significant shift to plan and give space to cars, bicycles, pedestrians, and public transport, along with an effort to strengthen its cycling culture.
Today, 62% of the city’s workers and students travel on foot or by bike each day. When surveyed, 56% of this group say they do this because it’s quicker and 19% say “good exercise,” with “cheap” and “save the planet” rounding out the top four motivations. This sort of real-world research and perspective has helped Copenhaganize Design become a leader in the “return-to-logic” transportation trend, where bicycles and foot traffic are encouraged and integrated into site design. Copenhaganize Design applies a human-centered approach to find the best solution to meet the needs of each individual site.
Copenhagenize Design’s practices have been embraced in cities including Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto, and Detroit – and now they will come to Chapel Hill. We hope their recommendations mean more connection, more enjoyable open space, and safer streets for all regardless of what mode of transportation you choose.
Glen Lennox’s revitalization, including the recommendations from Copenhagenize Design, is consistent with the community’s original philosophy – to provide a diverse, functional district built on a human scale that incorporates lessons learned from advances in contemporary urban planning.
We are under no illusions that a vast majority of people transiting the Chapel Hill area are going to abandon their cars. However, by applying the latest in sound, proven urban design, Glen Lennox can return to its leadership position as one of the town’s most innovative properties.
Interested in bicycle-friendly design and the work Copenhagenize has done? Check out their website at https://copenhagenize.eu/.