GrePaCo Bike Paths

Green Paths Copenhagen – GrePaCo

Using Crowdsourced Data to Optimise Green Paths in Copenhagen

Private, public and academic stakeholders join forces in the Green Paths Copenhagen (GrePaCo) project to address urban mobility and climate change challenges faced by the City of Copenhagen. The aim is to apply big data methodologies based on Google Traffic data and implement climate change mitigation solutions, which can be adopted and re-used in other cities worldwide.

 These sub projects have been defined to support the goals of the city:

  1. Green Wave Cycle Routes
  • Optimising the traffic light timings for bicycles along the stretch of Vesterbrogade starting from the Copenhagen Central station and including 8-10 traffic light intersections.
  • The green wave traffic light timing optimisations will be validated by COWI and implemented by the traffic light contractor of the city.
  • The project will provide new best practices for integrating traffic data from biased samples of data sources into the standard micro simulation tool VisSim, which is currently used by the city.
  1. The Quick Way – A rapid bus transfer system for Nørre Campus
  • Before/during/after analysis of the speed and reach effects of introducing a  Rapid Bus Transfer solution on Nørre Campus.
  • The resulting Origin-Destination (OD) analysis of the project will be used to assess further implementation of the  Rapid Bus Transfer solution in other parts of Copenhagen.
  • The before-during-after analysis will provide insight into the environmental impacts, the speed and reach and possibly socioeconomic effects of introducing green infrastructure interventions.
  • The analysis will show the shift from private cars to more climate friendly alternatives: walking, biking or public transport.
  1. The Ladegaard Stream – A combined urban space, green transport and flooding solution
  • Analysis of existing traffic in the Bispeengbuen stretch, including traffic flow and resulting OD and use the results in a macro Transport Planning Model to assess the traffic related impacts of the intervention
  • The OD analysis will supplement the ongoing research into the positive and negative effects of initiating the Ladegaards Stream project.
  • The project will establish best practices and validate the viability of integrating GPS enabled smartphone data sources into macro simulation models.

Innovation Potential and Strategic Fit

Using Climate-KIC funding, the project group led by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the City of Copenhagen, hopes to fully utilise the opportunities of collaboration with Google and the unique access to Google Traffic data. The GrePaCo project is a great opportunity for Europe to be part of the first wave of innovation in this field and DTU will enhance its ability to supply innovation to this type of demand application. The scope of the project is to bridge a gap between Google data on the technology side and the use of big data methods to address existing city problems related to the climate. 

Potential Climate Impact 

The City of Copenhagen has a goal of working towards CO2 neutrality by 2025 in their Climate Action Plan 2009 and these three projects support this goal.


Electricity, heating and transport are responsible for the majority of CO2 emissions in Denmark.

Carbon footprint calculations for the city of Copenhagen in 2005 show that the total CO2 emissions were 2,541,000 tons. Transport was estimated to account for around 20-25 % of the total CO2 emissions, ie. 535,900 tons/year.

The major contributor in the transport area is road transport including busses which account for three-quarters of the total transport emission, in total around 400,000 tons CO2/year.

An instrument catalogue was developed for the city and it estimated that initiatives to promote bicycles could lead to a 20-25 ton/year CO2 reduction, while a modal shift to buses from private cars could lead to a reduction of 10-15,000 tonnes/year.

The City of Copenhagen is working towards CO2 neutrality by 2025 and they have created the Copenhagen Climate Plan, based on the findings in this instrument catalogue, which specifies that  75% of all trips in Copenhagen should be by walking, biking or using public transport by 2025

GrePaCo’s sub projects 1 and 2 are dedicated to optimising bike and public transport in the city and if successful the concepts developed could be adopted in other parts of the city and also potentially in  other cities across the globe. This would hopefully attract more travellers to use greener mobility modes and move us closer towards the climate goals for greenhouse gas emissions.


The re-establishment of the Ladegård stream is seen by many local politicians as a prominent way of greening a heavily trafficked road segment and at the same time providing a solution for handling excess water from heavy rainstorms.

Project Type


Lead Partner

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Project Partners

City of Copenhagen




Project Manager
Project Location


Project Start Date
April 2015

Urban Transitions