In recent years, Copenhagen has made great progress in the fight against diabetes. We have had greater focus on health inequalities. Because we know that vulnerable citizens have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes. We have opened our country’s first dedicated Center for Diabetes where citizens who live with type 2 diabetes can co-create the self-management assistance they need. The demand has been so great that we are now building a new centre.

Sisse Marie Welling, Mayor of Health and Care

Sisse Marie Welling, Mayor of Health and Care
Nina Thomsen

Copenhagen is the 9th most liveable city worldwide – the only European city to make the top 101


The city alone has about 400km of cycle paths2

Nina Thomsen

96% of residents live within a 15 minutes walk of a green space3

The diabetes challenge in Copenhagen

While Copenhagen is often associated with healthy and sustainable living, there is evidence of inequalities in health, especially among those with a low level of education, without employment or who are living alone.4

Reducing obesity: an opportunity for change in Copenhagen
Without action, the increase of adult obesity in Copenhagen will continue along current trends. However, if weight distribution were to remain at 2017 levels and we could reduce the rate of obesity by 25%, Copenhagen would see 4,600 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes and save 33 million dollars in healthcare expenditure by 2045.5



In Copenhagen, the programme’s research informed the Copenhagen Diabetes Action Plan, which aims to shape policy in ways that address inequalities in diabetes management.4  The findings have also led to targeted interventions such as the establishment of a specialised diabetes centre, a community-based mentor programme and a community action research initiative focused on the most vulnerable populations.

Copenhagen's partners




3. Diderichsen F, Brønnum-Hansen H, Schnohr CW. Folkesundheden i København 2014

4. Christensen U, Clare Kristensen E, GM HM. Cities Changing Diabetes: Vulnerability Assessment in Copenhagen. Copenhagen, Denmark: University of Copenhagen, Department of Public Health, Section for Social Medicine;2015.

5. Cities Changing Diabetes. Diabetes Projection Model, Copenhagen. Data on file. Novo Nordisk. In: Incentive, ed. Holte, Denmark 2017.