Residents of Copenhagen commuting into work on the morning rush did something they would never have thought to do: they stopped to look at a bench.
In the spring months of this year, residents of Copenhagen commuting into work on the morning rush did something they would never have thought to do: stop/ they stopped to look at a bench. Every Danish person knows the classic public benches. A cast iron frame, wooden panelling in ivy green, these simple but elegant designs have been a staple on Copenhagen streets since the 1880s and there are upwards of 10,000 placed around the city today. It is a sight Danish commuters are well-accustomed to by now. So what would make one stop in their tracks, turn around, and look more closely? This is the challenge that Art Director at TV2 Denmark Kristian Vestergaard took on when developing a campaign to raise awareness about rising sea levels in Denmark.
Rising sea levels are one of the most imminent threats to countries all over the world, whose borders are shrinking and cities are sinking. This phenomenon is a direct consequence of climate change as it is inextricably linked to the ice caps melting from global warming. The more we pollute the earth’s atmosphere with harmful fossil fuels and create a ‘greenhouse’ gas effect, the faster the ice will melt and increase the world’s bodies of water. In Denmark’s Falster Island alone, 100km2 of landmass will be underwater by 2100. On the other side of the globe, Bangladesh — population 164 million, land mass 148,000 km2— is already nearly 75% submerged, according to humanitarian charity Concern. Therefore campaigns like TV2’s Copenhagen Bench Project are essential not only to demonstrate the imminent reality, but to put pressure on governments to enact policy which can minimise the dangers before it is too late.
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