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In 1947, Copenhagen established the Five Finger Plan. The plan for the city’s growth designated five corridors of urban development, which were along railway lines to provide convenient transportation to Copenhagen’s business district in the central part of the city. Planned suburbs were to be built along these corridors and linked together like beads on a string.

The development plan resembles a hand with five fingers stretching out away from the city center. The plan allowed for controlled urban growth while leaving space open for recreation and agriculture. These green spaces were to occupy the land between the fingers.

As the series of images shows, the five fingers and hand shape are indeed vaguely recognizable. In these false-color images, the developed areas are shades of purple. Buildings and pavement are very reflective. On the other hand, water reflects very little sunlight, so it shows up as black.


Every picture has a story to tell
June 1, 1985, Landsat 5 (path/row 194/21) — Copenhagen’s Five-Finger Plan
July 12, 1994, Landsat 5 (path/row 194/21) — Copenhagen’s Five-Finger Plan
June 21, 1998, Landsat 5 (path/row 194/21) — Copenhagen’s Five-Finger Plan
July 7, 2001, Landsat 7 (path/row 194/21) — Copenhagen’s Five-Finger Plan
June 17, 2014, Landsat 8 (path/row 194/21) — Copenhagen’s Five-Finger Plan


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