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Odense is an atmospheric city in the heart of Denmark on the green island of Funen. With 185,000 inhabitants, Odense is the third largest city in Denmark. It is best known as the birthplace of the great writer of fairytales, Hans Christian Andersen.

The city is a major hub for road, rail and bus transportation. Over 26,000 commuters travel to Odense each day. The city is one of Denmark’s largest university towns and also hosts the largest single university hospital in Denmark with approximately 8,000 employees.

Odense is a relatively low-rise city with low urban density and ideal topographical conditions for cycling. Once a heavy industrial city, Odense has now developed into a centre for small and medium-sized enterprises with a wide range of supporting service companies. The largest shipbuilding yard in Denmark is located just 13 km from Odense. As the country’s most important market gardening centre, Odense exports greenhouse-grown produce to the rest of Scandinavia and Europe.

The city has a long tradition of promoting soft modes through campaigns, citizen involvement and new developments in the field of cycling and public transport. Its key to success in CIVITAS II was to implement measures that involved city residents, ensuring ownership of the efforts.

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