10

Most Bike Friendly Cities in the World

LISTICLE | 08/09/2021
Not only a trend for the mountains anymore: e- mountain-bikes also suit the city.
Author:
Martin Jahns

What are the worlds best cities for biking? How bike-friendly are the world's metropolises? The latest Copenhagenize Index provides insights. Without the bicycle, the mobility of the future is unthinkable. We present the ten most bike-friendly cities and show what makes them so special.

Which cities are the most comfortable and safest places to cycle? Since 2011, the Copenhagenize Index has been answering this question. In the top 10 of the current Copenhagenize Index, only European cities are represented. In addition to Dutch and Scandinavian cities, France is particularly well represented. A German city only just missed 10th place.

These are the top 10 from tenth place to the most bike-friendly city in the world.

10

Helsinki

More than 1,300 kilometres of cycling infrastructure, plus the bike-first reorientation of the lively Hämeentie boulevard and survey results showing that 74 percent of residents feel safe cycling in the city. Helsinki has been doing a lot right in terms of bike-friendliness for several years. For example, since 2018 bicycles can travel free of charge on public trains. And especially useful for a Scandinavian city, bike infrastructure is also getting more attention when it comes to snow removal.

  • Overall score: 59.8%*
  • Streetscape: 2.7
  • Culture: 2.7
  • Ambition: 2.1

*See below for explanation of figures

9

Vienna

Whether through the free rental of cargo bikes, thousands of new bike parking spaces, the comfortable new bike lanes at Getreidemarkt or the ubiquitous marketing campaign #warumfärhstDUnicht? for more cycling - Austria's capital has done a lot right in recent years. What prevents an even higher ranking: Bicycles still too often share the bike lanes with buses or taxis.

  • Total score: 60.7
  • Streetscape: 2.8
  • Culture: 2.3
  • Ambition: 2.8
8

Paris

Thanks to the ambitious greening projects of Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the French capital has repeatedly been in the media for years as a role model for mobility change. Paris is also climbing steadily up the rankings from 13th to eighth. This is partly due to the successful urban bike-sharing service "Vélib", but also to the incentive system for cargo bikes, car-free days and the constant expansion of cycle paths in the city. On the other hand, there is still a need to catch up in terms of bicycle parking facilities and sometimes unclear bicycle lanes into which both directions of travel have to divide.

  • Overall score: 61.6
  • Streetscape: 2.7
  • Culture: 1.8
  • Ambition: 3.4
7

Oslo

The Norwegian capital is the big winner of the latest Copenhagenize Index: From 19th place it went up to 7th place - the biggest jump of all cities. The upswing is a consequence of the city's 2015-2025 Bicycle Plan, which sets new mobility priorities with several measures: Cars have been banned from the 1.3 square miles around the city center since 2017, and thousands of car parking spaces have given way to bikes and pedestrians in recent years. There are financial incentives for individuals and businesses to buy cargo bikes, and even the snowy winter becomes less of a problem thanks to 400 urban bikes with winter wheels.

  • Total value: 62.5
  • Streetscape: 2.7
  • Culture: 2.3
  • Ambition: 2.9
6

Bordeaux

Whether it's the closure of the historic Pont de Pierre bridge, the offer of 200 e-bikes for city employees or 100 new parking spaces for cargo bikes - Bordeaux is constantly investing in a growing share of cycling in public life. However, the proportion of only 35 kilometres of cycle lanes that are impassable for cars compared to over 100 kilometres of only colour-coded cycle lanes still offers room for improvement.

  • Total value: 68.8
  • Streetscape: 2.5
  • Culture: 2.8
  • Ambition: 3.4
5

Strasbourg

The most bike-friendly city in France is located in Alsace. In Strasbourg, 16 percent of the population commute to work by bike. Residents' initiatives have also ensured that space is taken away from cars and given to bikes, for example on the historic Grande Ile and the docks "Les Quais". The obstacle to even more bicycle-friendliness is money: projects are still too often underfunded.

  • Overall score: 70.5
  • Streetscape: 3.3
  • Culture: 2.8
  • Ambition: 2.9
4

Antwerp

Antwerp is also diligently expanding its bike parking facilities and building a network of cycle paths into the surrounding countryside. In addition, the speed limit of 30 km/h in 95 percent of the city's streets increases safety for bike fans. Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement: Serious accidents between cyclists and trucks and cars are still evidence that further investment in infrastructure is needed.

  • Overall score: 73.2
  • Streetscape: 3.3
  • Culture: 3.3
  • Ambition: 2.9
3

Utrecht

Bicycles are ubiquitous in Utrecht - but that's not enough for the city: by 2030, the number of trips to work by bicycle is to be doubled. To achieve this, the Dutch city is investing in "fast lanes" for e-bikes, smart traffic guidance systems and record-breaking bicycle parking spaces: the world's largest bicycle parking garage is being built in Utrecht, with space for 22,000 bikes. Around the central station there are now 33,000 bicycle parking spaces. This is also because private investors are also putting money into bicycle infrastructure. One point of criticism in the Copenhagenize Index is the lack of clarity in the cycling infrastructure for newcomers.

  • Overall score: 88.4
  • Streetscape: 3.7
  • Culture: 3.8
  • Ambition: 3.8
2

Amsterdam

With an action plan, Amsterdam wants to further improve the parking situation for bicycles and existing infrastructure by 2022. One of the measures in view of the steadily increasing number of cyclists: The widening of existing bike lanes for safe overtaking. In addition, a total of 11,000 parking spaces for cars are to be converted into standing spaces for cyclists by 2025. And: a new bridge for pedestrian and bicycle traffic is being built, and the city plans to banish mopeds from downtown bike lanes back to the street. The payoff for all the effort: Reclaiming second place in the Copenhagenize Index after ranking third in the previous ranking.

  • Overall score: 89.3
  • Streetscape: 3.7
  • Culture: 3.8
  • Ambition: 3.8
1

Copenhagen

The most bike-friendly city in the world is and remains Copenhagen. The Danish capital has been at the top of the ranking since 2015. 62 percent of work and school journeys here are made by bike. On average, the city invests 40 euros per inhabitant in cycling infrastructure, including new cycle bridges, 167 kilometers of new cycle paths into the surrounding countryside, as well as lighting, signage and repair stations. But the lead over the pursuers is melting away. Also because the Danish state government is making investment in infrastructure more difficult by imposing spending restrictions on local authorities.

  • Overall score: 90.2
  • Streetscape: 4.0
  • Culture: 3.8
  • Ambition: 4.0

The other places 11 to 20 at a glance

PositionCityOverall score in percent
11Bremen58.9
12Bogota58.1
13Barcelona57.4
14Ljubljana57.1
15Berlin56.3
16Tokyo55.4
17Taipei54.5
18Montreal53.6
18Vancouver53.6
20Hamburg52.7

 

This is what lies behind the figures of the Copenhagenize Index

115 cities were rated in 13 categories with points from 0 to 4 (best value). In addition, the cities can receive bonus points in a 14th category for special achievements for the bike community. From the 14 values, an overall percentage value for the bicycle-friendliness of the respective city is determined. This is decisive for the ranking

In addition, the Copenhagenize Index publishes the score for the 13 categories. These are divided into three main categories. These are

  • Streetscape: consisting of: bicycle infrastructure, bicycle facilities, traffic calming.
  • Culture: gender split, modal share for bicycles, modal share increase over the last 10 years, indicators of safety, image of the bicycle, cargo bikes
  • Ambition: advocacy, politics, bike share, urban planning
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Author:
Martin Jahns
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