When it comes to cycling people seem to agree that Amsterdam and Copenhagen are the bike capitals of the world. Is it just an assumption or is there a way to actually determine it?
The Copenhagenize Index does just that: it gives cities marks for their bike-friendliness, using 13 parameters that take into account factors like cycling friendly infrastructure, cycling policy and bike sharing systems. One of the main goals of the index is to advocate for the benefits of urban cycling: for every kilometre cycled, said its creators, society enjoys a net profit of 23 cent.
Copenhagen and Amsterdam are rivals when it comes to ranking high on the Copenhagenize Index. Both cities are virtually synonymous with cycling where almost a third of all daily journeys are by bike. Copenhagen’s recently most famous bike-friendly installations is the Cykelslangen (Bicycle Snake): an elevated ramp that crosses the harbour. There are plenty more bicycle bridges in the works and there is even an attempt to introduce bicycle travel times as the baseline for all traffic lights, as opposed to car travel times, which has long been the norm.
The popularity of cycling is growing these days and our cities need a totally new kind of infrastructure. We could learn a lot from Copenhagen and Amsterdam.