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The 20 most bike-friendly cities in the world

ponpo

( ≖‿≖)
Aug 22, 2011
19,671
9
0
Tsukuba, Japan
https://www.wired.com/story/world-best-cycling-cities-copenhagenize/

THE RETURN OF the bicycle to the modern urban transport paradigm continues unabated. All over the world, citizens are rediscovering the benefits of cycling. Cities are responding by building the infrastructure to serve and keep them safe. This rush to increase cycling levels and improve the quality of city life is the greatest movement in global urbanism. Of course, not all cities are equal. Some charge ahead, while others lag.

With the Copenhagenize Bicycle Friendly Cities Index 2017, we at the Copenhagenize Design Co. have ranked 136 global cities and identified the top 20 using 14 parameters. (You can read about our methodology here.) The common denominators between these cities are clear: the realization of the potential of cycling as transport, investment in infrastructure, and a desire to make cities better.

This is the fourth bi-annual Bicycle Friendly Cities Index and 2017 offers up as many surprises as the others. Copenhagen holds onto first place due to massive investment in cycling as transport. Utrecht dazzles with investment and innovation, nudging Amsterdam down into third.

Nine cities from the 2015 top 20 have moved up. Munich, Helsinki, and Tokyo are back after an absence. Every version of the Index produces a bicycle urbanism darling, and this year Oslo shines brightest. Despite the hills and the long winter, the Norwegian capital is focused on tackling traffic congestion and improving public health with bicycle infrastructure and facilities. Montreal clings onto 20th spot as the only North American city, but we are convinced that others will be appearing in the Index in the near future.

These are the cities to watch: Not just the benchmark cities at the top, but also the cities that started from scratch under a decade ago. Saddle up.

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. Utrecht, Netherlands
  3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  4. Strasbourg, France
  5. Malmö, Sweden
  6. Bordeaux, France
  7. Antwerp, Belgium
  8. Ljubljana, Slovenia
  9. Tokyo, Japan
  10. Berlin, Germany
  11. Barcelona, Spain
  12. Vienna, Austria
  13. Paris, France
  14. Seville, Spain
  15. Munich, Germany
  16. Nantes, France
  17. Hamburg, Germany
  18. Helsinki, Finland
  19. Oslo, Norway
  20. Montreal, Canada

"The world" aka Europe + tokyo, montreal.

1. Copenhagen, Denmark

The Lowdown: While the competition between Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Utrecht at the top of the Index remains fierce, it is clear the Danish capital continues to further develop itself as a bicycle-friendly city. It has invested $150 million in cycling infrastructure and facilities over the past decade. It has 16 new bridges for bicycles and pedestrians built or under construction, eight of which have opened since the 2015 Index.

Since 2015 alone, the City has completed the Havneringen / Harbour Ring bicycle route allowing citizens to cycle along the whole inner harbor, piloted a new traffic light system that detects and prioritizes cyclists, launched digital traffic congestion signs to improve flow through the city, and opened new bicycle superhighway routes. Now, 62 percent of residents ride a bike daily to work or education in the city—just nine percent drive. In short, few places in the world prioritize innovation as much as Copenhagen does, with the city council support to back it up.

Getting Better: Copenhagen may be a highly-designed and complex bicycle city, but it has work to do. Congestion on the cycle tracks—even the widest ones—will become a problem unless the city reallocates more road space for the dominant transport form in the city. And it needs to stem the tide of motorists that invade the city from the suburbs each day. Meanwhile, the November municipal election is shaping up to be Bikes vs Cars, with the right-wing parties gearing up for a return to the car-centric 1950s. Oslo, Helsinki, and Paris are pioneering a return to quality city life with plans to reduce car traffic. Copenhagen needs to maintain the momentum and cement its leadership.
 

B-Dubs

No Scrubs
Mar 19, 2012
60,817
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685
I wish NYC was better, but people and their cars gotta fuck it up for us I guess.
 

Fantastapotamus

Wrong about commas, wrong about everything
Aug 5, 2013
16,801
3
685
The Zoo
I wouldn't dare to ride a bike in Vienna after living there for 8 years. Viennese drivers are by far the worst in Austria.

Graz is much bike friendlier.
 

Volta Mars

Banned
Nov 19, 2015
106
0
0
Yonkers
I wish NYC was better, but people and their cars gotta fuck it up for us I guess.

I'm debating whether to give one of those delivery service/courier jobs like postmates and uber eats a go to help supplement my meager income but man... cycling in the city looks rough and I doubt I have the nerves for it.
 

Alx

Member
Jan 22, 2007
19,200
1,691
1,520
[*]Bordeaux, France
(...)
[*]Paris, France
.

Er I like Bordeaux a lot, but the biking environment is not that exceptional, no better nor worse than in cities like Lyon for example, and I've seen much better in many German cities.
Paris is surprising too, the development of bike lanes and services is commendable, but there's still a long way to go before it feels perfectly safe and comfortable in the whole city.
 

ponpo

( ≖‿≖)
Aug 22, 2011
19,671
9
0
Tsukuba, Japan
Er I like Bordeaux a lot, but the biking environment is not that exceptional, no better nor worse than in cities like Lyon for example, and I've seen much better in many German cities.
Paris is surprising too, the development of bike lanes and services is commendable, but there's still a long way to go before it feels perfectly safe and comfortable in the whole city.

I don't imagine the list is that scientific.

Tokyo doesn't even have bike lanes. You could probably put 200 misc. European cities on the list before it lol.
 

eot

Banned
Apr 13, 2012
12,803
4,706
895
Sweden has a lot of bike friendly cities, but Malmö is not at the top of that list lol. Lund is way more bike friendly IMO.

Also, Vienna? I mean it's not bad but I can fill the list with Swedish cities that are much better in that respect. Maybe they're only counting major cities, but the difference in bike friendliness is something I've complained about here.
 

Always-honest

Banned
Jan 11, 2008
41,668
1
0
LOl... Amsterdam has a lot of bikes but it's not nearly as bike-friendly as a lot of other Dutch cities. They're just throwing around big city names here.
 

Chuckie

Member
Dec 3, 2009
20,582
533
1,085
Biking in Amsterdam is hell compared to any other place in the Netherlands (besides Rotterdam maybe)

But I understand they want to have 'big' cities on this list, not small ones we have in Holland.

Edit: Lol beaten.
 

Big-E

Member
Nov 16, 2006
19,377
0
1,295
Vancouver is not on the list so I expect a 10 fold increase in bike lanes and traffic to increase because of it.
 

Ethelwulf

Member
Oct 2, 2013
3,131
7
475
Yup. I lived in Utrecht for 2 years and I can confirm this.

Edit: oh and I see Barcelona on the list. I currently live here and yes, bike culture is growing very fast. I commute by bike everyday. Time to go actually.
 

spekkeh

Banned
Apr 18, 2011
14,647
0
0
www.neogaf.com
Copenhagenize finds Copenhagen best city.



https://www.wired.com/story/world-best-cycling-cities-copenhagenize/





  1. Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. Utretch, Netherlands

"The world" aka Europe + tokyo, montreal.
*triggered*

My city is called Utrecht.
 

GCX

Member
Oct 22, 2007
9,068
1
925
I applaud Helsinki for making some big moves in recent years to make the city more bike friendly. The city bike network alone is godsent and works really well.
 

spekkeh

Banned
Apr 18, 2011
14,647
0
0
www.neogaf.com
Er I like Bordeaux a lot, but the biking environment is not that exceptional, no better nor worse than in cities like Lyon for example, and I've seen much better in many German cities.
Paris is surprising too, the development of bike lanes and services is commendable, but there's still a long way to go before it feels perfectly safe and comfortable in the whole city.
I was surprised to see quite a few cyclists last time I was there. It's a big change from what it used to be. Not twenty years ago whenever you saw a brave soul on a bicycle in Paris, people were silently muttering prayers and gesturing crosses as the nutter went by.
 
Jul 14, 2016
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I have never seen a city where the biking is as integrated as it is in cph. Every street has a bike lane in each lane on both sides. Bicycles are completely integrated in the traffic. As biciclist you share the streets with the cars. But since its so integrated. Most biciclist are better than they are else where, and automobiles are more aware of you. More of a common respect than elsewhere. You almost need a drivers licence to ride a bike in cph.

Cph is perfect for bicycling. Its completely flat. And most roads are broad. So there is lts of room for bicycle lanes.
 

Amalthea

Banned
Mar 6, 2009
7,940
0
0
Switzerland
I'd really love to live in a country where I could ride my bike to the store without fearing to be run over (note it's just across the street). It's pretty crazy to see how much bike shops are thriving in my neighborhood while the traffic and streets around my place are like the most awful to drive on.
 

Rmagnus

Banned
Jan 31, 2017
1,027
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I'd really love to live in a country where I could ride my bike to the store without fearing to be run over (note it's just across the street). It's pretty crazy to see how much bike shops are thriving in my neighborhood while the traffic and streets around my place are like the most awful to drive on.

I can relate to that, taxi drivers seems to hate cyclists in my country. I am still gonna try cycling to work next. Just bought a foldable bike... Hope I don't die
 

MKIL65

Member
Feb 6, 2017
1,201
0
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I've never witnessed many cycling accidents here in Copenhagen, so not surprising to see it at number 1 spot.
 

spekkeh

Banned
Apr 18, 2011
14,647
0
0
www.neogaf.com
Finding a place to park your bicycle in Amsterdam can get a bit messy.



Utrecht is a bit more structured, so it seems valid it's placed higher.



They're building the largest bicycle parking facility in the world in Utrecht. It will house 12,500 bicycles. I'm not sure what they're going to do with the other 60,000 parked around the central station.
 

Dazza

Member
Dec 10, 2014
1,129
0
0
Pfft. Should lose points just for this practice!

Why? It's legal for bikes to be on sidewalks in Japan, I would think it would be fine in many countries providing there are safety and speed limits
 

YourMaster

Member
Jan 26, 2006
1,451
1
990
Germany
Sweden has a lot of bike friendly cities, but Malmö is not at the top of that list lol. Lund is way more bike friendly IMO.

Also, Vienna? I mean it's not bad but I can fill the list with Swedish cities that are much better in that respect. Maybe they're only counting major cities, but the difference in bike friendliness is something I've complained about here.

LOl... Amsterdam has a lot of bikes but it's not nearly as bike-friendly as a lot of other Dutch cities. They're just throwing around big city names here.

Look at the metrics. The list is about bicycle politics, not pleasantness to use a bike in said city. The first metric is this:

Advocacy:
How is the city's (or region/country) advocacy NGO(s) regarded and what level of influence does it have?
And they probably find that smaller cities don't have as much influence in the world. They are also looking at stuff like bicycle sharing programs (that only make sense in big cities) and infrastructure investments (something that needed much more in big, crowded cities). In a big city you need a fancy bridge or something to bypass the mayor street, in a smaller city you might just be able to make said bike lane through a park at a fraction of the relative costs.
 

Aranath

Member
May 17, 2012
397
0
0
Glad to see Seville on the list. Our cycle paths are wonderful, especially considering they keep the cyclists away from the terrifyingly awful drivers in this place.
 

Tecnniqe

Banned
Feb 3, 2015
16,501
1
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Finding a place to park your bicycle in Amsterdam can get a bit messy.



Utrecht is a bit more structured, so it seems valid it's placed higher.



They're building the largest bicycle parking facility in the world in Utrecht. It will house 12,500 bicycles. I'm not sure what they're going to do with the other 60,000 parked around the central station.
👀

What the fuck there's so many bikes like
Holy hell how do you even find yours
 

Imperfected

Member
Jul 17, 2013
12,888
0
0
Seattle
I feel like the fact Montreal is a frozen hellscape a significant portion of the year should disqualify it, though I suppose in relative terms it's still more "bike-friendly" than "car-friendly" or "human-habitation friendly" during blizzards.
 

Amalthea

Banned
Mar 6, 2009
7,940
0
0
Switzerland
I can relate to that, taxi drivers seems to hate cyclists in my country. I am still gonna try cycling to work next. Just bought a foldable bike... Hope I don't die
Here it's less the drivers but the decades long insistence to ignore the future development of traffic and population wich caused the infastructure to become a cancerous, chaotic mess of roads that are way too small for modern traffic, even for motorized vehicles.
 

Tadaima

Member
Mar 30, 2006
2,807
1
1,325
Tokyo
As a cyclist in Tokyo I disapprove of Tokyo's appearance in this list.

I used to live in Cambridge (UK) which is heaven for cyclists in comparison (but I guess not a global city), but hasn't even made the top 20.
 
Nov 7, 2012
2,215
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Berlin at 10 seems really wrong.I am cycling here but it is nowhere comparable with Amsterdam.The common thing is probably that you probably won't die like in Istanbul or alike.
 

Carn82

Member
Jan 15, 2014
4,115
2
435
As someone from Utrecht who also visited Copenhagen, I can say that that number one spot is highly debatable. Copenhagen has some decent bike related infrastructure but it's a joke compared to what you see in Netherlands.
 

Tecnniqe

Banned
Feb 3, 2015
16,501
1
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Remember where you put it. 👀
But what if by the time you park it and you want to leave there's like 2000 bikes all around yours? Do you have a keychain you can press so your bike honks?
🤔👀
😂
It's like how the Inuit can distinguish 20 types of snow, the Dutch can distinguish 5,000 types of bicycle.
🤔
I can accept this explanation
 

JDB

Banned
Dec 12, 2015
3,827
210
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But what if by the time you park it and you want to leave there's like 2000 bikes all around yours? Do you have a keychain you can press so your bike honks?
I don't know about that specific place, but the one at our main train station looks pretty similar and for me it's literally just a case of roughly remembering where I put it and finding it back. Nothing else to it really.
 

spuckthew

Member
Feb 28, 2013
2,119
0
0
London
My personal experience in Paris (and I've been a reasonable number of times) is that road goers are a bit too mental and the traffic is too high for me to feel safe on a bicycle. Paris is like London but a bit more of a free-for-all (lol at trying to cycle around the Arc de Triomphe).
 

UnluckyKate

Member
Jan 15, 2008
18,253
3
0
I was in Kyoto two months ago for the first time and I did everything on a bike. The city is amazing to enjoy on a bike I think it was my favorite time in Japan. The bike lane bike park respectful drivers... It was heaven
 

Alx

Member
Jan 22, 2007
19,200
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1,520
My personal experience in Paris (and I've been a reasonable number of times) is that road goers are a bit too mental and the traffic is too high for me to feel safe on a bicycle. Paris is like London but a bit more of a free-for-all (lol at trying to cycle around the Arc de Triomphe).

Lol at trying to drive around the Arc de Triomphe. :D
Yeah there are definitely places in Paris I'll never go by bike. The first major improvement they did for cycling in the city was widening the bus lanes so that they could be shared with bikes, which isn't as good as a real bike lane, but a good start.
One of the issues with building more lanes in Paris is that the people in charge of historical conservation don't like having roads painted in different colours. :/
 

ponpo

( ≖‿≖)
Aug 22, 2011
19,671
9
0
Tsukuba, Japan
Why? It's legal for bikes to be on sidewalks in Japan, I would think it would be fine in many countries providing there are safety and speed limits

I can't stand it. For a country with organized escalator etiquette, the constant left and right movement of both people walking and bikes going by in both directions is pretty annoying for some sidewalk use.
 

OrangeAtlas

Member
Sep 1, 2013
1,195
0
0
Figured Montreal would be on there, nice to see it just barely made the list.

It's a really pleasant experience taking a bike anywhere in the city. There's a pretty good bike rental service most places downtown. When Just For Laughs comes around next month, there's a big bike parking lot that's pretty entertaining to look at.
 

Nozem

Member
May 24, 2013
3,276
0
0
Finding a place to park your bicycle in Amsterdam can get a bit messy.



Utrecht is a bit more structured, so it seems valid it's placed higher.



They're building the largest bicycle parking facility in the world in Utrecht. It will house 12,500 bicycles. I'm not sure what they're going to do with the other 60,000 parked around the central station.

Now imagine a car for every bike you see here.