(08 August 2013) – Amsterdam and Copenhagen are the top cities for cyclers, according to Copenhagenize Design Co., a consulting firm specialising in bicycle promotion. Some other high-ranking urban areas – including Seville, Bordeaux and Antwerp – haven’t necessarily been on the international radar for their cycling efforts much up until now.
The Copenhagenize Index is based on points awarded for 13 criteria: advocacy; bicycle culture (the use of bikes for transport by the general public rather than a marginal group); bicycle infrastructure and facilities, meaning dedicated road space for cyclists; the presence or absence of a bike share program and how widely such a program is used; ratio of male to female cyclists; modal share for bicycles and modal share increase since 2006; perception of safety; politics; social acceptance; attention given by planners to bicycle infrastructure; and traffic calming.
Measured by these standards, the Top 20 list is heavily stacked with European cities, with only Tokyo and Nagoya in Japan, Montreal, and Rio breaking the Eurocentric lock.
For Copenhagenize Design, there are several reasons to be hopeful about the ongoing improvement of cycling culture around the world. One is the global alliance of advocates for better biking infrastructure that has been evolving online through social media. (With The Atlantic Cities)