As biking increasingly becomes a vital part of the urban landscape, here’s a look at the top cycling-friendly cities in the world in 2015.
- Seville, Spain
In a few years, Seville will be an example to be followed by others cities regarding infrastructure development for bicyclists .The Andalusian city succeeded in implementing the bike-sharing system in a short amount of time. The city’s modal share leaped from 0.2% to 7%.
- Antwerp, Belgium
Antwerp is one of the most important cities in Belgium when it comes to the attention paid by local authorities to cyclists. This is the best large city in Belgium for cycling; there are ample parking facilities around the city and the train station parking remains one of the best in Europe. The citizens have excellent opportunities to use bike sharing systems, as well. Unfortunately, the positive politics that came out of City Hall since the last Copenhagenize Index in 2013 have dried up with the last election. There is actually talk from the current politicians about how to get more cars into the city centre. Because of that Antwerp has slipped two places in this hierarchy.
- Bordeaux, France
The city came out of nowhere and started giving Strasbourg a run for its money as one of the best cities for cycling in France. What the city has achieved in the past few years is remarkable. A firm investment in infrastructure and facilities have given Bordeaux a brilliant bicycle urbanism boost. Bordeaux continues to take bicycle transport seriously.
- Nantes, France
Nantes rocked onto the Copenhagenize Index in 2013 because of clear political will and investment in infrastructure and facilities. The efforts from the City and the diversity of projects they have implemented are impressive. The City is also dedicated to traffic calming, which only serves to make cycling a more attractive option. The main boulevard is now virtually car-free and the city has added instead a demonstrative cycle track down the middle. It’s certainly not anywhere near best practice, but the symbolic value is important.
- Malmö, Sweden
The main city in Sweden’s most bicycle-friendly region, Malmö has been insistent on reestablishing the bicycle on the urban landscape. Their efforts have been rewarded with a climb up the Index to #6. A highlight since 2013 was the opening of a bicycle parking facility at the train station that makes even Copenhagen look awkward. Their No Ridiculous Car Trips behavioral campaign is still a benchmark for communication. A dedication to infrastructure is impressive, as well as designed facilities for bicycle use.
- Eindhoven, Netherlands
Cycling in the city is steady and strong. Cycling is the national sport in Netherlands. The Floating Roundabout designed exclusively for cyclists is a visionary solution that makes traffic more fluid and offers safety for thousands of bicyclists that cross this region daily.
- Strasbourg, France
Cycling in Strasbourg is a pleasant affair and, as it should be, the quickest way from A to B. There are 536 km of cycle routes in the city and surrounding metro area and the city has a unique bike sharing system. There is consistent political will to at least maintain current cycling levels. What remains to be seen is whether the city has what it takes to take things to the next level.
- Utrecht, Netherlands
Utrecht remains in a steady third place in the 2015 Copenhagenize Index. Utrecht continues to be a world-leader among smaller cities. The world’s largest bike parking facility, with space for 12.500 bikes is under construction. Utrecht seems to understand how to mix necessity with headlines, something that Amsterdam is still figuring out.
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
It’s always been neck and neck between Amsterdam and Copenhagen, but Amsterdam is relegated to second place in the 2015 Copenhagenize Index. One of the world’s benchmark cities for cycling, Amsterdam has a leadership role for what they have done. While the city enjoys a complete saturation of bicycles, it is time to tidy up and the most important projects are oriented towards developing solutions to these problems. The City Hall set up an underwater parking for bicycles last year.
- Copenhagen, Denmark
After finishing second in the last two Copenhagen Index rankings, Copenhagen edges Amsterdam into first place. The Danish capital remains impressively consistent in its investment in cycling as transportation and in making efforts to push it to the next level. The city’s modal share leaped from 36% to 45% between 2012 and 2014.