What makes a city a place where everyone, and not just hard-core cyclists, wants to ride a bike? Copenhagenize just released their list of the world's most bicycle-friendly cities, and better design is a key criteria. Has the city planned for bike racks, space for bikes on public transit, and well-designed wayfinding? Are roads designed for bikes? Has the city designed a bike-sharing program? There's more to it—how safe bikers feel, how socially accepted they feel, the gender split among cyclists, and a strong bike culture in a city—but it's arguable that much of that can follow good design, led by advocacy. As Copenhagenize says:
Every city used to be bicycle-friendly before planners and engineers started to change the paradigm and plan for cars and relegate bicycle users, pedestrians and public transport users to third class citizens. Now those cities around the world who are taking up the challenge and modernising themselves by implementing bicycle infrastructure, policy, bike share systems, etc.—as well as restricting car use—are the cities we all look to for New Century inspiration.
Cities were given points in 13 categories. Unsurprisingly, bike-famous Amsterdam and Copenhagen topped the list. The United States failed to make the cut at all. What can your own city learn from these leaders? Explore the index, with more details about what each city is doing right, and what steps they could take to be even better.
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Images courtesy of Copenhagenize Design Co.