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Ranking the World's Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities

A comprehensive study has recently determined the most cyclist-friendly cities across the globe. Known as the Copenhagenize Index, this study evaluated 115 cities based on 14 distinct categories related to their suitability for cycling. Factors considered included bicycle infrastructure, the proportion of commuters using bicycles, and the commitment of city officials to improving cycling facilities.

The latest index, published in 2019, assigned a score between zero and four to each city in every category, ultimately resulting in a total score out of 100. Unsurprisingly, the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, claimed the top spot on the list.

While skeptics may question this predictable outcome, Copenhagenize clarifies that the rankings are purely based on statistical data. Remarkably, 62% of trips to school or work within Copenhagen are made by bicycle, amounting to over 1.4 million kilometers cycled daily.

Copenhagen's status as a cyclist's haven extends beyond the Copenhagenize Index. In 2021, it was also recognized as the world's safest city in the Economist Intelligence Unit's Safe Cities Index.

Following closely behind Copenhagen in the second and third positions are Amsterdam and Utrecht, both located in the Netherlands. Antwerp in Belgium claimed the fourth spot, while the fifth and sixth positions were secured by the French cities of Strasbourg and Bordeaux.

As for the highest-ranking Asian city, Tokyo secured the 16th position, slightly ahead of Taipei, Taiwan. Tokyo's notable ranking stems not primarily from its bicycle infrastructure, but rather due to the widespread use of mamachari bikes—simple bicycles employed by millions of people for everyday activities such as shopping, commuting, and accessing train stations.

The Copenhagenize Index provides valuable insights into cities that prioritize cycling as a sustainable mode of transportation and highlights the remarkable efforts undertaken to create cyclist-friendly environments.

What are your thoughts on the Copenhagenize Index?

How bicycle-friendly would you say your town or city is?

What percentage of trips do you imagine are done by bicycle in your town or city?

What are the most bike-friendly places you've been to?

Which of the top 20 cities could you see yourself living in? Why?


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