Case

Socioeconomic benefits from increased cycling in cities

Cycling has always been a Danish tradition, but Copenhagen has gone one step further and made cycling integral to urban planning and design. The majority of Copenhageners choose low-expense, but quick and convenient cycling as their preferred way of getting around. In fact, we have  increased the number of Copenhageners and commuters cycling to work and education from 35% in 2011 to 60% in 2018.

In Copenhagen, urban planners have embraced the widespread bicycle culture with ambitious solutions that accommodate the city’s many cyclists. This has inspired urban planners all over the world to ’Copenhagenise‘ their cities, making them more bicycle-friendly.

Besides providing a more livable city, reduced carbon emissions and air pollution in the city, the shift from cars to bicycles also saves time and money. Looking at the total cost of air pollution, accidents, traffic congestion, noise and wear and tear on infrastructure when travelling by bicycle and car, society actually benefits by € 0.16 for every extra kilometre travelled by bicycle instead of by car.

No missing links is a main factor in the strategy for making more Copenhageners jump on their bike whenever they are going to work or education. The goal is to create a network of bicycle lanes throughout Copenhagen. This will reduce traveling time and increase safety for their cyclists. Safety, convenience, comfort, timesaving and livability are the keywords in designing a city where cycling is the norm.

More and broader bicycle lanes, improved design of intersections and behavioral campaigns are the means of achieving a safer city for the cyclists. With those types of initiatives, Copenhagen wishes to achieve a rise in the proportion of inhabitants feeling safe while biking (from 67% in 2010 to 80% in 2015 and further to 90% in 2025).

Heightened comfort and convenience is to be achieved through much the same means as increased safety, but also through better maintenance of bike lanes, snow clearance, and of course shorter travel time and easy transfer to train and metro.

The reduced travel time is to be made possible in a variety of ways including a better structured cycling network and ’Green Waves‘ for cyclists at traffic lights.

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