The World’s Best Cities for Bikes


What’s the world’s best city for cyclists?

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen.

That’s according to the urban design consulting firm Copenhagenize Design Co., based in Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam and Zurich.

The multinational company releases its Copenhagenize Index every two years to rank the most bike-friendly cities around the world.

For 2015, 122 cities were listed based on 13 categories—advocacy, bicycle culture, bicycle facilities, infrastructure, bike share programs, gender split, modal share for bicycles, modal share increase since 2006, safety, politics, social acceptance, urban planning and traffic.

The top 20 are:

Copenhagen, Denmark
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Utrecht, Netherlands
Strasbourg, France
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Malmo, Sweden
Nantes, France
Bordeaux, France
Antwerp, Belguim
Seville, Spain
Barcelona, Spain (Catalonia)
Berlin, Germany
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dublin, Ireland
Vienna, Austria
Paris, France
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hamburg, Germany
Montreal, Quebec
What does it take to get a top spot?

“You need serious advocacy, bike facilities, social acceptance, and a general perception that cycling is safe,” wrote Copenhagenize CEO Mikael Colville-Anderson in a Wired piece unveiling the list. “You get extra points for a higher modal percentage—the share of residents who get around by bike as opposed to car or public transit—and for a 50-50 gender split among cyclists. Of course, infrastructure is key.”

Copenhagen topped Amsterdam which had been the best city in the world in 2011 and 2013. Dublin and Montreal both fell in the standings while Minneapolis was the lone U.S. city named. New York, Portland and San Francisco had been on the Top 20 list previously.

According to the firm, the Danish capital remains impressively consistent in its investment in cycling as transport and in making efforts to push it to the next level. With regards to a uniform network of urban design for bicycles, Copenhagen is unrivaled in the world.

“A respectable bike share system is helping to cement the bicycle on the transport foundation of the city. Seeds have been planted and a garden is growing. America —often content with baby steps—is in desperate need of leadership cities and Minneapolis has emerged as a contender,” the report shared.

The U.S. does have promise. The Big Apple, Portland, San Francisco, Austin, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Chicago are in the Top 40.

Read full story here.