Copenhagen

  • Copenhagen - The Copenhagenize Index
  • Copenhagen - The Copenhagenize Index
  • Copenhagen - The Copenhagenize Index

Copenhagen

1.The Lowdown
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 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 unrivalled in the world. The clear leadership we missed in the 2013 ranking is once again in place with the election of Morten Kabell as Mayor of the Technical & Environmental Administration (DoT). Clear visions have emerged and the City is again moving forward.

Copenhagen's base score remains largely steady, with one notable exception. The city's modal share leapt from 36% to 45% between 2012 and 2014. A 9% increase in modal share in such a short time. That has never happened anywhere. Seriously. We know exactly why it happened, as you can read here, but it happened.

Add to that continued investment in new infrastructure. A bicycle bridge over a motorway north of the city. Two new bridges - Trangravsbroen and Proviantbroen - over the canal opened in December 2014. The famous Cykelslangen - or Bicycle Snake - an elevated bike ramp that has captured the citizens' imagination and provided an important mobility link across the harbour. Four new bicycle bridges are on the way. Cross-town routes are being upgraded. A bold attempt is being made to use bicycle travel times as the baseline for all traffic lights and flow projections, instead of car travel times as has been the norm for decades.

You simply can't keep track of the constant flow of new bicycle urbanism stuff in Copenhagen. High points in modal share increase and a good harvest of bonus points for that, as well as infrastructure and political will pushed Copenhagen into first place. Innovation. Investment. Improvement.

The Region
Looking around the region, Copenhagen is light years ahead of every other city - not least the other Nordic capitals. Only Malmö, across the water, comes close to measuring up to Copenhagen, maintaining their place in the Top 20. Only Helsinki fares respectably, with a Top 30 finish, while Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo and the Baltic capitals float about mid-table.

The Fixes
Kill off the failed bike share programme, it's getting embarrassing. Put the money into something that actually works. Keep pushing for improvements in infrastructure and be bolder to battle the constant helmet promotion from the safety nannies. You know that more space is the key to continued growth so now is the time to be bolder than ever. Wider cycle tracks and bicycle boulevards. People in cars who don't even live in the municipality continue to enjoy free passage down your streets. Italian traffic planners call them parasites. Time to stem the tide. Learn from the lesson of The Greatest Urban Experiment and maintain the current rise in cycling levels after the Metro is finished.