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Copenhagenize Index 2013 - Press
Copenhagenize Index 2011

Copenhagenize Index 2011
The Copenhagenize Index 2013

We are pleased to release the The Copenhagenize Index 2013 - the world's most comprehensive list of bicycle friendly cities.

As with the 2011 Index, it was a long, hard process but nevertheless it was just as inspiring and interesting.

A few things have changed with the 2013 Copenhagenize Index. In 2011 we ranked 80 global cities. In 2013 - and from now on - we ranked 150 cities around the world in order to hammer out this list of the world's most bicycle friendly cities. In addition, we enlisted the help of over 400 individuals through our network on Twitter and on our blog to help us rank the cities. Having eyes and ears on the ground in all of these cities is instrumental in being able to bring you an even more comprehensive ranking.

We would like to thank the people who helped us with the Index. Among them are many urban planners, architects, politicians, bicycle advocates and regular citizens who use bicycles on their urban landscape.

At Copenhagenize Design Co. we were all involved in the making of this Index. In particular, thanks to these members of our team: Meredith Glaser in Amsterdam, Mikael Colville-Andersen, Pedro Madruga, Mary Hudson Embry, Rachel Om for their hard work and passion. Thanks to James Schwartz in Toronto for his fantastic help in developing the ranking system.

Why this Index?

The bicycle makes sense in cities. Investment in bicycle infrastructure is a modern and intelligent move for a city to make. Studies from Denmark tell us that for every kilometre cycled, society enjoys a net profit of 23 cents. For every kilometre driven by car we suffer a net loss of -16 cents. With rising urbanisation our cities need modern mobility solutions and the bicycle proves time and again that it can offer them.

Early in 2011 a discussion arose at Copenhagenize Design Co. about what cities really are the best cities for urban cycling. It was professional curiosity that was the catalyst for developing this Index. We work with cities around the world and we wanted to be able to give them a score in order to determine the best and most effective method for reestablishing the bicycle on the urban landscape.

The Index was originally meant to be a tool for internal use in the company but after a period of time we realised that the index was perhaps worth releasing on the internet. It has been time-consuming but rewarding.

For the 2013 Index we selected cities based on their size and we also made some judgements calls regarding certain cities' roles in the nation they are in. The scoring system, of course, remains unchanged. We only publish the Top 20, since we use the Index in our work.

The success of the 2011 Index has shown that cities are interested in being able to measure their progress in bicycle transportation. The response we recieved about the 2011 Index was overwhelming and encouraging.

The 2013 Index

As with the 2011 Index, this year offers up some surprises. We always think we have a pretty clear idea of what the list will end up looking like but a number of cities ended up shining brighter, especially after awarding the all important bonus points. The top two cities on the list remained unchanged - Amsterdam and Copenhagen. With the addition of 80 new cities, the rest of the list was shaken up a bit. New cities stormed into the Top 20 at the expense of others.

Only one city this year scored maximum bonus points - Seville. Bordeaux, Rio de Janeiro and Copenhagen came close to maxing out on the bonus score. Bordeaux scored well on political leadershi and their bike share system while Copenhagen made up for lost points on helmet promotion by scoring on innovation what with the series of bicycle bridges being constructed on the harbour and their almost complete infrastructure network. Rio de Janeiro managed to gain bonus points for innovative planning projects, social acceptance and political will..

Three Dutch cities made the Top 20 which is certainly no surprise but it must be said that they coasted to their placements based on status quo more than innovative thinking and the eagerness to move forward that we see in other cities. The appearance of three French cities is a sign that France is quickly becoming a leading urban cycling nation. Three German cities and two Japanese cities made the cut as well, keeping them established as the world's leading bicycle nations behind the Netherlands and Denmark.

The most exciting aspect is seeing the newcomers to the list. The Emerging Bicycle Cities are not just transforming their own urban landscape, they are inspiring cities around the world in showing what is possible in a short amount of time. These are the visionaries.

Enjoy the Copenhagenize Index 2013.

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© Copenhagenize Design Co. 2013