The Copenhagenize Index gives cities marks for their efforts towards reestablishing the bicycle as a feasible, accepted and practical form of transport. The interest in taking the bicycle seriously as transport once again continues unabated around the world. Every city used to be bicycle friendly before planners and engineers started to change the paradigm and plan for cars and relegate bicycle users, pedestrians and public transport users to third class citizens. Now those cities around the world who are taking up the challenge and modernising themselves by implementing bicycle infrastructure, policy, bike share systems, etc. - as well as restricting car use - are the cities we all look to for New Century inspiration.
Cities were given between 0 and 4 points in 13 different categories. In addition, there was a potential for a maximum of 12 bonus points awarded for particularly impressive efforts or results.
In short, a maximum of 64 points could be awarded. Then we translate the number to a number out of 100.
The 13 parameters are effective at determing the bicycle friendlieness of any given city, showing what's in place at the time of ranking. The bonus points allow us highlight extra efforts that are difficult to see in the parameters. For example, a city may score down the middle on politics because the mayor and other politicians are promising infrastructure. Bonus points can assist in determining the level of the political will and the scope of the proposed work. Once the infrastructure starts being built, the city will score higher in Infrastructure next time around.
One example for the purpose of illustation is Antwerp, Belgium. The politicians who won the 2006 municipal elections promised 100 km of cycle tracks, which would give some bonus points. They actually delivered on the promise leading up to the 2012 elections, which is also cause for allocation of bonus points, including a higher base score for infrastructure.
The amazing help we recieved from over 400 people around the world who helped us rank the cities has been instrumental in providing an even more clear and precise ranking.
The 13 Categories
How is the city's (or region/country) advocacy NGO(s) regarded and what level of influence does it have?
Rated from no organised advocacy to strong advocacy with political influence.
Has the bicycle reestablished itself as transport among regular citizens or only sub-cultures?
Rated from no bicycles on the urban landscape/only sporty cyclists to mainstream acceptance of the bicycle.
Are there readily accessible bike racks, ramps on stairs, space allocated on trains and buses and well-designed wayfinding, etc?
Rated from no bicycle facilities available to widespread and innovative facilities.
How does the city's bicycle infrastructure rate?
Rated from no infrastructure/cyclists relegated to using car lanes to high level of safe, separated cycle tracks.
Bike Share Programme:
Does the city have a comprehensive and well-used bike-sharing programme?
Rated from no bike share programme to comprehensive, high-usage programme.
What percentage of the city's cyclists are male and female?
Rated from overwhelming male to an even gender split or more women than men cycling.
Modal Share For Bicycles:
What percentage of modal share is made up by cyclists?
Rated from under 1% to over 25%.
Modal Share Increase Since 2006:
What has the increase in modal share been since 2006 - the year that urban cycling started to kick off?
Rated from under 1% to 5%+.
Perception of Safety:
Is the perception of safety of the cyclists in the city, reflected in helmet-wearing rates, positive or are cyclists riding scared due to helmet promotion and scare campaigns?
Rated from mandatory helmet laws with constant promotion of helmets to low helmet-usage rate.
What is the political climate regarding urban cycling?
Rated from the bicycle being non-existent on a political level to active and passionate political involvement.
How do drivers and the community at large regard urban cyclists?
Rated from no social acceptance to widespread social acceptance.
How much emphasis do the city's planners place on bicycle infrastructure - and are they well-informed about international best practice?
Rated from car-centric urban planners to planners who think bicycle - and pedestrian - first.
What efforts have been made to lower speed limits - for example 30 km/h zones - and generally calm traffic in order to provide greater safety to pedestrians and cyclists?
Rated from none at all to extensive traffic-calming measures prioritising cyclists and pedestrians in the traffic hierarchy.