Although they say it took them more time than they had expected, Copenhagenize’s 2013 Index of bicycle-friendly cities is out, and Amsterdam is the orange on top.
“We ranked 80 cities in 2011 and increased that to 150 this time round. Although this time round we had the help of over 400 individuals on every continent – our eyes and ears on the ground – to assist with the ranking. Lots of changes in the Top 20 what with the addition of 80 new cities. ”
Some interesting bits about the list:
- Utrecht came in 3rd and Eindhoven 6th.
- My home town of Montréal came in 11th (tied with Munich and Nagoya), as the only North American city.
- France and Germany each have three cities in the top 20.
All in all, most top biking cities are European ones. I mentioned in passing on French Belgian radio last week how dangerous it was to cycle in Brussels, so I am glad to see Antwerp in the list.
From what I have seen and read, in the United States and in many parts of Canada, fitting in cyclists so late in the game is more of a nuisance and a diluted green affair than actually making cycling a valid and accepted mode of transport like it is here. It could make more sense in the long run to concentrate on electric cars in countries where the distances are greater than trying to get people to cycle two months out of the year when the weather is nice. Winter has to be a major factor worldwide for using a car over a bike. Copenhagen and Malmö have serious winters and are pretty far up the list, but they have relatively small city centres and apparently very good cycling infrastructure. I know for a fact that it took a lot of lobbying to get my home town of Montréal to build bike paths at the end of the 1980s.
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