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Why Copenhagen Is One of the Best Bicycle Capitals in the World

by | Oct 8, 2018 | Updates

For quite some time, Copenhagen has ranked as the most bicycle-friendly city in the world. How is that possible? This article will provide you with the answers to the questions you might have.


Let’s Look at the Numbers

How is it even possible that Copenhagen continuously ranks as the most bicycle-friendly city in the world? According to the Copenhagen Municipality, 602.481 people lived in Copenhagen in 2017 (Københavns Kommune, Økonomiforvaltningen, 2017). 41% of them choses their bicycles to commute to work or to school  rather than taking the car. The car traffic will continuously decrease the following years due to the increase in bicycle-riding Copenhageners. As a matter of fact, Copenhagen accomodates approximately 678.000 bicycles which means that there are more bicycles in Copenhagen than people (Astrup, 2016).


How Is Copenhagen Bicycle-Friendly?

A lot of great things contributes to a high rank when it comes to being a bicycle-friendly city.

Over the past decade, investments of 150 million dollars has made the cycling infrastructure better with initiatives such as bridges for bicycles, improvements of traffic light systems and bicycle superhighway routes .

STREETFILMS shows, in the video below, that the cycling streets of Copenhagen are quite unique and have been for quite some time.


It is not very frequent that one of the biggest focal points on innovation at the city counsil is cycling routes and cycling infrastructure. However, in Copenhagen, it is very much the centre of attention (Colville-Andersen, 2017).

Danish Cyclists’ Federation is also a big part of the planning of the cycling infrastructure. They believe that Copenhagen has come a long way in regards to cycling infrastructure but they want to keep on focusing on their efforts on staying a bicycle-friendly capital (Astrup, 2016).


Want to Become Even More Bicycle-Friendly

According to Klaus Bondam, CEO of the Danish Cyclists’ Federation, it is all about how to use the space in the city. Their idea is to increase the road safety for the cyclists of Copenhagen. For instance, the Danish Cyclists’ Federation has been a part of the fact that right-turn accidents in Copenhagen has been reduced. A constant focus on the safety is very important to remain at the top of the bicycle-friendly capitals.

A part of becoming even more bicycle-friendly is listening to the cyclists. A continuous contact with the cyclists, politicians and officials will contribute to the objective of becoming even more bicycle-friendly (Cyklistforbundet, 2018).


The Luxury of Being a Cyclist in Copenhagen

Consequently, a rising awareness from the Danish federations and city counsil helps improve the cycling roads in Copenhagen. Copenhagen is a bicycle friendly capital because of the support from the city counsil and the federations that continously seeks new measures to improve the cycling infrastructure and want to spend a large amount of money on the cycling routes in Copenhagen. Cyclists in Copenhagen have the luxury of being heard which influences the cycling infrastructure as well.

We are looking forward to see how bicycle-friendly Copenhagen becomes in the following years!



Astrup, S. (November 2, 2016). Det cykler for København.
Retrieved from: https://politiken.dk/indland/kobenhavn/art5649047/Det-cykler-for-K%C3%B8benhavn

Colville-Andersen, M. (June 14, 2017). The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities In The World, From Malmö To Montreal.
Retrieved from: https://www.wired.com/story/world-best-cycling-cities-copenhagenize/

Cyklistforbundet (2018). Vil du have bedre forhold for cyklisterne?
Retrieved from: https://www.cyklistforbundet.dk/Medlemsfordele/Medlemskab/Vil-du-have-bedre-forhold-for-cyklisterne

Københavns Kommune, Økonomiforvaltningen (2017). Orientering fra Velfærdsanalyse.
Retrieved from: https://www.kk.dk/sites/default/files/2017_befolkning.pdf

STREETFILMS (August 2, 2010). Copenhagen’s Car-free streets & Slow-speed zones.
Retrieved from: https://vimeo.com/13826541


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