Copenhagen is a city to look up to for its forward-thinking approach in designing the world’s most livable city. Not only is it a beautiful Scandinavian city that blends old traditions with modern design, Copenhagen is now recognized as the first bike city in the world. With more than 390 kilometers of designated bike lanes, it is truly a biker’s paradise.
The bicycle culture of this country started as far back as the 1960s when the combination of the oil crisis, environmental movement, and controversial road projects resulted in the public favoring bikes over cars.
With the bike, Danes were able to escape the cramped houses in the downtown core and flee to the clean air of the suburbs. However with the rise of cars, the city became characterized by dense traffic and packed parking lots. Pollution was an increasing problem and traffic accidents were common.
In addition, cycling has in recent years become a symbol of personal energy. This mentality comes from the huge initiatives by the city to make cycling ultramodern and super cool. This is done with the help of marketing initiatives that include billboards and advertisements online that talks about new bicycle projects and a focus on wellness.
In Copenhagen this culture has been propagated and deeply rooted in people from all levels of society. Cycling is not just for people who can’t afford a car or for those strictly in the downtown core. It is in fact, the first choice as a mode of transportation.
In 2019, Copenhagen was named the world’s top cycling destination according to the 2019 edition of the Copenhagenize Index. The index has been keeping track of the developments in urban cycling infrastructure since 2011 and has been publishing regular updates on the changes in attitude, policy and financing related to cycling in cities across the world.
In addition to that, biking has become a major part of the tourism which drives incomes for the city as a whole. Hence, it is referred to as ‘bike haven’.
By embracing cycling as a viable alternative, the Danish capital is not only keeping itself safe and healthy, but can also focus its economic recovery efforts on infrastructural projects that would make life better for all those who live in the city.