Denmark’s capital city has long been lauded as one of the best cities in the world for cycling - a utopia for everyday commuters who move about on two wheels, and a destination for urban planners seeking inspiration to boost cycling rates back home.
With a population of over three quarters of a million, most recent figures show that 49% of all trips to places of education and work are carried out by bike - and that number is rising. Copenhageners own 672,000 bicycles - and that is expected to grow by 100,000 by 2025.
Copenhagen is a city that has prioritised cycling over motorised transport, putting DKK 2 billion into cycling projects between 2008 and 2018. These projects have included constructing segregated and protected bicycle tracks, developing an ever-growing bicycle highway network that connects outlying suburbs and towns with the city, and constructing iconic pieces of cycling infrastructure such as Copenhagen’s Bicycle Snake bridge, a bicycle-only bridge connecting Vesterbro and Brygge. The city’s metro train even has dedicated bicycle carriages.
In fact, the shift to cycling has been so successful in Copenhagen, that one of the city’s major challenges today is finding space to park all the bicycles. Consequently, the city is busy implementing an ambitious cycle parking strategy.
Acknowledging the green credentials of the bicycle, Copenhagen has also placed cycling at the core of its climate action plan. By 2025, the city wants to see a maximum of 25% of trips made by car, with the aim of being completely climate neutral by this date.
Built on a legacy
Copenhagen was first awarded the UCI Bike City Label in 2007. The UCI is now delighted to welcome it back into the network, after re-awarding the UCI Bike City label to the city during the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.
The city hosted the 2011 UCI Road World Championships, 2010 UCI Track World Championships, rounds of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in 2008 and 2009, and of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup from 2007 to 2009.
Ninna Hedeager Olsen, Mayor of Technical and Environmental Affairs, City of Copenhagen said: “I am thrilled to learn that Copenhagen is yet again labeled as a UCI Bike City. Cycling is a key solution to crucial urban challenges such as reducing CO2 emissions, congestion, air pollution, noise and physical inactivity.
“As one of the world’s leading cities for bicycle traffic, Copenhagen is proud to set an ambitious example to cities around the world. Hopefully, we can inspire each other to continue to strive for the best solutions for our citizens and thus our cyclists. Linking large sports cycling events to everyday cycling is part of the solution and we are very happy to collaborate with UCI on this.”
All eyes on Denmark
Between 2018 and 2019, the UCI co-funded and collaborated with the Cycling Embassy of Denmark in the creation of Cycling - Danish Solutions, a digital platform of Danish best practices in cycling. This includes many examples from Copenhagen. Supporting the UCI’s objective to share inspiring examples of cycling best practice from around the world, the reintroduction of Copenhagen into the UCI Bike City and Region network reinforces the UCI’s collaboration with Danish partners in this pursuit.