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Daily Dutch News in English

Amsterdam ranked most bicycle friendly city in the world

Amsterdam defends the title as the world’s most bicycle-friendly city in the 2013 Copenhagenize Index.

With Utrecht in third place and Eindhoven in sixth, the Netherlands dominates the top 20 with three Dutch cities this year.

Amsterdam continues to do well in nearly every category. The world’s most bicycle-friendly city does almost everything right. What the city lacks in a uniform infrastructure design it more than makes up for with its impressive saturation of bicycle traffic in the compact city centre. The widespread 30 km/h zones are instrumental in slowing the city and keeping people safe.

The cycling atmosphere in Amsterdam is relaxed, enjoyable, and as mainstream as you can get. This is the one place on the planet where fear-mongering about cycling is non-existent and it shows.

With the expanision of the Copenhagenize Index to 150 cities in 2013, Utrecht rocked right into a solid 3rd place. A splendid city in which to ride a bicycle, Utrecht is a world-leader among smaller cities for showing what it possible regarding bicycle traffic. The 640,000 people in the Metro area, as well as the city itself, enjoy a premier network of bicycle infrastructure and fantastic usage levels. Videos of Utrecht’s bicycle rush hours have served to place the city on the bicycle culture map for a wider audience and city is a must to visit for planners from around the world.

The third Dutch city to make the Top 20, Eindhoven deserves its ranking at number 6. What it lacks in the innovation exhibited by other Emerging Bicycle Cities on this list it makes up for with a solid base from which to further develop its work. Projects like the new Floating Roundabout are visionary – especially given the Dutch tendency to rest on their laurels. If that kind of commitment continues, Eindhoven will climb the ranking with ease.

The second edition of the Copenhagenize Index has also identified strong progress in encouraging cycling by several French cities – but London, which was ranked joined 15th in the inaugural edition in 2011, has dropped out of the top 20.

The Top 20 Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities Index for 2013 – with their 2011 ranking in brackets:
1. Amsterdam (1)
2. Copenhagen (2)
3. Utrecht (new)
4. Seville (new)
4. Bordeaux (new)
5. Nantes (new)
5. Antwerp (new)
6. Eindhoven (new)
7. Malmö (new)
8. Berlin (5)
9. Dublin (9)
10. Tokyo (4)
11. Munich (6)
11. Montreal (8)
11. Nagoya (new)
12. Rio de Janeiro
13. Barcelona (3)
13. Budapest (10)
13. Paris (7)
14. Hamburg (13)

The appearance of three French cities is a sign that France is quickly becoming a leading urban cycling nation. Three German cities and two Japanese cities made the cut as well, keeping them established as the world’s leading bicycle nations behind the Netherlands and Denmark. The most exciting aspect is seeing the newcomers to the list. The Emerging Bicycle Cities are not just transforming their own urban landscape, they are inspiring cities around the world in showing what is possible in a short amount of time.