Amsterdam is the most bicycle-friendly city in the world, according to the inaugural Copenhagenize Index.
A group from Copenhagen has created a list of the top 20 across the world. Amsterdam does well in nearly every category and while it ties Copenhagen for bonus points, it is top scorer in the standard categories. Along with the necessities like infrastructure and facilities, they also have outstanding advocacy, both political and non-political. The cycling atmosphere 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.
Early in 2011 a discussion arose at Copenhagenize Consulting about what cities really are the best cities for urban cycling. Over a period of six months the team has gathered information and statistics and developed an index with which we could rate cities for bicycle friendliness.
A wide range of individuals – politicians, advocates, traffic planners – have contributed to this inaugural index . The original concept was developed with a collaboration with James Schwartz of The Urban Country.
80 major cities around the world have been rated. They would have liked to have included smaller cities but based on the time they have narrowed it down to major cities. The smallest city to make the Top 20 list is Portland.
The final list of the Top 20 bicycle friendly cities offers up some surprises. The top two cities – Amsterdam and Copenhagen – will probably surprise noone but seeing results of the index we were surprised to see cities like Montreal, Guadalajara, Rio de Janeiro, New York City and Dublin ranking so well.
No city scored full marks but Amsterdam came close with 58 out of 60. Dublin rode off with 12 out of 12 while Paris and Barcelona scored 11 and Tokyo, Copenhagen and Amsterdam each harvested 10.
In the event of a draw, the city with the highest bonus point score is ranked higher. This determined the hierarchy among the cities of Budapest, Portland, Guadalajara and Hamburg while Helsinki and London were even on all scores, as were Rio de Janeiro and Vienna.