With the increasing number of people opting for bicycles as a means of transport in the country, it is only right to maintain this enthusiastic movement and encourage more and more people to join in. The return of bicycle has become the new series in action. All over the world, people are rediscovering the benefits of cycling. The officials of the cities are responding by building the needed infrastructure to serve and also to keep them safe. This new and much needed change to raise cycling levels and improve the quality of city life is the greatest movement in global urbanism. Of course, not all cities are moving at an equal pace. Some are marching ahead, while others lagging behind. It is unfair to expect equal responses from everywhere.
India is also responding to this movement in a very positive manner. The citizens have become very much responsible and understand the need to shift from heavy vehicles to bikes in order to make the cities better, people healthier, pollution lower and ultimately the planet happier. In order to keep up with the enthusiasm that our citizens have shown in cycling, we at Yulu have enlisted the top 7 cycling cities in the world to make you understand what steps the cities across the globe are being taken by the officials in the favour of those who are riding bicycle for betterment.
- Copenhagen, Denmark
Since 2015 alone, the City has completed the Havneringen / Harbour Ring bicycle route allowing its citizens to cycle along the whole inner harbour of the city. The council has piloted a new traffic light system that detects and prioritizes cyclists, launched digital traffic congestion signs to improve the flow through the city, and opened new bicycle superhighway routes for the riders. Now, 62 percent of residents ride a bike daily to work or education in the city—just nine percent drive. To sum up the entire scenario, there are very few places in the world that prioritize innovation as much as Copenhagen does, with the city council support to back it up totally.
- Utrecht, Netherlands
We are not used to seeing this name in the top on many lists, but lists like this one traditionally begins with names like this. Also this is one of the smaller cities on the list. Utrecht continues to impress the cycling enthusiast all around the world. The uniquely designed Dafne Schippersbrug Bridge is a fine example. The city’s ongoing plan is to build 33,000 bike parking spots at the Central Station by 2020 is another great example. The current 12,000 spots weren’t enough, says the official of the city.
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, like the other two cities mentioned above, has plans for quite impressive development and bicycle urbanisation projects, but they are bit lagging behind as compared to the others. For the benefits of its own residents, it has put bicycles in Municipal and political agendas. Its topographical conditions at times make it difficult to put ideas into
action but nevertheless the citizens show responsibility towards their place and still promote the use of bikes over any other vehicle.
- Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg is planning a coherent network of ‘bicycle superhighways’ with three major routes and several radial routes to connect the city with its suburbs and neighbouring towns. They are also planning on establishing bicycles as a form of transport equivalent to other public transport. Just like Utrecht and Amsterdam, Strasbourg’s primary challenge is to settle on some uniform infrastructure designs which run across the city. Upgrading its infrastructure to be intuitive and uniform is the perfect complement to its otherwise visionary bicycle urbanisation plans. Many cities are taking some serious initiatives towards cycling to establish it as a better form of public transport which makes them better cities for bike riders.
- Malmö, Sweden
Malmö, since 2015, has continued to work towards building the bicycle as a transport in the city. It is very thrilling to take notice of the opening of Cyklehuset or Bicycle House: an entire housing that accommodates bicycles throughout the building encourages car-free lifestyle. That is not all, this Swedish city is looking forward to upgrade its bicycle sharing by distributing cargo bikes from its central train station. A new bicycle ferry between Malmö and Copenhagen is set to strengthen bicycle tourism in the region. Most of these innovative initiatives are concentrated in the European region.
- Tokyo, Japan
When we are talking about establishing bicycles as a means of transport, it is not possible to not talk about Tokyo. It is the city which brought cycling back to everyone’s notice. It was quite strange to see it falling out of the top 20 bicycle friendly cities in 2015. But Tokyo is back in the list and with the most impressive statistics. One fifth of the area’s 20 million rail commuters use cycle to reach the station. The tourist areas are loaded with bikes, but it is the neighbourhoods where the vast majority of locals live that makes you really understand why Japan is the world’s third great cycling nation, and Tokyo its crown jewel. The modal share quite easily hits 30% in most of the neighbourhoods. Bike parking stations are everywhere and impressive parking stations with all facilities are located near all the train stations.
- Berlin, Germany
Berlin is 2 spots up in the 2017 ranking. The city owes the credits to its activists who promoted cycling referendum, placing bikes on the city’s main agenda. Berlin is set to experiment with traffic-free streets and is also testing ‘green waves’ for the bike riders. The government is also implementing the plans outlined by the Cycling Referendum. The capital’s modal share has reached up to a respectable 13% but some neighbourhoods estimate this number to see as high as 20%. Hence, few new bike share system is slated for the year. What happens is yet to be seen. But it is also true, that the new Coalition government has started to focus on sustainable transport system and cycling is surely on the top!
These are the top 7 cities which have established cycling as a means/form of transport very seriously looking at the scenarios from the past few years. The government of these cities have equally supported the movement, and in places where the government wasn’t cooperating, they were made to cooperate because ultimately it is for the benefits of its citizens, their city and ultimately solves the problems of a lot of environmental challenges. There are more cities which are progressing towards developing cycle lanes and other infrastructure to encourage its citizens to switch to cycling. Cities like Barcelona, Vienna, Paris are trying to squeeze in cycling infrastructure where it becomes quite problematic for the already set city design.
In comparison to all these pro-cycle cities and also countries, countries like India have just begun its movement. India can only be situated in the very initial stage of this development. Yulu has set foot to make this movement visible in the global front. We at Yulu encourage all the young adults and working people to cycle to their workplace. It is not only required for your own betterment but also for the future generations. Take cues from the above listed cities and opt for cycling. Don’t worry we got your back, book a Yulu cycle and #PedalTheChange!