Copenhagenize Us

Copenhagenize, roughly the worldwide equivalent of the Bicycle Coalition (they also maintain a bike Copenhagen-centric blog), has released its annual list of the best bike cities in the world. See that list HERE. The winner, on a point scale of 60, is Amsterdam, followed by Copenhagen, Tokyo, Barcelona, and Berlin. The top US city is Portland (#10, but much smaller than most of the other cities on the list); the best in North America is Montreal (#8). Philadelphia did not make the top 20.

It’s worth noting that five years ago few people bicycled in Barcelona; now it is in the top five. Also, Montreal, wonderfully comparable to Philadelphia in scale, has developed excellent, protected bike lanes. But otherwise, there is little Montreal has done that Philadelphia can’t do.

Also useful is the criteria used by Copenhagnize to rate cities. Among them: facilities (racks, space on trains), infrastructure, advocacy, politics, bike sharing, and things like gender split of riders and ridership trends. How close did we come in 2011? Can Philly–with a greater share of bike commuters of any large American city–break into the top 20 in 2012? Hopefully, the folks from Copenhagenize can help us sort through the data.

About the author

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book is the novel Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press). He is also the author of Song of the City (Four Walls Eight Windows/Basic Books) and The Possible City (Camino Books). He is senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine. Popkin's literary criticism appears in the Wall Street Journal, Public Books, The Kenyon Review, and The Millions. He is writer-in-residence of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.



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