Urbanism

Copenhagenize Us

September 29, 2011 | by Nathaniel Popkin

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.

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About the Author

Nathaniel Popkin Nathaniel Popkin is co-founder of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (with Peter Woodall and Joseph E.B. Elliott) and two novels, Everything is Borrowed and Lion and Leopard. He is co-editor of Who Will Speak for America, an anthology forthcoming in June 2018, and the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment."

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