By Joel Zanatta
Every two years the Copenhagenize Index comes out and I was thrilled to see for the first time Canada is represented in two of the top 20 cycling cities in the world – Montreal (18) and Vancouver (20)!
The fact that Montreal and Vancouver are the only North American cities to have cracked the top 20 is a testament to the efforts of municipal and provincial governments in both of these provinces. Over the past decade, I’ve seen an incredible amount of work done by local institutions to make cycling safer and more accessible and the results have been tangible.
The Index also illustrates how important cycling is in many European cities. Take the city of Copenhagen for example. Ten years ago in an effort to reduce pollution, gridlock and improve the health of its citizens, the government made monumental investments in cycling infrastructure. The upshot of these investments—more than half of all trips in Copenhagen are now made by bike.
Hopefully, cycling will continue to grow here in North America and we will catch up with our European counterparts. As more people exchange cars for bikes the demand for safer cycling routes and better infrastructure will grow and our cities will respond.
In the meantime, take a moment to check out the Copenhagen Index. It is a cool reminder of what the growth of cycling can mean to a city on the world stage. Hopefully we will see more North American cities make it into the top 20 in the coming years.
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