‘Bike-friendliness’ is starting to hold more weight when it comes to factors that influence a city’s quality of life.
And cities are definitely catching on.
The social, economic, environmental, and health benefits of urban cycling are loud and clear, and any modern city that wants to thrive in our landscape of increasing urbanization would be wise to invest in two wheels.
Denmark’s Copenhagenize Design Company released their annual index of the world’s most bike-friendly cities today, highlighting which urban centres with a regional population over 600,000 are most committed to the cause. A city’s rank was based on the following factors: serious advocacy, bike facilities, social acceptance, and a general perception that cycling is safe. It also helped to have a higher ratio of bike to car transport and a relatively even gender split among cyclists.
One thing is clear: well-planned, sustainable infrastructure is key, which is where European cities really pedal away from the pack. The top 13 velo-vested cities are in Europe before Buenos Aires makes an appearance in the top 20; only two other cities rounding out the list are outside of Europe.
And one of them is Montreal, clinging to relevance at No. 20.
While local cyclists and drivers alike might react with bemusement, the index praises Montreal for its protected bike lanes, strong gender split, and impressive numbers of cyclists on decent stretches of infrastructure. It recommends that “politicians force planners and especially engineers to improve and plan a network that makes sense for the next 100 years,” which is pretty wishful thinking considering Montreal’s pothole pandemic (seriously).
The full ranking below:
- Buenos Aires