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Cycling-Friendly Cities 101

The video above does a great job of showing the many benefits of cycling-friendly cities. Produced by the Interface for Cycling Expertise, with a script by sustainable transport guru Enrique Penalosa, the video visits Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Bogota and shows how a commitment to designing cities that are people-oriented, not car-oriented, can make urban residents happier, healthier, and more environmentally responsible.

Watching shot after shot of carefree cyclists cruising the streets of these burgs, sans helmets, reminds me of just how unsafe bicycling is in many other urban areas around the globe!

A few quick facts:

  • Over the past 30-40 years, Copenhagen and Amsterdam have gradually transformed their public spaces by closing downtown streets to car traffic and building a comprehensive cycling infrastructure
  • According to the video, 1/3 of Copenhagen residents use a bicycle to go to everyday activities (like school, work, or shopping)
  • the Netherlands has the worldest highest concentration of bicycles, and also boasts 17,000km of bicycle paths
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