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Eurogates

The Netherlands is the best country in the world to be a cyclist

Rankings 11 August 2015, 08:35

The Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Eindhoven are 3 of the top 5 cities in the recently published Copenhagenize Index 2015. This year’s results reaffirm the Netherlands’ status as the most bicycle-friendly country in the world.

Bicycle parking in AmsterdamThe Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Eindhoven are 3 of the top 5 cities in the recently published Copenhagenize Index 2015. This year’s results reaffirm the Netherlands’ status as the most bicycle-friendly country in the world.

The Copenhagenize Index compares strengths and weaknesses of bicycle transport systems in 122 cities around the globe. Every city is assessed in 13 categories, from politics to bike share programs to infrastructure and traffic safety. Cities can also receive bonus points for notable efforts and activities in these areas. The top 20 results are presented in the Copenhagenize ranking which is published every 2 years.

Cycling in Amsterdam

The Dutch capital came in 2nd in the 2015 ranking. The city lost the leading position it had in the first 2 editions of the Index to the Danish capital of Copenhagen.

While Amsterdam had better overall results, it didn’t receive the bonus points needed to overtake Copenhagen due to its focus on maintenance rather than implementation of innovations for the bicycle transport system. Nevertheless, the two cities continued to dominate the global ranking.

The Copenhagenize Index describes the cycling atmosphere in Amsterdam as relaxed, enjoyable, and very mainstream as just about everyone in the city has a bike. Bicycling for the locals is as natural as walking and they rarely use any protective gear such as helmets.

A few facts about cycling in Amsterdam:

  • Cyclists in AmsterdamThe Dutch capital has more bikes than citizens - over 800,000!
  • 63% of people living in Amsterdam use their bike as everyday transportation.
  • There are about 500 km (310 miles) of cycling lanes in the city. They are dark red in colour to contrast easily with pedestrian paths.
  • On average, bicycling makes up 32% of the city’s overall traffic movement. Cars and public transport only make up 22% and 16%, respectively. 48% of the traffic movement in the city’s centre is by bike.
  • In spite of numerous bike parking facilities, more than 50,000 bicycles are stolen every year.
  • Up to 15,000 bicycles are retrieved from the city’s canals yearly.

 Other ranking results

The Dutch cities of Utrecht and Eindhoven were included in this year’s ranking for the second time. Both cities scored equal to or better than the previous edition’s ranking.

Utrecht became the bicycle leader among small cities for the 2nd time in a row, mainly due to its highly-developed infrastructure. In the overall ranking, Utrecht took a very solid 3rd place, scoring just after Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

Due to its steady and strong cycling system, Eindhoven moved up by 3 positions and became 5th in this year’s Index. Despite rising in the list, the Index notes that the city’s focus on maintaining the status quo over developing further may cost it ranking positions in the future.

As for other bicycle leaders, the Copenhagenize Index found the most progress was made in several cities in North and South America. Some of the European and Asian cities moved down the list or were left out of the top 20 altogether.

A complete list of the results from this year’s edition is available below, including results in the 2013 edition of the Index for comparison.

City 2015 results 2013 results
 Copenhagen 1 2
 Amsterdam 2 1
 Utrecht 3 3
 Strasbourg 4 -
 Eindhoven 5 8
 Malmö 6 9
 Nantes 7 6
 Bordeaux 8 5
 Antwerp 9 7
 Seville 10 4
 Barcelona 11 17
 Berlin 12 10
 Ljubljana 13 -
 Buenos Aires 14 -
 Dublin 15 11
 Vienna 16 -
 Paris 17 19
 Minneapolis 18 -
 Hamburg 19 20
 Montreal 20 14

sources: copenhagenize.eu, iamsterdam.com, dutchamsterdam.nl.

New to the Netherlands? Learn how and where to get a bicycle so you can start enjoying the Dutch cycling infrastructure too!

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