Every day we seem to find ourselves concerning more about the increased pollution of the world, which is mainly as a consequence of our reckless actions. Thanks to many organizations and movements, awareness is being raised, and suggestions are being told on how to make the situation better, how to avoid polluting our cities with the daily actions that we perform.
One of the main suggestions for keeping a city away from pollution is not using cars for our daily trips to the town since they produce pollution emitted during vehicle operation, manufacturing, refuelling and disposal. However, in need for daily transportation to work or similar, we don`t feel comfortable giving up on an efficient vehicle.
Luckily, we don`t have to give up on it, but instead, use a substitute vehicle that will also do the job – A bicycle. Not only that a bike can get you faster to the place you want to get to during the busiest hours of the day, but it`s also good for keeping your body in shape. Plus, it`s eco-friendly, providing no pollution at all. People use to say that it also prevents them from getting a nervous breakdown, like when being stuck for hours in the car in busy traffic. It`s also an excellent way to enjoy the city.
If you are looking for a city where bikes are treated as the number one vehicle or if you simply want to see if your hometown accepted the ugly truth about cars polluting the air and did something about it (raised the awareness of the bicycle culture, created great conditions for cyclists to enjoy their rides etc.). Then take a look at this year’s rankings provided by Copenhagenize – a design company that every year provides a list of the best cities for urban cycling. The rankings are made due to a specific research that takes up several factors into consideration, like safety, traffic, bike share programs and infrastructure. Check out the list:
You`ve probably thought it was going to be Amsterdam again, but surprise, surprise: Copenhagen made it to the first place this year! Over the past few years, Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark has benefited from the multiple investments in a new infrastructure and innovative solutions.
Bicycle rental: Rarely you will find a person living in Copenhagen that does not own a bike. However, due to the big amount of tourists, many bike rental agencies have been opened and are ready to serve you. Copenhagen City Bike, Baisikeli, Velorbis, Christiani Cykler, beCopenhagen are just a part of the agencies that offer bike rental. The price of the rental is great, like for example, Copenhagen City Bike offers a one-hour rental for just $3, and some bikes even have GPS! How cool is that?
The bicycle culture has been accepted by everyone in this city. Amsterdam has been the number one bike-friendly city for a few years. However, the main reason why this city has lost the first place is because of no certain plans for improving the situation by developing and innovating.
Bicycle rental: There are a lot of bike-rental agencies offering city bikes, granny bikes (backpedal brake bikes) and even tandem bikes. You can find over 40 bike-rental organisations in the city!
The Dutch people apparently know how to take care of their bicycle culture. On the third place, we can find another city from the Netherlands, which is providing great bike-friendly solutions with its development plan called “Utrecht Attractive and Accessible”.
Bicycle rental: You can find many different types of bikes in the following agencies: Co Van Beek Tweewielers, Fietsenstalling Laag Catharijne, Fietspunt Utrecht, Het Fietspad, Rijwielshop Utrecht C.S. and Ton van den IJssel Tweewielers.
The leader of bicycle-friendly cities in France is, without any doubt, Strasbourg. Cycling in this city is accepted to be the quickest way of getting from point A to B.
Bicycle rental: Additional sit for a kid, front basket, a fancy bell, whatever comes to your mind you can find it in the numerous bike-rental agencies in Strasbourg.
Again we come to another Dutch city, taking a spot in the top 5 bike-friendly cities. The Floating Roundabout that was constructed mainly for bicycles has left a unique mark in the innovative improvement of a city`s bicycle infrastructure.
Bicycle rentals: P. Heerings Bicycle Rental, Spokes Bikeshop Eindhoven, Bike Shop Eindhoven and other agencies offer great deals for bike rental.
Sweden’s third-largest city has deserved this place in the rankings fair and square. Their efforts to make Malmö a bicycle-friendly city are what made the city truly loved by the cyclists.
Bicycle rental: This city has several bike-rental agencies that let you ride your rented bike in the city and even in the countryside.
This charming city is fighting to become the best bicycle-friendly city in France. The political support and the big investments in infrastructure and facilities are what makes you take your bike immediately and ride it with pleasure all day in the city.
Bicycle rental: Nantes is not joking when it comes to bicycle-rental agencies. They have at least 25 companies throughout the city.
This city has done a remarkable job improving the bicycle culture and conditions in the past few years. Investments are made in the infrastructure and facilities, but also in marketing of the bicycle urbanism.
Bicycle rental: When renting a bike, some of the agencies in the city provide free of charge services like bringing the bikes at your preferable address and taking them back after you finish.
Antwerp has always been a bicycle-friendly city. However, as time passes, certain political issues might kill what they already have built as precious. Politicians are even discussing to invest in an infrastructure that can increase the use of cars.
Bicycle rental: Bike-rental agencies like Velo Antwerpen offer great quality, for a small price like 3,80 euros a day.
Moving on a little bit to the South, Seville has come from poor bicycle infrastructure into a great improvement in bicycle urbanism in just a few years. No other Spanish or Portuguese city can beat the success of this city in the near future.
This city`s fascinating improvement has lead Barcelona from no bike at all in the city 8 or more years ago, to one of the top 20 bicycle-friendly cities in the world. The city`s bike share program is one of the best in the world! And just imagine cycling next to Barceloneta beach and enjoying the beauty of Barcelona. Magical, isn`t it?
The capital of Germany may not be the best place for riding a bike, but they`re definitely trying to improve, promising a significant growth. The bicycle culture in Berlin is really interesting, adored by the mainstream population. You might see a lot of creatively decorated bikes around Berlin.
If you take a ride with a bike in Ljubljana, you can understand the importance of it as a transportation vehicle. Just because the centre is not that much car-friendly, leaves a lot of places for the cyclists to enjoy their rides in the city. Also, BicikeLJ offers you bicycle-rental any time of the day – 24/7 for only 3 euros a year! How cheap is that?!
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Enough of Europe already, let`s see a different continent appear in this list! Until recently, Buenos Aires has joined the growth of the bicycle urbanism. And not just bicycles, they are investing in everything that can make the city more alive!
When you think of Dublin, you probably think of huge green areas, fresh air and … BIKES of course. How do you think they keep up with the small amount of pollution?
This city has a unique way of treating urban cycling and the sub-cultures that have risen within.
This city has a great bike share system, which allows you to feel the city and connect with every corner of it.
If you`re looking for the bicycle-friendliest American city – this is it!
Slowly improving, this city is fighting its way to the top 10.
Montréal with its protected bike lanes has saved a spot in the top 20. Let`s see if it can go a bit higher next year.