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23 February 2016 Comments (0) Architecture

Copenhagen and its bicycle expressways

Tomorrow’s city is determined to be green. Just like the team of the film “Demain”, let’s explore some cities whose local initiatives in sustainable development have been rewarded and that should be a source of inspiration. Today: Copenhagen.

While people often say bad things here about urban expressways, the Danish capital has adapted this concept for bicycles. Underlying this is a real cycling culture in the country, but the change is the result of voluntary political initiative with the implementation of a network of around 400 kilometres of roads with priority for bicycles and “cargos” (a very fashionable model of tricycle).

Everything has been done to make the cycle route pleasant, non-stressful and user-friendly: lanes 3-4 metres wide, special surfacing, regular service stations with bicycle pumps, traffic lights designed based on the green wave model whereby if you don’t exceed the speed limit you will never meet red lights. There is also a very wide range of bicycles for hire (the equivalent of Brussels’ Villo)…. equipped with electric motor and GPS.

According to some estimates, 45% of the city’s inhabitants use the bicycle to get to work and the Danish government will have already saved several tens of millions of euros in health care since the laying of these cycle paths and also significantly reduced its carbon footprint. That has fallen by 50% in 20 years!

Photo © iStock / Hans Laubel
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