Streetfilms: Copenhagen’s Climate-Friendly, Bike-Friendly Streets

Tens of thousands of people from nearly every nation on earth have descended on Copenhagen this month for the UN climate summit. As the delegates try to piece together a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they’re also absorbing lessons from one of the world’s leading cities in sustainable transportation. In Copenhagen, fully 37 percent of commute trips are made by bike, and mode share among city residents alone is even higher.

Copenhagen wasn’t always such a bicycling haven. It took many years of investment in bike infrastructure to reclaim streets from more polluting, less sustainable modes. Last week, I was able to squeeze in a whirlwind tour with Mikael Colville-Andersen, the bike culture evangelist behind Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic, to get a taste of the city’s impressive bike network and cycling amenities. Watch this video and see how Copenhageners flock to the streets by bike even in December, when average temperatures hover just above freezing.

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While in Copenhagen to film the Danish capital’s world-beating bike infrastructure, Streetfilms’ Elizabeth Press caught up with urban planner extraordinaire Jan Gehl for a brief, canal-side chat. In this clip, Gehl explains how cycling and transit fit within the city’s sustainability agenda, and why "unnecessary transportation" threatens the global climate. With Mayor Bloomberg in Copenhagen […]

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In case you missed it in Friday’s headlines, here’s a video from Copenhagenize with some inspiration for this cold spell we’ve been having. The video shows Copenhageners — lots of ’em — making their way through the January snow.  It’s an instant retort to the old claim that "no one uses bike lanes in the […]

Building a Better Bike Lane

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This weekend’s Wall Street Journal has an massive, full-page report on bike friendly cities in Europe. Initially the arguments for more biking were mostly about health and congestion, but in the last year concern for the environment has become an important factor compelling people to travel by bicycle: Flat, compact and temperate, the Netherlands and […]
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Biking the Last Mile in Suburban Copenhagen

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Tooling around on Google, Dan Malouff at Greater Greater Washington stumbled on the above image from suburban Copenhagen. What’s right with this picture? Note the (a) bike parking lot at the Friheden Street transit station, just across the (b) sidewalk from the (c) bike lane. Writes Malouff: One of the most important uses for bicycles […]

Climate Idealism Can’t Hold a Candle to Collective Action

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Cross-posted from the Carbon Tax Center. Why do Copenhageners ride bicycles? The key reason, says Yale economist and bestselling author Robert J. Shiller, is that Danes are idealists who resolved, after the oil crisis of the 1970s, “to make a personal commitment to ride bicycles rather than drive, out of moral principle, even if that […]

Wiki Wednesday: Bike Boxes

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This StreetsWiki entry is rounding into encyclopedic form quite nicely. Andy Hamilton, DianaD (who also brought us the VMT entry last week) and Streetsblog’s own Aaron Naparstek have been piecing together a detailed look at the history and effectiveness of bike boxes: With nearly 40% of daily commuter trips taken by bike, Copenhagen, Denmark is […]