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Nowzar Hedayati

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  • Nowzar Hedayati

Bicyclehagen – Cykelhavn

Historically bicycles have been assisting Copenhageners to get around the city. You cannot separate residents of Copenhagen from their bicycle.

When you visit the Danish capital one of the first things you notice is the number of people commuting on bikes. According to some studies, in 2013 around 35% of Copenhageners commuted by bicycle for their daily activities, and in 2015 this figure was around 50%. This form of transportation is facilitated by extensive infrastructure that already exists throughout the city. Copenhagen’s bicycle network is so extensive, safe and well-made that in recent years a phrase “Copenhaganize” has entered its way into the dictionary of urban design. Copenhaganize refers to a street design that separates the bicycle lanes from the traffic by elevating the bike paths, hence increasing the security for the two-wheeled commuters.

In recent years, the city of Copenhagen is prioritizing bicycles over any other form of traffic and it is adding to its enormous and already existing bicycle infrastructure.

Starting from small projects such as, providing trashcans and stands specifically designed for bikes and people commuting on bicycles, and making tire pumps available in every corner; to much larger projects.

These larger projects include constructing “Super Highways” for bicycles, which will connect the suburbs to the city center with as little interruption from car traffic as possible, along with allowing more bike paths in the city center by taking away space from car lanes.

This not only makes the city safer for the bicyclists, but it also encourages people to use bicycles more than before.

One of the city’s geographical obstacles is that Copenhagen is located on many islands and there are several canals going through the city. This is where the most ambitious project of all, by the Copenhagen municipality, comes into play. Connecting all these islands together.

In order to make a seamless connection throughout the city, the municipality has introduced a master plan of a network of bicycle and foot bridges all over the city. These bridges will connect all the islands, cross all the canals and car traffic for bicyclists and pedestrians without any interruptions. Some of these bridges have already been inaugurated in the past few years, and they have been extremely well received by the public. Including the “Inderhavnsbroen”, ”Cirkelbroen” and “Cykelslangen”, which not only serve as bridges over the canals and the harbor, but they are also master pieces of architecture and engineering; adding to city’s beauty and attractiveness.

The city of Copenhagen continues the path to create a healthy and a safe city for bicyclists. When you visit the Danish capital today, this becomes evident more than ever, when you witness the number of pedestrian/bicycle bridges under construction. Improvements in public transportation system and bicycle infrastructure has decreased the number of car trips in the city center from 351,000 in 1970 to 284,900 in 2010. The city hopes that they can decrease this number in the coming years, so they can reach their goal of becoming the first carbon neutral capital in the world by the year 2025.

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