The Danish firm Copenhagenize Consulting recently released its list of the top 20 bicycle-friendly cities in the world for 2011. The “Copenhagenize Index” as it’s called, puts Amsterdam in the #1 spot, scoring 54 out of a possible maximum score of 64, with Copenhagen itself placing second with a score of 52.
Montreal was the only Canadian city to make the list. Toronto’s current political climate and lack of on-street bicycle infrastructure keeps it off the list, and Vancouver’s “sporty” bicycle culture and mandatory helmet law + lack of bike sharing keeps it off the list.
The Copenhagenize Index uses a criteria based on 13 categories, and each city receives a score 0 to 4 for each criteria with a chance to win 12 bonus points for “impressive efforts or results”. The 13 categories include:
- Bicycle Culture
- Bicycle Facilities
- Bicycle Infrastructure
- Bike Share Programme
- Gender Split
- Modal Share For Bicycles
- Modal Share Increase Since 2006
- Perception of Safety
- Social Acceptance
- Urban Planning
- Traffic Calming
On a personal level, I was glad to see these results released, because in 2010 I had drafted the original criteria which was used as a starting point for the Copenhagenize Index.
A substantial amount of work has been done by Copenhagenize Consulting since I first pitched my criteria to Mikael in June 2010. The team has further refined the criteria to make it more credible and a great deal of work has gone into gathering the statistics.
The initial criteria that I drafted contained just 5 categories and a maximum score of 10 for each category. I based my scoring system on the level of the Capability Maturity Model – a model that measures an organization’s software development processes (my day job involves software development).
Here is a snapshot of the original criteria I pitched to Mikael:
It is great to see that Mikael and his team at Copenhagenize Consulting have turned this initial criteria into a comprehensive criteria for ranking cities around the world for their acceptance of the bicycle as a viable and respected mode of transportation.
I hope to see more cities competing for these top spots in the coming years as we push for the bicycle to become a socially acceptable mode of transportation in western societies.