“With 26% of all daily trips achieved by bike, cycling is an integral part of daily life for everyone in the Netherlands,” according to Copenhagenize.com.

Copenhagenization is a design strategy in which urban planning and design are centered on making a city more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians, and less car dependent. The term was popularized by Danish urban design consultant Jan Gehl, who has been instrumental in the promotion and implementation of the policy in Copenhagen.

For more than 40 years, Mr. Gehl has systematically studied public spaces to see how they really work, using Copenhagen as a laboratory for his research. He has advised cities around the world, including Melbourne, London and New York, on how to improve the quality of urban life — in his words, how to “Copenhagenize” their cities. Independently of Gehl, in hope of expanding his audience, Danish urban design consultant Mikael Colville-Andersen coined Copenhagenize.com, a blog that highlights how the bicycle can be an important tool in the creation of livable cities. The term has since spread to Britain, Europe, and elsewhere internationally. The Copenhagenize.com blog has inspired the creation of other blogs with the same focus for cities such as Amsterdam, Portland, Lisbon, Hamburg and Munich.

40 years ago Copenhagen was just as car-clogged as anywhere else but now 41% of the population arriving at work or education do so on bicycles, from all over the Metro area. 56% of Copenhageners themselves use bicycles each day. They all use over 1000 km of bicycle lanes in Greater Copenhagen for their journeys. However, Copenhagenizing is possible anywhere.

– The Dutch approach: bike parking and OV-fiets (which are basically Bicycle Sharing System’s)

Connect bikes and trains to increase the number of cyclists and train passengers. Because all trips can’t be made by bike, this combination is the best solution to compete with cars. Facilities like bike parking and bike-sharing systems make cycling to train stations an easy and attractive option.

– European development in Belgium, Italy, Spain and the United-Kingdom.

Based on the Dutch approach, pilot projects were implemented in the regions of Barcelona, Milan, Liverpool, and Belgium. In all countries, the projects successfully substituted trips made by cars with bike-train-bike transport. Due to the opening of bike parkings and/or the availability of bikes at stations, more bicycle users have been registered cycling to the stations, and some of them are new train passengers. Some of these bicycle users shifted from cars to this efficient combination due to the improvement of the services.

Now it’s time for us to try it.