On the Move: More Cities are Backing Bicycles

When it comes to reducing transport emissions in cities, few options are as attractive as promoting the use of bicycles. Bicycle infrastructure and cycling programs are a relatively low-cost way to relieve traffic congestion and provide a healthy and emissions-free alternative to motorized transport.

Cities all over the world are looking for ways to make it safe and comfortable for people to get out on two wheels. Here are some great examples of C40 cities taking action:

Cycle share programs:

Paris and Barcelona have both developed remarkably successful programs allowing riders to rent bicycles on a subscription basis from stations throughout their cities. Founded in 2007, Paris’s Velib program now has over 20,000 bikes at 1,800 stations throughout the city. In the first six months of Barcelona’s “Bicing” program, 90,000 people subscribed and 2 million bike-hires covering more than 6 million km of travel were made.    

Cycling lane systems:

Changwon is known as a city of bikes.  Over 15 96km-long bike-only roads have been developed.  The city has also created a suite of incentives, including a 30,000 won grant available to employees who commute by bike more than 15 days per month and a citizens’ cyclist insurance program to cover the risk of accidents.  

Sao Paulo has also invested in bicycle infrastructure. The city is creating a network of more than 100km of bicycle lanes that will serve more than 250,000 people; while its Bicycle Master Plan sets a target of 400km of priority lanes across the city. Uptake of a special program offering Sunday leisure bike lanes has been particularly strong, helping to put bicycle planning onto the city’s priority agenda.

Buenos Aires is building a 100km bicycle network, of which 25 km is now operational.  Working in partnership with the city, the Clinton Climate Initiative and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) are helping to make this project happen, serving as champions, developers and technical advisors. The city has also just passed a new regulation requiring that car parking garages accommodate bikes.  

Find out more here about the policy and financing options when city leaders discuss Bicycle Infrastructure & Citywide Cycling Programs at the C40 Mayors Summit.