EUROCITIES on COP 21: Copenhagen's cycle super highways

  • environment
  • mobility

A network of cycle super highways in Copenhagen is encouraging citizens to travel to work and school by bike.

While cycling is already a popular mode of transport in Copenhagen, with 55% of people choosing to cycle for distances less than 5km, that figure drops to 20% for longer journeys. Copenhagen hoped to counter this with a network of cycle super highways, developed in collaboration with 21 neighbouring municipalities.

The benefits of the scheme are numerous: financial, for public health and for the environment. For every 10km someone chooses to travel by bike rather than by car, CO2 emissions fall by 1.6kg and €7.40 is saved in health costs.

Copenhagen’s network offers cyclists everything they need for their journey, including footrests and bike pumps. It is maintained regularly throughout the year, and by shifting the focus to bikes rather than cars, the city identified the best routes for bikes. A ‘green wave’ system means traffic lights are adjusted to cyclists’ speed and needs, so they can travel longer distances without having to stop.


Find out more about Copenhagen’s cycling super highways and the impact they have had on the city’s carbon emissions in our ‘cities in action’ case study, available here



A successful global climate deal must recognise the role of cities and urban solutions