Copenhagen’s Bicycle Culture

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creative Solutions to Big Problems

We all know about climate change and how the environment is in rough shape and that we need to go green. So, most of us do our little part to help out- we recycle, compost, buy ‘green’ products. And these things are all good. Of course, the more we do on a collective, societal level, the better. One shining example of a collective, creative way to go green is Copenhagen’s bicycle culture. Although residents see their cycling as utilitarian and not environmentally motivated, the fact that 37% of commuters in that city are cyclists reduces commuter automobile emissions by, you guessed it, 37%. In a city of over a million inhabitants, that’s huge!

A major factor in the number of cyclists in Copenhagen is the city’s cycle-friendly urban design and designated paths, tracks, and lanes. They even have bicycle repair points where you can rent or repair a bike.

To encourage cycling to work, some workplaces in Copenhagen have implemented “Trappers”, recording sensors that track when a bicycle is within the vicinity of the work building. Employees earn points based on how often they cycle to work, and redeem these for products on the Trapper website.

Taking Copenhagen as an example of a municipality’s creativity to encourage environmentally friendly transportation, what unique solutions to environmental issues can our own cities come up with?

(Link to information on bicycle culture in Denmark)

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer

Data Entry

Jim parks his bike at the racks in front of the building and makes his way inside and to his desk, passing rows of co-workers already hunkered down in their cubicles.

Within minutes  he is seated, staring at a computer just like everyone else. But when Jim sits and stares, it’s different. No amount of mindless data entry can bring his energy into submission. His unruly hair flies around him, even without the slightest breeze. His shoulders move disjointedly as he types, each new angle leaving traces of continued motion extending on. His legs are always shaking up and down, up and down- they probably don’t even stop when he sleeps. He’s a ball of energy inside a body too small to contain it. I fully expect that one day I’ll hear a soft “pop” when I walk by and realize that he simply spontaneously combusted.

Use the comment field to suggest a topic, submit your writing on today’s 4 Minute Writer topic (Data Entry), or to comment.

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4 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Writing

4 responses to “Copenhagen’s Bicycle Culture

  1. V

    One thing I can think of is maybe increase the cost of parking in the downtown area (or maybe even other areas), to deter driving and installing the bike-sharing idea like other cities have to promote emission-free mobility.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I like the bike-sharing concept too. I think it creates a stronger community feel in addition to being easy on the environment.

    Making good use of light rail transit systems is another solution in cities with urban sprawl issues.

    • V

      I know that there won’t be a single perfect solution, everything will have it’s own problems, i.e. bike sharing problems like vandalism or maintenance issues. But I love he concept, as well as enhancing the community aspect of it.

      Our cities really have to start thinking ahead in terms of commuting!

      • Our city also has a carpool program where you can sign up and commute with others who are going the same direction you are. Why am I not involved in this? Maybe having a blog and bouncing ideas like this off people like you will make me put some action to these words…

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