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Mayor Climate Summit highlights cycling

Mayor Climate Summit highlights cycling
Copenhagen, 15&16 December 2009

Cycling was a hot topic at the Mayor Climate Summit on 15&16 December hosted by the lord mayor of Copenhagen mrs Bjerregaard. During the first round, several mayors already referred to their cycling policy as part of their policy to reduce GHG emissions. One of ten round tables was fully dedicated to cycling. Bicycling has not only become a transport issue in urban policy, is has become a climate issue too.

Major Job Cohen and vice major MunizMayor Ebrard of Mexico city said his city will invest in an integrated package of public transport and cycling, to provide equal access for all people instead of sustaining a car oriented society. With 100 km of routes to start with, targeting at bicycle use by the middle class too and the provision of public bikes, Mexico aims to increase the share of cycling from 1 – 5 % in 2011, reducing 185.000 ton CO2 per year. Vice mayor Muniz of Rio de Janeiro told his city will upgrade the current 150 km of cycling facilities and add another 150 km, in combination with speed limit reductions and upscaling of the public bike system. Muniz stressed also the combination of increasing the accessibility to destinations from poor areas and promoting bike use for all inhabitants. There will be public private partnerships, to make new investments in commercial areas cycling inclusive. 

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City referred to his cycling network on Manhattan, mayor Johnson of London highlighted bicycle highways.


Mayor Cohen of Amsterdam raised a “whow” when he said there are more bicycles than inhabitants in his city. He mentioned the network of 400 km facilities, special traffic lights, widespread education programs, and new designs and gadgets for bicycles. Cohen said, this gives us a good head start for the climate. Many mayors referred to Denmark or the Netherlands to get inspired and to learn from. Cohen referred to the international cooperation with knowledge centers that transfer expertise. In line the atmosphere in this mayor summit, to Act now and to increase exchange and cooperation. With 50% of all people living in urban areas, cities have to contribute, the mayors said and they made very clear they do not want to wait for the outcome of negotiations between national governments. Cohen offered to take leadership in a coalition between mayors to exchange cycling policies. 

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