Odense is an atmospheric city in the heart of Denmark on the green island of Funen. With 193,000 inhabitants, Odense is the third largest city in Denmark. It is best known as the birthplace of the great writer of fairytales, Hans Christian Andersen.
The first bicycle path in Denmark was established in Odense more than a hundred years ago, and since then, Odense has focused on cycling. Today, there are 540 kilometres of cycle paths in Odense, and the network constantly expands. It is a bit more than 3 meters pr. inhabitant, and it is the most in any Danish city. The bicycle paths are used frequently, because the inhabitants of the city are some of the most enthusiastic cyclists in the world – more than every fourth trip is done by bike. Ten years ago, Odense took the lead as the national Cycle City of Denmark, and cycling today is synonymous with Odense.
Odense is behind a number of new initiatives in the field of cycling such as special cycle pumps, the cycle barometer, which counts cyclists, and the establishment of green waves of traffic lights for cyclists. In 2011, the brand for the cycle city was chosen as a merit winner by judges in the “HOW International Design Awards.” A Cycle City is not made by equipment and inventory alone. The cyclists are the primary ingredients, and the challenge now is to keep, motivate, and change habits of transportation, so that even more citizens in the future will choose the bike for a better health and a better environment. One example is the project, “Cycle School.” By integrating the bike as a natural element in all aspects of the school’s daily routines, you create a bicycle culture where the bike is “just” the means of achieving other goals. The bike thus creates the basis for going on interesting outings, excursions, physical activities, and fun and better learning.
City of Odense
Department of Culture and Urban development Traffic and Planning
DK – 5100 Odense C
Phone: +45 65512751
www.cykelby.dk (in Danish)