CED Member: Municipality of Odense

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Odense is an atmospheric city in the heart of Denmark on the green island of Funen. With 200,000 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.

Odense has focused on cycling ever since 1895. Today, there are 550 kilometers of cycle paths in Odense, and the network constantly expands. It is a bit more than 3 meters pr. inhabitant, which is the most in any Danish city. 65 cyclists tunnels and 125 cyclist bridges helps the flow of cyclist go smoothly. The bicycle paths are used frequently, because the inhabitants of the city are some of the most enthusiastic cyclists in the world – 26 % of all trips is done by bike. In 1999 Odense took the lead as the National Cycle City of Denmark, and cycling today is synonymous with Odense. During the last 4 years cycling has increased by 32 % despite an increase in car ownership.

The City bridge (Byens bro) in Odense, Denmark.

Odense is behind a number of new initiatives in the field of cycling such as special cycle pumps, the cycle counters and the establishment of green waves of traffic lights for cyclists. 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.

Contact Information:

City of Odense
Department of Culture and Urban Development
Nørregade 36-38
DK – 5100 Odense C
Phone: +45 65512751
www.cyklisternesby.dk (in Danish)
Member of the Cycling Embassy of Denmark since 2009.