CED Member: The Capital Region of Denmark

TRegH_logo_UKhe capital region is a public authority headed by democratically elected politicians. The capital region consists of about a 100 workplaces employing some 40,000 – mainly health care professionals in hospitals – making it one of Denmark’s largest employers.

We are the geographically smallest of Denmark’s five regions, as our area only covers 6% of the total area. However, our region comprises 29 municipalities (nearly one third of all municipalities in Denmark) and stretches from the island of Bornholm in the east of Denmark over the capital city, Copenhagen, to rural Hundested in the west

The main task of the region is to provide healthcare and regional development for 1.7 million people, or approximately 30% of the Danish population, in addition to doing research. Within the task of regional development, the capital region collaborates with the municipalities and the business community on developments concerning traffic, environment, business and education.

The capital region of Denmark is part of Greater Copenhagen, a collaboration for economic growth between three regions in Eastern Denmark and Southern Sweden. Greater Copenhagen is where Denmark meets Sweden, and Scandinavia meets the world. It is where we cooperate and connect people across sectors, industries, cultures and countries.

In the Capital Region of Denmark cycling is of the utmost priority to the politicians. Cycling is regarded as a societal investment, as it reduces congestion, carbon emissions, air- and noise pollution, and increases health and life quality. Politicians in the region support cycling by granting financial aid to projects of regional scope, for example the cross-municipal Cycling Super Highways.

Furthermore from 2013 and onward, the capital region will publish The Regional Cycling Accounts. The purpose of the accounts is to establish a platform of knowledge on cycling behavior in Greater Copenhagen. The account provides facts on the socioeconomic benefits of choosing to bike instead of driving. It will be updated continuously and will thereby function as a monitoring tool as well as a policy making tool. The results of the first regional cycle accounts – based on data from 2007 to 2012 – were published in spring 2014, and was followed up by a detailed and more thorough benchmarking in 2015, where 13 structural factors were analyzed and combined in order to find out the structural causes of differences in bicycling between city, suburbs and countryside.

The accounts showed, that;

  • The number of journeys by bike in the capital region increased by 9% from 2007 to 2012. In Copenhagen/Frederiksberg, the increase was 19% during the five-year-period against a ‘mere’ 9% in the suburbs. In the open rural landscape, the number of journeys by bike fell by 22%. One-fifth of all journeys in the capital region is by bike.
  • We should particularly look for more new cyclists outside Copenhagen and Frederiksberg.
  • In total, citizens of the capital region biked 3.5 kilometres per day in 2012.
  • The many journeys by bike result in 1 million fewer sick days per year in the capital region. If more people would saddle up, we could save even more on health expenses.
  • The cycling industry generates revenues of just about DKK 2.5 bn. per year in the capital region of Denmark. Approximately 1,200 people are employed in selling and repairing bikes and bike fixtures. Exports, branding, tourism and revenue generated in associated sectors should be added to the direct revenues and employment.
  • The accounts also showed how much room we make on roads when we cycle. Frequent journeys by bike mean that there are 120,000 fewer journeys by car during peak hours alone. In total, we would travel 726,000 kilometres more by car per day without our bikes in Greater Copenhagen.
  • When we make room on the roads for our fellow citizens and business operators in the capital region, we contribute to productivity. The socio-economic value of making room for others corresponded to DKK 0.8 bn. in 2012.
  • Furthermore, we found out, that cycling by citizens annually reduces carbon emissions by 2.2 million tonnes. Together with walking, cycling is the most environmentally friendly mode of transport. Cycling gives the capital region better urban environments with cleaner air and less noise.

Besides putting high priority on cycling, the capital region also has a special focus on e-mobility, including ebikes, mobility management, and public transportation. The diversification and combination of modes of transportation is important. People who take the bicycle, also sometimes need an alternative to the bicycle.

You can read the entire Regional Cycling Account from the Capital Region of Denmark here.

Member of the Cycling Embassy of Denmark since 2016.