Press release | 13.12.2023
City cycling campaign breaches the million threshold for the first time
Winning municipalities for 2023 honoured yesterday in Cologne
Köln / Frankfurt am Main, 13 December 2023. This year's winning municipalities of the Climate Alliance City Cycling campaign were honoured yesterday evening in Cologne's historic town hall. Cologne Councillor for Mobility Ascan Egerer and the North Rhine-Westphalian State Secretary for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport Viktor Haase presented the trophies. This year's record results once again gave cause for celebration: more than 1.1 million participants from 2,836 municipalities covered a total of 227 million kilometres by bicycle. In doing so, they not only avoided almost 37,000 tonnes of CO2 compared to tavel by car, but also sent a clear signal for determined climate action and ernst cycling promotion. Climate Alliance organised the event in cooperation with Zukunftsnetz Mobilität NRW.
Councillor Egerer sees the bicycle as an important means of transport for sustainable mobility in urban areas and City Cycling as a regular impetus for a social rethink: "Cities in particular need generally compatible and climate-friendly mobility solutions that are also flexible and fast – like the bicycle. With its sensational results, the City Cycling programme shows that this has long been accepted by a wide cross section of society."
State Secretary Haase also views this year's number of participants as a clear statement, and one that also sends a message to politicians and administrators: "For the first time, more than 1 million people have taken part in City Cycling. This shows once again that citizens are ready to make the switch. For this to succeed, however, they need cycling paths that allow them to reach their destinations comfortably and safely. The expansion of cycling infrastructure is therefore a key component of the mobility transition for us."
Dr Norbert Reinkober, Managing Director of Zukunftsnetz Mobilität NRW, believes a rethink in transport and urban planning is necessary: "After decades of focussing on the car, the transport sector has a lot of catching up to do in terms of climate protection, resource management and land consumption. In order to meet these challenges, especially in light of the climate crisis, we need to take action and rethink mobility. For many people, City Cycling offers an impression of how mobility can work –this must now also be reflected in transport and urban planning."
According to City Cycling campaign manager André Muno of Climate Alliance, the car-centred transport planning of recent decades poses yet another challenge. "In many municipalities, there are still major blind spots when it comes to cycling planning," comments Muno. This is precisely where City Cycling comes in, as the routes tracked with the City Cycling app are anonymised and scientifically evaluated. This provides a meaningful picture of cycling traffic and identifies potential improvements to the local infrastructure. "This is crucial support for local authorities to really expand the cycling infrastructure to meet the needs of cyclists." Thanks to funding from the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport, all German municipalities taking part in City Cycling can access this data free of charge through 2024 via the RiDE platform for cycling in Germany.
City Cycling is an international campaign run by Climate Alliance and supported by partners Ortlieb, ABUS, stadthelm.de, TERN, WERTGARANTIE, Busch + Müller, Schwalbe, WSM and Paul Lange & Co.
In the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the campaign is supported by the North Rhine-Westphalian ADFC; the North Rhine-Westphalian AGFS; the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport and the Zukunftsnetz Mobilität NRW.
City Cycling Communications, Climate Alliance
+49 69 7171 39 -30 | kommunikation(at)stadtradeln.de
Communications Director, Climate Alliance
+49 69 7171 39 -20 | communications(at)climatealliance.org
With its international City Cycling competition, Climate Alliance invites citizens and their local parliaments to hop on their bicycles and promote cycling. In teams, participants collect as many kilometres cycled as possible for their municipalities on 21 consecutive days between May and September. The campaign raises awareness for the integration of cycling as a part of everyday life while familiarising local parliaments to key issues related to bicycle use and cycle traffic planning. With the RADar! reporting platform and, in Germany, the RiDE project providing participating municipalities with scientifically analysed cycling data, the campaign can also be instrumental in helping to directly improve cycling infrastructure with citizen involvement. citycycling.org
For over 30 years, Climate Alliance member municipalities have been acting in partnership with indigenous rainforest peoples for the benefit of the global climate. With nearly 2,000 members spread across more than 25 European countries, Climate Alliance is Europe's largest city network dedicated to comprehensive and equitable climate action. Recognising the impact our lifestyles can have on the world's most vulnerable people and places, Climate Alliance pairs local action with global responsibility. climatealliance.org