I have adapted the following six design principles from ten ‘Copenhagen Design Elements’ that were determined by the Copenhagenize company as representative of what makes Copenhagen a uniquely successful cycling city. These were:

  • The Big Picture
  • The Green Wave
  • Intermodality
  • Safety Details
  • Norrebrogade
  • Macro Design
  • Micro Design
  • Cargo Bikes
  • Desire Lines
  • Political Will

The principles that I have derived from these are more broadly applicable across other urban situations as universal principles for producing successful bicycle infrastructure. This is key for making the bicycle the fastest and most convenient way to get from A to B, which according to Mikael Colville-Andersen, is the most crucial factor in encouraging people to cycle.

These principles distill the complexities of a thriving bicycle culture into distinct elements that can then be applied across various situations.  It is the permeation of these principles through infrastructure, in conjunction with political, economic and social measures, which help to prioritise the cycle over other forms of transport. Uniformity, flow, integration, safety, macro design and micro design.



1. Top 10 Design Elements in Copenhagen Bicycle Culture [Accessed 20 July 2016].