Cities around the world are working hard to encourage their citizens to cycle, seeing this as part of the solution to the challenges of both congestion and climate change. But which cities are really getting it right?

The latest Copenhagenize Index provides the answer. The bi-annual report evaluates 122 cities on 13 criteria including cycling infrastructure, social attitudes, traffic calming, safety, and bike-sharing programmes.

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European cities dominate this year’s index, with Copenhagen taking the top spot from Amsterdam. Netherlands neighbour Utrecht maintains its position in third place with a new entry, Strasbourg, jumping into the ranking at number four.

Buenos Aires is South America’s sole entry this year, with Rio de Janeiro dropping out of the index this time around. But the United States is back in, thanks to the efforts of Minneapolis at number 18.

Asia is out of the top 20 altogether, with Tokyo and Nagoya exiting the list.

The index is compiled by the Copenhagenize Design Company, an urban design consultancy that advises cities and governments on becoming more bicycle-friendly.

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Author: Paul Muggeridge is Head of Content at Formative Content.

Image: A cyclist rides past autumn-colored ivy climbing the wall of a building in downtown Copenhagen. REUTERS/Bob Strong