Geographies in Depth

China has just built the world’s longest elevated cycle path

Beijing is encouraging people to get back on their bicycles for which Chinese cities used to be famous for to help reduce pollution, less than a year away from the Olympics.   REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV    (CHINA) - RTX3GQJ

Efforts to tackle the country’s air pollution crisis are all helping to rekindle China’s love affair with cycling. Image: REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV

Charlotte Edmond
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Geographies in Depth?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how China is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:


We’ve heard of Beijing’s nine million bikes and China referred to as the “Kingdom of Bicycles”. But the reality in many Chinese cities is that the car is king, and getting from A to B has become increasingly difficult – and dangerous – for the country’s cyclists.

However, the emergence of popular bike-sharing schemes, frustration with gridlocked roads, and efforts to tackle the country’s air pollution crisis are all helping to rekindle China’s love affair with cycling.

The southeast city of Xiamen has gone even further with the construction of a 7.6km elevated skyway for bikes – the world’s longest elevated cycle path.

Image: Dissing + Weitling Architecture

Connecting the major residential and business sectors of the city, the aerial cycleway sits below Xiamen’s existing overhead bus transport system. At 4.8 m wide it has capacity for over 2000 bikes at a time, and will join up with 11 bus stations and two subway stations. As well as space to park bikes, it will also have bikes available to hire.

Image: Dissing + Weitling Architecture

Designed and completed in six months, the project was the latest in a number of raised cycleways by Danish architects Dissing+Weitling. Another project, the ‘Bicycle Snake’, was completed in 2014. The 230 m bridge connects Copenhagen’s harbour area to the city.

Have you read?

Copenhagen had already cemented its status as a bike-friendly city with a cycle super-highway that connects the city with the suburban town of Albertslund, 22 km away. The eventual aim is to build a network of 28 cycle superhighways, covering 500 km. It is estimated the network will increase the number of cycle lanes in Greater Copenhagen by 15% and reduce public expenditure by €40.3m annually thanks to improved health.

 Pic cap: London’s proposed SkyCycle would see cycle lanes suspended above train lines
Image: Foster + Partners

Meanwhile, London is among other cities considering proposals for elevated bike paths. Architect Norman Foster unveiled plans to create a 220 km car-free cycle network around the city and surrounds. The city has already introduced a network of cycle superhighways on roads.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Geographies in DepthNature and BiodiversitySocial Innovation
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

How Namibia is helping its most sustainable companies compete globally

Rauha Nangula Uaandja

June 20, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum