Period: January 2011

Study site: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Conducted at: Washington University in St.Louis

Authors: Swapna Joshi and MUD'11 team. 

Liveability, lively cities, public life, and other concepts describing inviting, vibrant and stimulating urban environments are frequently communicated in new visions for the future of cities today. Despite our new awareness for the need to plan for a shared and intensified urban life in sustainable cities, we continue to have difficulties in understanding exactly what this ‘urban life’ is. We mapped commute of people on bicycles from their origin to destinations by following them on bicycles, to understand and experience how infrastructure in Copenhagen supports its vision of being a Bicycle City.

Instructors: Oliver Schulze, Visiting Professor from Jan Gehl Studio & John Hoal, Professor of Architecture & Urban Design & Chair Urban Design, Washington University in St. Louis


We interviewed bicyclists to understand why they chose the route and understood that their choice was influenced by the qualitative and experiential aspects of their routes. Besides this, bicycle routes were found to be time-saver for daily commute as compared to automobiles.


The commute was often determined spatiotemporally by external factors such as work or school hours.


Using a handheld manual counter we mapped the flow of pedestrians and bicyclists across the day for the chosen bicycle routes/infrastructure. Watch me and others in my team conducting this study in Jan Gehl's interview 'Making Life Visible'. Commute was often determined spatiotemporally by external factors such as work or school hours. We studied the number of bicyclists per hour for the chosen bicycle routes/infrastructure and projected the data to populations from different places around the world to imagine these locations as bicycle cities.  

Copenhagen bicycle tour_Page_07