08 December 2009

Lund, Sweden Loves Bikes and Public Transport

Bike Intersection
The BBC reports from the Swedish town of Lund where 60% of all trips are by bicycle or public transport.

Lund was founded in 990 by the Danes. It is located in the Scania [Skåne] region of what is now Sweden but the city was an important centre of commerce and learning for Denmark for centuries. It was actually the capital of Denmark for a short period and, from atop Saint Hans Hill you can see Copenhagen on a clear day.

Anyway, anyway, the bicycle has been a main feature in the city for ages. Along with the city of Malmö, 15 km to the south, Lund has ridden on a parallel path with Copenhagen regarding bicycle infrastructure and public transport over the past 40 years. When you're 600 km from Stockholm and only 20 or so from Copenhagen [as the crow flies], it's not surprising that many of your influences come from the west and not the north.

Sweden is no legendary bicycle nation. Sure, there are pockets of bicycle goodness like Västerås in the north, where the bicycle enjoys 33% modal share AND they have this kick-ass statue celebrating the bicycle:

But it really is the towns in the south that dominate the bicycle map of the country. Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city has 30% modal share for bikes.

The BBC film about Lund is really a fine little portrait of a lovely town. They compare it to Cambridge in the UK. Here's the clip:

The City Where Bicycles Dominate

Again, I don't know why the BBC don't allow embedding. Baffles the mind.


Klaus Mohn said...

well, the fact that Lund is a univeristy town first and foremost has to play a role... it's truly Sweden's Cambridge.
I had such a great time living there as an Erasmus student. Without a bike, you're nothing: no social life, no shopping, nothing.

Kelsey said...

Sweden is not a legendary bicycle nation?? I must've gotten a very false impression from my study abroad in Linköping. The local Ikea even had cargo-like attachments that you could borrow for your bike! Interesting that perhaps most of Sweden is not this way.

Scott said...

I lived in Lund for a year while earning a Masters Degree, and like Klaus I agree that without a bike you are nothing. Everything is by bike and I wouldn't have it any other day! Lund is an incredible city and I often think about my time there.

Anonymous said...

"... Västerås in the north"

Hmm... two thirds of the Sweden is to the north of Västerås. I'd say Luleå or Kiruna would qualify as 'north', but then again I'm writing this in Turku, Finland.