29 September 2010

No Ridiculous Car Journeys in Malmö, Sweden

The City of Malmö is located in the south of Sweden, just across the bridge from Copenhagen. It's Sweden's third-largest city.

The City's bicycle office and transport department are also quite brilliant at promoting cycling. In fact, I asked one of the communications people at the City of Copenhagen's Bicycle Office a while back who they were positively influenced by and he replied, "Malmö" without hestitation. Followed by the Dutch Fietsersbond. Which speaks volumes.

They have had a successful campaign running for four years now called "No Ridiculous Car Trips". They discovered a few years back that 50% of all trips under 5 km were by car in the city and they decided to do something about it.

The campaign has been a massive success. In the film, above, you can hear all about how and why the campaign started. I like how they turn the tables in their marketing. Directing confronting that very simple fact that using cars for short trips in their city was - ridiculous.

They invited people to write down a description of their short car trip in the hopes of winning the Most Ridiculous Car Trip title - and a new bicycle of course.
The film is also a fine infomercial about the city and their visions of the future, including their goals for increasing bicycle traffic. In 1995, the modal share for bicycles was 20%. Today it is 30%. They increased their bicycle traffic by 1-2% each year. Brilliant. The reason for the increase is not just campaigns but also a sensible investment in separated bicycle infrastructure. The city now has around 420 km of bicycle infrastructure.

Textbook examples of how to promote cycling positively. Poster children for liveable cities. Wonderful.

Previous posts about bicycle culture in Malmö on Copenhagenize.com

And a visit to our friends at Malmö/Lund Cycle Chic never hurts either.