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“Famous people who have been cycling in Malmö”

Author: CIVITAS Support
Posted on: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 15:24
Malmö , SMILE

“Famous people who have been cycling in Malmö” - is the title of a book that was published in Malmö during 2005. This book is part of a “more biking campaign” launched during 2005 as a preface to the CIVITAS SMILE project in Malmö. Malmö is a city where distances are less important when choosing your type of transportation but where habit, traditions and image play an important role.

So how do you change peoples’ habits and image to stimulate them to use their bicycle more often? In Malmö, the ambition is to increase the overall use of bicycles from 24% of total transports to 30-40% by the year 2008. One way of doing this is via infrastructure improvements such as new bicycle roads, improved signposts and signaling systems or another way is to improving bicycle parking linking different transport modes together. In Malmö, people chose between their car, bus, taxi, bicycle or walking. Through various campaigns the citizens in Malmö have been informed about the importance of exercise thus to use your bike more often as well as the important impact this has on the environment. Through the latest campaign the idea was to stimulate peoples’ imagination and curiosity. Using the bike is like the beginning of an adventure, it can be relaxing and the bike is more than just a way of transport. To stimulate this thinking and change the image of the bicycle, a book (note that the book itself is not part of CIVITAS SMILE) was produced with famous people and profiles in Malmö where they discussed their different experiences of biking in Malmö. The book was then distributed for free to all citizens in Malmö between 25 and 34 years of age. After the book was launched, came the first bicycle barometer in the city center, counting all bicycles that pass every day. The barometer is part of the CIVITAS SMILE project and has an electronic display showing people how many persons that have passed by every day. Next to the barometer you can also refill your tyres with air when needed. The number of passing bicycles is shown during 24 hours cycles. The counter is then set to restart however all the statistics are kept. The sum of all cyclists is then displayed in one column as well as previous years will be in the future to compare the number of people that ride by the barometer on their bike. The second barometer will be launched during the spring 2006. Since the initiative Media attention and interest from the public has been very successful. The overall statistics in Malmö in terms of bicycle users is constantly increasing even if the results from the barometer it self is to early to tell. During the autumn however the 1 000 000 person that rode by the barometer in the center was celebrated. This person was a French student studying at the University of Malmö. With a population of 270 000 inhabitants in Malmö and to have 1 000 000 persons riding their bicycle past this spot in the center of town in only 6 months after the barometer was launched, clearly shows the large number of people using their bike in Malmö, even when the weather is tuff during the autumn and winter months.

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