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Cyclists and pedestrians on a cycleway in central Helsinki on 15 August, 2017. The Finnish capital has the fifth highest share of residents commuting by bicycle (11%) out of 20 large cities in Europe, according to an urban mobility index compiled by Politico.
Cyclists and pedestrians on a cycleway in central Helsinki on 15 August, 2017. The Finnish capital has the fifth highest share of residents commuting by bicycle (11%) out of 20 large cities in Europe, according to an urban mobility index compiled by Politico.

 

Helsinki has landed the top spot in a ranking of the convenience and pleasantness of getting around in 20 large cities in Europe published on 11 September by Politico.

Politico’s European Urban Mobility Index ranks the cities based on their performance in four equally weighted areas identified as critical contributors to the commuter experience: air pollution, cycling, public transport and traffic congestion.

The Finnish capital ranked second in air quality and sneaked into the top five in both bicycle use and traffic congestion. It also fared relatively well in terms of public transport ridership – ranking 10th overall with a percentage of 34 – despite the fact that the cost of a single public transport ticket was one of the highest among the cities included in the comparison.

A single journey by public transport costs 2.9 euros in both Helsinki and Amsterdam. The only cities with higher public transport fares were Copenhagen (€3.2) and Stockholm (€4.5).

Although the city has actively sought to promote the use of public transport, the percentage of residents who do so remains considerably lower than in, for example, Madrid (42%), Prague (43%), Budapest (45%) and Warsaw (54%).

Cycling, in turn, is markedly more popular in Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where over 30 per cent of residents commute by bicycle compared to only 11 per cent in Helsinki.

Politico stresses that its mobility index should not be considered a scientific study but rather as an approximation of how effectively and efficiently the residents of citizens are able to get from one place to another. The online publication, for example, approximated congestion levels by utilising data compiled by TomTom and air pollution levels by means of the WHO World Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva

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