Ghent awarded the title of Cycling City 2024

Ghent has been honoured as Cycling City 2024 by the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Studies (VSV). This prestigious title recognises the city's outstanding efforts and innovations in promoting cycling.

The award ceremony took place on 13 May in the Flemish Parliament, where Ghent triumphed over fellow nominees Genk and Kortrijk in the central cities category.

In addition to Ghent, the VSV also recognised Dilsen-Stokkem and Boechout as winners in the categories of medium-sized and small municipalities, respectively. Each winner received a 50,000 EUR subsidy to further enhance their cycling policies.

Recognition for innovation and investment

The jury commended Ghent for its substantial investments in cycling infrastructure and innovative solutions. Highlights include the introduction of flexible parking systems and the development of the Coupure bicycle street, which features dedicated bicycle underpasses. These underpasses, along with other infrastructural improvements, played a significant role in the city's selection.

A testament to safety and comfort

Filip Watteeuw, Alderman for Mobility, expressed his gratitude:

"This title is a great recognition of all the work that has been done in Ghent to improve the safety and comfort of cyclists. But the real recognition is for all cyclists who cycle in Ghent, always and everywhere. They are the heroes."

Ghent's recognition extends beyond mere infrastructural advancements. The city was celebrated for creating a cyclist-friendly environment that encourages more people to choose biking as their primary mode of transportation. The jury noted Ghent's success in setting a high standard for cycling norms through continuous investment and policy support.

Exemplary Infrastructure

Ghent's comprehensive cycling policy includes several standout projects:

  • Coupure bicycle street: This 1.5-kilometre stretch features grade-separated crossings, offering a conflict-free route for cyclists;
  • Rozemarijnbrug underpass: Enhances safety by allowing cyclists to bypass intersections with motorized traffic and trams;
  • Dampoort bicycle tunnel: Facilitates safe and smooth passage under the railway for cyclists and pedestrians;
  • Nieuwevaartbrug underpass: Completes a critical link in the regional cycling route network, connecting key areas with separate two-way cycle paths.

About the Award

The Cycling Municipality/Cycling City election, now in its sixth edition since its inception in 2012, involves a public survey and thorough evaluations by engineering experts. This year, over 27,000 Flemish cyclists participated, assessing their cities based on cycling safety and comfort. Out of 300 cities and municipalities, 165 qualified for the competition, showcasing the widespread commitment to improving cycling conditions across the region.

Ghent's repeated victories in 2015, 2018, and now 2024 underscore its leadership and continuous progress in promoting cycling. The city's efforts not only benefit local cyclists but also contribute to a healthier, more sustainable urban environment.