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2/20/2017 10:00 AM

Lahti races to the top as a cycling city

Currently, 18 per cent of journeys within the city are taken by bicycle, which makes Lahti one of Finland’s foremost cycling cities.
A man cycling.

Surroundings that promote cycling and walking contribute to a vibrant and pleasant urban environment. By improving pedestrian routes and cycling facilities, cities can ensure smoothly running traffic, even as they expand. Such measures also help to create an attractive centre that people are happy to explore on foot and two wheels alike.

Lahti is a densely built city where a quarter of all journeys are taken on foot, which is more than average in Finland. Roughly 74 per cent of Lahti’s residents live within five kilometres – or a 20-minute bike ride – of the centre, while 66 per cent of students between the ages of 6 and 15 walk or cycle to school.

In cities, cycling and walking not only reduce the environmental impact of road traffic, but also help to prevent health hazards caused by sedentary lifestyles.

From cars to other modes of transport

The popularity of private motoring has been in steady decline over the past two decades: while in the mid-1990s 63% of journeys within the city were made by car, the corresponding percentage in 2016 was 51.

However, half of all journeys shorter than five kilometres are currently taken by car. This means that there is still great potential for increasing the share of walking and cycling in Lahti, particularly over short distances.

Public transport increasing in popularity

Public transport has been gaining popularity since its reform in summer 2014. Last year, 7.1 million journeys were made by local buses, which is 5.5 per cent more than the year before. Lahti offers fertile ground for the growth of public transport, as more than 80 per cent of local residents live close to a bus stop where buses stop at least every 30 minutes.

Lahti’s Master Plan 2017–2020 tackles sustainable urban mobility

In its city planning for 2017–2020, Lahti will emphasise the promotion of sustainable transport modes by means of urban planning. In connection with the preparation of its master plan, the City of Lahti will draw up a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, which is a comprehensive planning concept introduced by the European Commission for all modes and forms of urban transport. Local residents and companies will be given the opportunity to participate in the preparation of Lahti’s Sustainable Mobility Plan via various innovative and interesting channels.​