Built environment bikeability as a predictor of cycling frequency: Lessons from Barcelona

Oriol Codina, Monika Maciejewska, Jordi Nadal, Oriol Marquet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Background: Many cities are putting cycling at the centre of their sustainable transportation policies after the COVID pandemic. Cycling is seen as a desirable mode of transport in dense and compact areas and needs to be promoted accordingly. However, to date, only a handful of different bikeability indexes exist attempting to map biking conditions and the built environment's potential to promote biking as a modal choice on a city scale. Methods: In this article, we use objective GIS data to map bikeability potential in the city of Barcelona. To do so we extracted the main bikeability components from an adhoc cycling survey and then create an index using ten spatial indicators. This bikeability index is mapped at a 100 × 100 m scale in the city of Barcelona. We then use actual travel behavior data extracted from a local representative travel survey to test the reliability of the index in predicting daily bike use. Results: Results confirm the validity of the bikeability index as a predictor of the frequency of cycling. People living in areas with higher levels of built environment features associated with bikeability such as dedicated infrastructure, low accident rates and small slopes are more likely to use the bike more often. Conclusions: Results validate our approach providing new methods to be used in further biking studies and a useful tool for policy and decision making. The use of our new bikeaiblity index is especially indicated for highly-dense, compact, Mediterranean-style cities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100725
JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Bikeability
  • Built environment
  • Cycling frequency
  • Modal choice


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