|The city of Odense
The City of Odense is the 3rd largest city in Denmark
with 187,000 inhabitants of which 22,000 are aged 60 or older.
Odense is also the largest city in the South Denmark Region and is
the capital on the Island of Funen. Odense is a very old city with
roots back to the Iron and Viking Ages. Odense is the birth place of
the world famous story teller Hans Christian Andersen and the
composer Carl Nielsen. Odense has a strong focus on culture,
business, a vibrant student life and many parks and green areas
which bring a pleasant atmosphere to the city.
We also have a strong focus on cycling. From 1999-2002 Odense was a
national cycle city and we are still working very hard to promote
cycling to create an atmospheric, healthy and environmentally city
The general transport situation in Odense
With an almost complete cycle path network of more than 550 km’s and
hundreds of speed bumps, Odense provides a unique infrastructure for
walking and cycling for all ages.
Since 1995 cycle trips have increased considerably,
while car trips have declined on shorter trips. On longer trips,
both cycle and car trips are increasing. However, cars drive longer
trips than cycles, and the car is dominating when looking at the
total number of driving km in the municipality. In relation to
public transport the tendency is that both short and longer trips
In 2006, cycling covered 24% of all trips in the
municipality and in central areas it exceeded 50%. In comparison,
public transport and cars constituted respectively 6% and 47% of all
trips in the municipality.
The Future Transport Situation in Odense
In June 2009 a traffic and mobility plan for the City of Odense was
enacted. The plan
contains different suggestions as to how the future transport
situation should look and works with a time horizon until 2020. The
plan aims at promoting sustainable transportation modes like public
transport, cycling and walking, and shows how the different modes
can be combined – such as park and ride. The aim is to increase
cycling trips with 35%, trips by public transport with 33% and
reduce the share of car trips with 16%. As a result of the traffic
and mobility plan a number of primary roads will be closed,
|The ring roads
Thomas B. Thriges Gade, where 35,000 cars drive each day.
In addition, the city centre will be divided into four traffic
zones. It will not be possible to drive from one zone to another. Instead, drivers have to use the ring road. Several underground
parking facilities will be established along a parking route.
Finally, the speed limit will be reduced to 40 km/h on and inside
the parking route and it is the plan to implement a 30 km/h zone in
residential areas within the parking route.
The two maps show respectively the four traffic zones and the
parking route and ring road (the reed line illustrates the ring
road, while the yellow line illustrates the parking route)
mobility in Odense
A pleasant bike ride in Odense
In 2007 Odense adopted two new policies relating to
older people and mobility. In February 2007, Odense City Council
adopted a new Policy for the Life of Senior Citizens. In practice
the new policy means that – amongst other things – the City of
Give priority to cycle and footpath connections
and routes as well as the quality of the surroundings and green
Ensure that public areas, squares and streets are
accessible for senior citizens, who are weak or handicapped
Ensure that cycle and footpaths are safe and
well-lit 24 hours a day
The Health Policy takes mobility and older people
into account in the following specific areas:
The number of citizens, who are physically active
must be increased
The opportunities for physical activity must be
easily accessible for everyone, regardless of age and physical
Citizens’ responsibility for and desire to make
healthy choices must be increased
The negative effects of health must be avoided and a
high degree of environmental protection should be maintained.
In addition, the service busses in Odense are targeted at people
over 65 years. The service busses drive on five local routes, and
the time schedule is organised so passengers have the time to enter
and leave the busses. In this way, the focus is on safety compared
to shorter travel times and, furthermore, the drivers focus more on
passengers compared to the other busses.
Odense activities in AENEAS
The three AENEAS activities in the City of Odense
mainly focus on motivating older people to walk and cycle more in
their everyday life. Moreover, the activities will be carried out
together with older people, different organisations, and local
1st Activity – Walking Campaign
In September and October 2009, a four week walking campaign was
carried out in the City of Odense with the aim to encourage older
people to walk more by arousing their awareness on how much or
little they are walking every day. This was done by offering a
pedometer to older people and arranging walking trips different
places in Odense.
A pedometer counts the number of steps a person is
taking. Thus, it becomes visible how much or little a person is
walking every day and this awareness often results in an increase in
the number of steps. In this way, the idea was that the participants
would increase their daily number of steps through the four weeks
the campaign lasted.
In order to see if the participants increased their
number of steps we asked them to register their steps each week.
Here, each registration gave a draw in a weekly competition.
Approx. 500 older people participated in the
campaign. The participants were between 55 and 93 years old –average
age was 67 years old. Respectively 40% men and 60% women
participated in the campaign.
Furthermore, approx. 220 participants registered
their steps each week. This registration showed an increase in the
average weakly number of steps during the four weeks – though with a
small reduction in the number of steps between the second and third
A second walking campaign will take place in 2010.
2nd Activity – Mobility in Urban Area
The map shows the two walking routes of 1.6 and 3.4 km's. (Click to enlarge.)
In spring 2009 older citizens in Odense were invited to two
workshops. At the first workshop the participants were asked to
point out places where the accessibility was poor and to write a
short comment on the problems they had identified. Based on this
workshop, two walking routes were prepared. The two routes goes
through the inner city and connect most of the identified places in
addition to important places like the main station, a pedestrian
area, doctors and dentists, shops, public offices and green areas.
Afterwards, every obstacle on the two walking routes and possible
solutions to improve the accessibility were identified. At the
second workshop, the two walking routes and their problems and
potential solutions were presented and discussed with the
Now the City of Odense is in the process of carrying
out the physical interventions and when they are finished, the
participants of the two workshops will be invited to have a walk
along the routes to access the improvements.
3rd Activity – Guided Cycling Tours
In a corporation the City of Odense and eight volunteers cycle
captains have planned and carried out 24 cycle trips in 2009. The
trips have had different lengths, destinations and starting points.
There has been up to 15 participants besides two cycle captains on
each trip. On several trips, the participants have met with a person
from the municipality who has told about the areas they were cycling
The cycle captains were found through adverts in the
local newspaper and a magazine distributed to older citizens in
Odense. Six men and two women volunteered as cycle captains. They
are between 58 and 71 years old and all experienced cyclists. In the
planning phase the cycle captains have among other things
participated on a first aid course, learned about cycling in larger
groups and participated in an information meeting about cycle
planning in the City of Odense.
There have been approx. 240 participants on the
cycle trips. Average age was 66 years where the oldest participant
was 84 years old. 57% of the participants were women and 43% men.
The majority cycle each day or several times per week, while only a
few almost never cycle.
The evaluation showed that 40% of the participants
intend to cycle more in the future, while 23% want to drive less as
a driver. However, the majority have answered that they intend to
have the same transport habits in the future.
The cycle trips have been very popular both among
the participants and the cycle captains. For instance, the eight
cycle captains want to continue in 2010. In addition, the
participants have given the trips an average grade on 4.9 on a scale
from 1 to 5. This has resulted in that it is decided to continue the
trips in 2010 under Cycle City Odense.
Further information and contact
For further information please see
contact the City of Odense, Department of Culture and Urban
Development, Nørregade 36-38, 5100 Odense C, Denmark