23 Mar 2018 Story Green economy

#FridayFact: The Netherlands is home to more bicycles than people!

There are over 22 million bicycles in the Netherlands compared to 18 million residents[i] – providing a boon not only for the environment, but also for people’s health and jobs.

In Europe, outdoor air pollution – which is partly caused by traffic fumes - is responsible for 500,000 premature deaths each year. Yet Dutch people are estimated by one study to be extending their life expectancy by half a year due to their love for two wheels.

Policies that support cycling not only support people’s health but can also create jobs and aid the Green Economy transition.

Amsterdam has already almost fully exploited its job-creation potential from cycling. Yet around 435,000 new jobs could be created if people in 56 major cities across Europe were to use their bikes as often as people living in Copenhagen do for example, a UN study has found.

The figure is based on modal bicycle use in the Danish capital and was revealed by research conducted by UN Environment, the UN Economic Commission for Europe and World Health Organisation. The study found that when bike lanes and other infrastructure are in place, jobs are not only created in the bicycle manufacturing and services sectors, but also in the tourism and construction industries.

Read the Riding towards a Green Economy: cycling and green jobs study here and find out more on the Breathe Life campaign for clean air here.

Boost your knowledge on topical environmental issues and how they affect our daily lives!

UN Environment in Europe brings you #FridayFacts showing how our work and that of others concretely helps moves towards sustainable societies.

[i] New York Times, If you build it, the Dutch will pedal, 6.9.17