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Munich Cycle Capital

Municipal campaign to promote cycling

Logo und Claim "Radlhauptstadt München"
Logo und Claim "Radlhauptstadt München" © Landeshauptstadt München/helios

Project start

At July 2nd 2008, Munich's city parliament authorized the municipal administration to develop and to start a tendering procedure for a marketing campaign for cycling promotion. The decision was based on two crucial aims:

  • contributing to an increase in cycling's modal share ("more cycling" = quantity)
  • contributing to an increase in cycling safety ("more cycling culture" = quality)

At July 29th 2009, the city parliament passed a fundamental cycling resolution. The annual cycling lump sum was raised from 1.5 to 4.5 million Euros, related to the aim of supporting "soft measures" more intensely. The municipal allocation unit undertook a Europe-wide tender offer for the development and realization of a cycling campaign. Overall 62 tenderers reacted. At March 3rd 2010, the city parliament decided to commission the bidding consortium "helios/SportKreativWerkstatt/Green City e.V.". Furthermore, the municipal administration was instructed to evaluate the campaign within two years. Those results should be used for debating the campaign continuation again in city parliament.

The campaign "Munich Cycling Capital" started on April 23nd 2010 with a press conference and large kick-off weekend, including the first "Munich Cycle Night" and a "Cycle Spring Market". Since then, the advantages of the bicycle as a perfect urban means of transport are communicated and advertised, using a manifold marketing concept. The campaign’s slogan "Munich Cycling Capital" picks up the municipalities claim of becoming one of Europe`s cycle friendliest metropolises. Looking at a significant increase in cycling traffic during the last years and a 1,200 kilometers long cycle network, Munich seems to be on track.

The aims of the campaign

Cycling expresses independence, flexibility, joy of moving, quality of life and lifestyle. Cycling in Munich stands for future oriented mobility and at the same time for a long local tradition. To strengthen that positive image of the bicycle and to raise awareness for it – that is the campaign's mission. Manifold activities and events are realized to demonstrate bicycles' amenities and to reach those citizens, who are not yet convinced by everyday cycling. Thereby, mobility habits are putted into question and people get motivated to change to the bicycle a deeply rooted cycling culture can grow. The bicycle should become a part of Munich's lifestyle and joie de vivre again, following the slogan: "Munich is beautiful – while cycling even more beautiful".

Campaign modules

The campaign uses various possibilities for attractively advertising urban cycling. It works with emotional elements and strong local references for inspiring Munich residents to cycle in "their city".

It should be underlined, that those soft measures of communication and marketing should not substitute the "hardware", but complement it instead. Updated events and further information concerning Munich Cycle Capital can be found on the campaign webpage, (this and all follwing links to German webpages).

Implemented measures

  • Munich Cycle Night (2010, 2011 and 2012)
  • Bicycle Spring Market (2010 and 2011)
  • Munich Bicycle Flea Market (2012)
  • Competition "Munich searches for the Cycle Star"
  • Bicycle safety checks (2010-2012, about 40 dates per year)
  • School tour: "Check your Bicycle" (2011 and 2012)
  • Munich Cycling Week (2011 and 2012)
  • Munich Cycling and Fashion Show (2011 and 2012)
  • Welcome Bicycle Tours for Newbies (2012)
  • V.I.P. Cycling "Bicycle Tour Deluxe" (2012)
  • Cycle Capital-Band "Fahrtwind"(Wind in my hair, 2011)
  • Cycle Capital-Song "We cycle"
  • Stands at various events (trade fairs, street festivals, traffic safety events, etc.)
  • Visibility of the campaign in public space: big banners at public buildings, street-paint logo at the Marienplatz, diverse poster actions (2010-2012)
  • Broad PR-activities, accompanying all campaign measures

Information and service offers (print and online)

Development of Munich's cycling traffic

By now, Munich’s cycling modal share has reached 17%. That is one result from a survey, conducted as part of the campaign evaluation, in 2011. In comparison to the 2002 traffic study "MiDMUC" (10%), a 70% increase in cycling traffic can be recognized. It is to be reckoned with a significantly ongoing increase during the next years.

Warum handelt es sich um ein innovatives und nachahmenswertes Beispiel?

After the first two years of the campaign, an enormous media attention and an unprecedent presence in public debates have shown how important it is to use professional communication for promoting the bicycle as an attractive means for urban transport. Regarding the aims which could be achieved, a very positive conclusion can be drawn. Hopefully, other municipalities feel encouraged and motivated to initiate similar activities. Time will show, If it is possible to reach the long-term aim of a deeply rooted Munich cycling culture.


Kommunale Mittel
3 750 000 €
For the first two years 2010-2011 a budget of all in all 2,15 million Euro was available for the campaign. For the years 2014-2014 a budget of 1.6 million Euro is available (2012: 600,000 Euro; 2013/2014: 500,000 Euro for each year).


Complementary to the campaign implementation, it was decided to conduct a scientific evaluation in 2010. A solid analysis could be realized through the assignment of experienced institutes and the implementation of a differentiated method mix. The evaluation was orientated towards the following aims:
  • Giving a proof of success for an enduring political-administrative legitimation of the campaign
  • Estimating as much as possible effects of the campaign
  • Deriving hints for advancing the campaign for 2012 and the following years

The evaluation is focused on the following four spheres of action:
  • Citizen’s perception of the campaign and of the topic "cycling traffic" (evaluated through interviews with citizens)
  • Campaign’s influences on traffic behaviour (estimated through changes in modal choice and effects deducible from that)
  • Campaign’s media exposure and its effects (evaluated through media cliping)
  • Political effectiveness of the campaign (analysed through qualitative stakeholder interviews)

The excecutive report including crucial evaluation results can be downloaded here (in German)

Projektträger & Beteiligte

City of Munich
Contractors (consortium):
  • helios - Agentur für audiovisuelle Kommunikation
  • Innovationsmanufaktur
  • Green City e.V.


April 2010

Öffentlichkeitsarbeit & Dokumentation


Ansprechpartner auf Projektebene: 
Proect manager
Mr. Max Innerebner
helios - agency for audiovisual communication (contractor)
Dantestr. 20a
I-39100 Bozen
Telefon: +39 0471 300 767
Telefax: +39 0471 328 637

Kommunale Ansprechpartner: 
Project coordinator "Munich Cycle Capital"
Mr. Wigand von Sassen
City of Munich
Implerstraße 9
81371 Munich
Telefon: +49 (0)89/233-39965
Telefax: +49 (0)89/233-989-39965

Stand der Information
30. April 2012
Wigand von Sassen, City of Munich