Lviv: Cycling Profile

Background and Objectives

Ukrainian cities are under immense pressure: Private cars – new and used ones – are flooding cities, buses and trams are stuck in traffic jams, parking cars are blocking sidewalks and accident rates are increasing. Increasing local emissions and increasing CO2-emissions are major concerns.

In this context, the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv has taken the strategic decision to develop cycling as regular mode of transport: Improved cycling infrastructure and active promotion of cycling as modern, clean and truly European mode of transport will help to increase the share of cyclists. This will make Lviv a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable place for its citizens and guests.

Today, less than 2 per cent of Lviv’s citizens are using the bicycle, but there are good reasons that this share can climb to Western European levels.


Lviv is using a systemic approach to develop cycling infrastructure and to improve the situation of cyclists in a comprehensive way. This approach includes:

– Establishment of regular working group:

Members of the working group are representatives of the city administration, of planning and design institutes, of NGOs and of other stakeholders. The working group meets regularly to initiate projects and activities and to monitor progress. The working group is headed by vice mayor Oleh Synutka. The Mayor Andriyy Sadovyy is fully supporting all activities and a cyclist himself.

– Development of 9-year implementation plan for the set-up of cycling infrastructure:

Based on a cycling plan (which has been approved by city council in 2010) the implementation plan sets up a clear concept, that until 2019, 270 km of cycling infrastructure will be built. The Executive Committee of the City of Lviv has approved this implementation plan. It can be found here.

– Position of cycling advisor as focal point:

The cycling advisor in Lviv – the first such position in Ukraine – is actively pushing forward the execution of the cycling plan and coordinates with various actors in the city. An interview with the cycling advisor Oleh Shmid about his tasks and responsibilities can be found here.

– Development of technical recommendations:

Technical recommendationshave been developed to facilitate planning and implementation of infrastructure and to incorporate new international findings. The recommendations will be constantly updated to reflect lessons learnt and legal changes.

–  Seed investment by city council:

The City Council is actively pursuing additional internal and external funds to maintain the rapid pace of progress.

– Use of EURO2012-preparation:

Lviv is one of the host cities of next year’s EURO2012-football-championship – in this course, numerous infrastructure facilities will be refurbished. The City of Lviv has decided that all refurbished road infrastructures will be complemented with cycling infrastructure.

– Active promotion:

Lviv in cooperation with local NGOs, bicycle dealers and other partners is actively promoting the use of bicycles among its citizens. In 2011, the European Mobility Week provided an excellent opportunity for numerous activities, such as bike excursions, competitions, girls-on-bikes parades and other activities. More information is available here. Lviv is also expanding the cooperation with other cycling cities world-wide.

Until September 2011, 8 km of new infrastructure have been built. More photos of the Lviv cycling infrastructure.

The development of cycling is hampered by outdated planning norms and the fact, that most planners haven’t have yet the chance to plan and experience cycling infrastructure. Therefore, key issues for further work include – besides the further implementation of infrastructure – the update of national legislation and training for planners.


Lviv is the first Ukrainian city with a comprehensive approach towards the development of cycling. The active combination of various efforts has contributed to the rapid construction of first cycling infrastructure in Lviv. A lively community of citizens, cycling activists, sportsmen, and decision-makers is eagerly waiting to use the new infrastructure and to change the picture of mobility in Lviv – towards more sustainable and human patterns.

Lviv / Ukraine has a population of about 760,000. It is the administrative, industrial, cultural and educational center of Western Ukraine. The city center of Lviv is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city will host 3 matches of the EURO2012 championship.

More at: and

GIZ works in the City of Lviv / Ukraine in the framework of the project „Climate-friendly mobility in Ukrainian Cities“ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.  The project is financed in the context of the International Climate Protection Initiative. More information can be found at


Ostap BUDENKEVYCH, Foreign economic relation and investment office of Lviv City Council, budenkevych {a}

Oleg SHMID, Lviv mayor Advisor on cycling issues, oleh.shmid {a}

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