More bike rides could save lives in capital

Increased cycle commuting in Stockholm could save at least 80 lives a year through reduced air pollution and increased physical exercise, according to the interim report from a major new research study.

"It's possible to avoid around 40 premature deaths a year simply from the reduction in the level of pollution to which the Stockholm population is exposed,"  Peter Schantz, professor at the Swedish School of Sports and Health Sciences, told Svenska Dagbladet on Friday. 

"Then you can save the same number of lives again, at the most conservative estimate, through the increase in physical activity. These are big numbers."

According to the interim report from the study, if an additional 110,000 Stockholm residents chose to bike to work, it would cut air pollution by twice as much as either the planned Stockholm bypass or a mooted congestion charge. 

Schantz's team settled on the 100,000 number after estimating how many people in Stockholm live less than a half an hour cycle-ride from where they work. 

"This is the group that is close to work and have the opportunity to cycle but still take the car. There are those who drive unnecessarily," Schantz said. 

If this group opted to cycle, the percentage of cycle commuters in Stockholm would grow to 21 percent, still a long way behind the 35 percent share of commuting cycling has in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. 

The study, which was funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, was presented at the Linköping Transport Forum on Friday. It was carried out by researchers at Stockholm University, Umeå University, the Swedish School of Sports and Health Sciences, and the research group WPS. 



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Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).