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Bristol Mayor George Ferguson singled out for praise - city is only in the UK to make the list

Bristol is the most active city in the UK, and the 8th most active in the world, according to a new report from Sustrans.

The Active Cities report, also sponsored by Nike and Active Living Research, singles out Bristol’s Mayor George Ferguson for praise, saying: "In 2012, the citizens of Bristol did something they had never done before. They voted in the first democratically elected mayor in the city's history. In taking on the role, Mayor George Ferguson secured Bristol's designation as European Green Capital for 2015. At the same time, he knew more could be done.

"He also knew that Bristol faced significant problems with congestion, contributing to lost productivity and high pollution costs. Continued growth exacerbates the problem. He also saw that people in the city's wealthiest neighborhoods were expected to live 10 years longer than people in the city's poorest neighborhoods.

"His solution is to create a vision for Bristol that is healthier for all citizens. When it comes to building physical activity into daily life, Bristol has some opportunities that other cities do not."

The only UK city to be mentioned in the report, Bristol “was already well on its way to becoming an active transport leader with a heavy focus on walking and cycling at the time Mayor Ferguson was elected,” the report notes.

George Ferguson told the Bristol Evening Post: "We already have more people commuting to work by bicycle or on foot than any other city in England and expect to see this increase even further.

"This new research highlights how vitally important it is to promote walking and cycling for shorter journeys in and around the city. Not just for environmental and health reasons, but because it will make Bristol a more successful and happy place to live and work.

"European cities that make it easier for people to travel by bike or on foot have proved to be more economically competitive and offer a better quality of life for their residents.

"Many in Bristol have long recognised this benefit and have been working to make sure our city is as accessible to walkers and cyclists as possible.

"By encouraging more people to walk and cycle around the city we can make this city a healthier, happier and more attractive place to live."

The world's most active cities

1. Hernando - United States
2. Buenos Aires - Argentina
3. New York City - United States
4. Copenhagen - Denmark
5. Rio De Janeiro - Brazil
6. Medellin - Colombia
7. Red Deer - Canada
8. Bristol - UK
9. Adelaide - Australia

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.