Cycling is dominant in cities that are flat, and that were built up before the advent of cars, meaning the old building stock does not provide any car parking. Amsterdam is the most conspicuous case. People, no parking, equals much cycling.
The conditions behind Amsterdam’s high rates of cycling, can be recreated in any flat urban area. Simply raise allowable densities (that’s not the same as raising allowable heights) and ban the provision of car parking in any new building. At the same time, make further development on the urban fringe less appealing, by lowering speed limits, by not making new roads, and by not allowing any more urban sprawl.
I’m mindful at this point that many people, and no parking, equals many taxis hooning along Manhattan’s Avenues. It’s like a Death Star battle every time a traffic light turns to green. Circumstances behind this, include the through-traffic in Manhattan from other boroughs (curse you bridge-n’-tunnel scum), plus American car-love more broadly. Really though, there’s nothing here lot’s of traffic calming could not reverse. Which is why calming Manhattan’s traffic has been the first thing most planners try to address.
My small city, Newcastle, has draconian planning laws, requiring the provision of 1 to 2 parking spaces for every new dwelling unit built in the city. All our councilors live in the burbs, or else in over sized city houses. None cycle to planning meetings. Rather, they complain about how far they had to walk from the car space they found. With all due respect Newcastle City Council, you are what I referred to in my last post as: "humanity’s lard, Charles Darwin’s apes, the eugenicist’s rejects." If you were any more backward, you would be quaint. I thank you for my perverse sense of irony, without which I would have gone mad.