As a cyclist you move at a speed that enables you to interact with the environment. If you see something in a shop window, you can stop and check it out. If you see a friend, you can stop and have a chat. If you go past a street you haven't been down for a while, you can easily make a detour. All these things are very difficult to do, if not impossible, when driving a car.
A bicycle friendly district, that incorporates, bike
lanes, streets closed to cars, ample bike parking, and bicycle friendly
businesses, creates an environment where small local businesses can
thrive, people can be happier, and people can connect. In an article article on bicycle friendly districts at Transport Issues Daily, April Economides of Green Octopus Consulting puts forward her case for bicycle friendly districts.
I guess we hear a lot about councils or governments implementing bike lanes, but creating totally bicycle friendly districts is another story. This following video on the creation of a bicycle friendly district in Long Beach sheds some lights on the benefits.