Ten Ideas from #citytalk for Boosting Cycling in Cities


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By Rashiq Fataar at Future Cape Town

The fourth edition of #citytalk entitled “Cycling and Cities” took place last week and was a great success, reaching close to 30,000 people. We were honoured to be joined by the European Cyclist’s Federation and Iván De la Lanza from Ecobici, who helped set the scene for a fast paced discussion and debate on the role of bicycles, infrastructure and communities in building sustainable cities.

We were also glad to have the teams at Urban TimesPhilips Livable Cities and The Sustainable Cities Collective join on the night and add their perspectives to the topic. Along with our guests and participants, we tried to unpack some of the barriers that are preventing bicycles from becoming a mainstream mode of transport in many cities.

Our questions ranged from seeking the best strategies to promote bicycle use, to bicycle funding, shifting mindsets about cycling, road safety for cyclists and motorists and looking into the future of the bicycle.

Here are our 10 of our favourite ideas from the discussion:

1. Safety stupid!

@LivableCities: One of the biggest aspects has to be safety, right? Urban design that makes people want to bike & feel safe doing so.

2. Education. Education. Education.

@UT_BuiltEnv: One of the most effective strategies is education… you have to cut down on car/bike conflict.

3. Access to bicycles

@ghanscom: Easy access to bikes is also huge. Baltimore’s Velocipede bike project comes to mind.

4. Segregate

@EUCyclistsFed: Cities really need infrastructure to get more people cycling. And they must segregate when speeds are above 30 km/h.

5. An economic case

@RichPalmeris: There are economic benefits to slowing traffic – bikes and pedestrians allow higher concentration of retail.

6. Invest in people!

@aaroncoulter: Cities need to invest in people not just infrastructure – Northern Ireland has 1 cycle engineer in Roads Service, and he’s part time!

7. Think Destination to Destination

@ohfischal: Cities can begin by identifying where they want people to congregate. Think Destination 2 Destination transportation.

8. Go Online!

@EveAllease: New York City is growing its cycling population. They have a user friendly site to make finding safe routes easy.

9. Think ahead. Build ahead.

@urbdispatch: We built paved roads before everyone owned a car. You must predict future trends and fix problems before they are a problem.

10. A bicycle-only future?

@Oslolso: Only public transport and bicycles will be allowed in the inner dense parts of cities in 2030.

Join us on 9 May for our next edition of #CityTalk co-hosted with the New Cities Foundation, who will be hosting the New Cities Summit in Paris from 14-16 May. Our topic this time will be Future Cities!

Image courtesy of incase on flickr