March 03, 2018

Returning to a regular topic, cycling in cities, we wanted to put out the transformational changes taking place in some cities for cycling, and the place of cycling as a central part of good urban design.  Recent examples of transformation include London, while it was only in the 1960's that paragons Amsterdam and Copenhagen turned from the car to the bike as the key to a successful urban form and healthy citizens.  Consider;

- London 2005 - the tone of articles and commentary are focussed on why London will never be a cycling city.  

- London 2017 - In central London cycling has increased more than 400% in 8 years and the network of cycling superhighways is growing with 6 new routes just announced.

Now to Melbourne 2018 - despite some significant improvements and copenhagen lanes, the binary polemic continues and segments of the media love a good, simplistic, blood letting over rational discussion and context.  But, the extraordinary changes in London in just a short space, and the momentum it now has with a critical mass, highlight why urban planners, transport analysts and cyclists (often all one and the same) should take heart and push harder for positive change. After all, the winner is everyone in a city, peoples health, economic efficiency, amenity and community.

The research and evidence around the great benefits of cycling to cities and the central place cycling should have in urban planning are overwhelming and it is time to get decision makers and influencers free of the anachronistic planning for cars and roads. We have some great examples to learn from and some great mistakes to equally learn from.  This fascinating article offers much insight, as does this one.  There is also some great content from Sustrans here.

So, it is never to late to start lobbing and no city is trapped forever in archaic, inefficient and unhealthy transport modes.  So lets get lobbying and change the script.




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