Cycling is a sustainable means of urban travel. It has the potential to serve many short- and medium-distance trips—for commuting to and from work and school, shopping, and visiting friends—as well as providing recreation and exercise. Cycling promotes physical, social, and mental health, helps reduce car use, enhances mobility and independence, and is economical for both public and personal budgets. This presentation explores how to make city cycling safe, practical, and convenient for a broad spectrum of ages, genders, and abilities. Buehler and Pucher discuss the latest cycling trends and policies around the world and consider specific aspects of cycling. Based on data from 2019-2020 from cities around the world, they also review the impacts of COVID-19 on cycling levels and government policies to promote cycling. Taken together, the presentation demonstrates that successful promotion of cycling depends on a coordinated package of mutually supportive infrastructure, programs, and policies. Cycling should be made feasible for as many people as possible and not limited to especially fit, daring, well-trained cyclists riding expensive bicycles. The talk is based on their recent co-edited book Cycling for Sustainable Cities (MIT Press).
Ralph Buehler is Professor and Chair of Urban Affairs and Planning in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech's Research Center in Arlington, Virginia. Most of his research has an international comparative perspective, contrasting transport and land-use policies, transport systems, and travel behavior in Western Europe and North America.
John Pucher, Ph.D. is professor emeritus in the School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, where he taught from 1978 to 2014. Over more than four decades, Pucher has conducted research on urban transport in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.