Urban Cycle Vision Manifesto
We are now living in a post-fossil world - the peak of oil production is behind us, and a modal shift is necessary.
In order to combat climate change, we need to achieve an immediate reduction of CO2 emissions of 60%. Tinkering will not be sufficient. Furthermore, we need to target a reduction of CO2 emissions to reach 0% emissions by the end of this century.
Currently, Europe and North America are experiencing epidemics of both obesity and diabetes. USA, Mexico and UK have the highest rates of heart disease. Our society is grinding to a heart-stopping halt due to our sedentary lifestyle and reliance on the car. What is even more worrying is that the next generation, our children, are succumbing earlier to obesity and diabetes, so this process is accelerating. Whereas in the past we used 30% of our muscular energy, we now use only 1%. No wonder we are unhealthy!
Let’s change our vocabulary - urban planning based on Transport is out, Mobility is in. Our cities and towns have evolved to accommodate our cars - now let’s redress the balance and re-evolve to accommodate people. The policies since the 1950s focussed on car use leading to alienation. Cityscape has become barren. Let us reclaim the city - the city belongs to us, not the car. Think people: think habitats. Where we live, so can nature. Biodiversity can be greater in the city than in the countryside where fields of monoculture, pesticides and fertiliser dominate. By allowing cycle and foot mobility back into the city, we can also provide a framework for nature to recolonnise the city fabric, encouraging wildlife to cohabitate in our urban space.
Cycling is possible
“It’s too far ....”
80% of urban trips are below 8km, and let’s face it, under 3km you would be crazy to use a car!
“Too many hills ....”
Edinburgh has become one of the great cycling cities - it is built on 7 hills!
“It rains too often ....”
Does it? Check the statistics for your city - you would be surprised. Even in Winter, 70% of the cycling population of Copenhagen continues to cycle.
“I’m not fit enough ....” Precisely! Start gently, and build up. After all, it has been shown that we each need at least 30 minutes of physical effort per day. It’s cleverer to use that to travel forward, rather than pedal on the spot on an exercise bike!
“It’s too dangerous ....” Cycling culture is evolving. The development of cycle paths and tracks helps enormously, as does protection and visibility kit. But let’s face it - as the balance tips from car to cyclist and pedestrian, the safer our streets become. In fact, regular cycling increases your life expectancy !
And don’t forget, cycling is cool !
You can be stylish on a bicycle, whether that means high heels, suit or lycra !
The bicycle has become a fashion item, and one you can personalise the way you want it.
The bicycle industry has evolved dramatically in the last 10 years
- the key word now is “accessorise” !
Cycling is the way to meet people -
Car driving has become antisocial - so many solo drivers, each in their own cocoon. Try to chat to the driver of the neighbouring car while driving, and you will see the problem. Chance meetings are much more likely on a bicycle...
Cycling is the ultimate freedom -
Stop where you want, when you want.
Stop and shop in the high street, picnic in the park - and your bike is always at hand.