Just about seven weeks into my 3-year PhD, and I presented at RGS Midterm in Sheffield this week. Never too early to present, apparently.
The RGS Midterm is a conference held by the Royal Geographical Society and is covering its full spectral colourset of subject matters. Psychogeographies, creepy-crawlies and warring board games, all were debated. I called my presentation ENCOURAGE-enCOURAGE-encouRAGE (read the abstract in an earlier post).
Fortunately I was the first one up, on the first day.
Central to my 10-minute slideshow was the graph you can see below. I had crunched Census 2011 data and so was able to replicate the graph for the UK context, that Garrard, Dill and Handy had put together in City Cycling (2012) for world cities.
The first-class high-cycling cities Amsterdam and Copenhagen are represented as the yellow dot. Relating to that yellow spot, the blue trend is the trajectory the world stage offers. Comparing the international (blue, thick) and national (black, thin) trending lines a gap becomes apparent.
Our trajectory is gapping; and I have presented that gap by a red arrow. Even Cambridge (the local authority with highest cycle commuting percentage in the UK) is not giving a full gender-equal range of choices it appears.
But perhaps the UK commute, even in Cambridge, is a difficult one to de-genderise? As the lack of sensible (prioritising and convenient) cycling infrastructure means cycling is either relegated to getting stuck in traffic (and breathing the fumes) or you can resort to slow pavement and backstreet cycling. Not much of a choice. UK streetscapes are not yet a billboard offering and selling the cycling alternative.
Please find the full presentation with all the slides here: