Policy abstracts (this ought to be a paper some time)

Freiburg conference

= = Status: abstract accepted, but can’t attend for cost reasons, withdrawn = =

Freiburg Conference Desirable Transport Futures


Katja Leyendecker, PhD researcher, Northumbria University at Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Title: Comparison of transport trajectories in the cities of Bremen (Germany) and Newcastle (UK) with particular focus on cycling and urban design

Under the socio-ecological model (Hanson et al, 2005), the physical urban environment has a strong influence on transport choices, and shapes personal and social behaviour and attitudes. As both Pucher & Buehler (2012) and Pooley et al (2013) point out, for cycling to get manifestly established in cities, cycleways protected from motor traffic on main roads are a basic necessity enabling citizens to cycle. Bremen (Germany) has a settled and deep connection to everyday cycling through its pervasive cycling infrastructure. When Newcastle states ambitions to become a Cycle City but as yet has struggled to construct a cycling culture. As a research question, the paper simply asks “What makes a Cycle City?” and this question will be addressed in these three steps as follows.

Firstly, the paper describes the key ingredients necessary for the design of a Cycle City including push/pull and visible/invisible infrastructures, such as cycleways and car-restraint measures. The differences and similarities of these ingredients in the two cities will be reflected. The first step will be accomplished by using personal observations, document analysis and available datasets (for example travel surveys). Secondly and with focus remaining on the key ingredients, the paper then seeks to discover how these two alternative transport trajectories were produced, determined or decided, by way of document analysis of past policies and historical records. Thirdly, exploiting transition theories the gaze is put towards the future direction and the prospects of change. What stories can be told to future generations when comparing the two substantially different pathways of the cities? Assessing current transport narratives for the cities, through policy document analysis, and siting them in power structures (for example Jensen, 2013), the factors of success and failure, and their mix, will be examined and critically explored to project a steering outlook to the future of a model Cycle City.

As part of the author’s PhD research, this effort should ultimately develop into a paper. A draft of which will be completed before the conference. It is the intention to present the findings at the conference.

1. Hanson, S., et al. (2005). Does the Built Environment Influence Physical Activity? Examining the Evidence – TRB Special Report 282. Transportation Research Board: Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
2. Jensen, O. B. (2013). Staging mobilities, Routledge.
3. Pooley, C. G., et al. (2013). Promoting Walking and Cycling : New Perspectives on Sustainable Travel. Bristol: Policy Press.
4. Pucher, J. R., & Buehler, R. (2012). City cycling: MIT Press.

Cycling and Society Symposium

= = Status: awaiting verdict = =

Cycling and Society 2016

Sally Watson (Newcastle University) and Katja Leyendecker (Northumbria University), both newcycling.org


Suggested slots: Researching cycling or Cycling governance

Title: Probing elusive power structures within a city’s cycling politics

Transport cycling in all its forms (performing, production and politics) is pushing hard against the socio-technical system of automobility, as described by Urry (2004). The spatial turn combined with the need to re-apportion urban space away from the car (Pooley et al, 2013; and Pucher & Buehler, 2012), making the implementation of transport cycling incontestably political. In resistance to automobility, velomobility studies, such as by Koglin (2014), are emerging under the new mobilities model (Sheller et al, 2006) investigating current imbalances and redirecting future trajectories toward a more sustainable society. Our investigation seeks to uncover and dissect the structures of power and politics present in a city that has started a tentative transition away from the private car.

Using Jensen’s staging mobilities framework (Jensen, 2013, page 6), we will begin our examination by looking from ‘above’ and carry out document analysis on transport-related policies for Newcastle upon Tyne. This gives us an understanding of the way highways and public spaces are valued, albeit in a theoretical political plain. The actual practical plain will be evaluated through space observations and interrogation of secondary data sets. Looking from ‘below’ we will assemble a user perspective on the possibilities and needs of space reallocation through interviews and natural observations. Bringing the ‘above’ and ‘below’ together we will discuss what the pressures are that are put on the practices that produce space and the political skills to command a transport transition. In conclusion we will draw on our activist backgrounds to formulate ideas for the decision-making and campaigning processes involved in making Newcastle’s civic society fit for cycling.

1. Jensen, O. B. (2013). Staging mobilities: Routledge.
2. Urry, J. (2004). The ‘System’ of Automobility. Theory, Culture & Society, 21(4-5), 25-39. doi:10.1177/0263276404046059
3. Pucher, J. R., & Buehler, R. (2012). City cycling: MIT Press
4. Pooley, C. G., et al. (2013). Promoting Walking and Cycling : New Perspectives on Sustainable Travel. Bristol: Policy Press
5. Koglin, T. (2014). Vélomobility and the politics of transport planning. GeoJournal, 80, 569-586. doi:10.1007/s10708-014-9565-7
6. Sheller, M., & Urry, J. (2006). The new mobilities paradigm. Environment and Planning A, 38(2), 207-226. doi:10.1068/a37268


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s