World Bicycle Day – a celebration!
Future Cities Insight #22 - World Bicycle Day – a celebration!
Two years ago, the United Nations declared 3 June as World Bicycle Day. World Bicycle Day is a chance for people around the globe to pay tribute to the bicycle and the many benefits it brings to society. As our cities continue to grow inwards, the demand for space increases and the need for efficient and sustainable transport surges, which is why I would like to highlight this particular day.
In 2050, according to the United Nations, 68 per cent of the world's population will live in urban areas. Population growth and urbanisation will lead to new challenges in urban areas. How can we plan for attractive public spaces and a vibrant city life when, across the world, more and more city functions are competing for space? New innovations for cyclists are part of the solution for creating space and pushing the city towards sustainability.
When developing cities of the future, we want to promote bicycling in the city, create attractive urban spaces and shift towards a more sustainable city. Bicycle streets are streets within the city where bicycle traffic is prioritised and the pace of the street is set by bicycles.
Planning for the use of bicycles is vital for future cities in order to create space efficient transport as well as more accessible and sustainable urban spaces. It also supports a climate neutral and healthy city landscape. At the same time, bicycles help us achieve a more including and socially sustainable cityscape where we are able to meet and interact.
During the last couple of months, many cities around the world have seen dwindling numbers of fossil-fuel powered cars on their streets during lockdown. There are reports of a bike boom, with bikes offering a safe, social distanced way of travelling. But a bicycle is so much more than that.
Riding a bicycle can be a profession, a form of entertainment, a tool to freedom or quite simply the best way of getting from A to B. Biking is good for both our physical and mental health – the importance of the latter can probably not be overstated this spring.
So let’s take a moment to appreciate the bicycle! My personal favourite, the cargo bike, offers a fantastic solution to the problem of last mile delivery in urban areas. Compared to vans, they use almost no energy, and take up a lot less space. Also – they can carry both my children and their bikes when they get tired!
See you in the bike lane!
Helena Paulsson, Head of Urban Development