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Promoting Cycling and Walking for Sustainable Cities: Lessons from Europe and North America

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Published on Oct 16, 2012

Professor John Pucher argues that cycling and walking are the most environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable of all transport modes. He then provides an international overview of cycling levels and trends among many different countries in the developed world, noting that even technologically advanced countries with high per capita income and high levels of car ownership can have high levels of walking and cycling and much lower levels of car use than typical in the USA, Canada, and Australia. He then describes and illustrates a range of policies and programs necessary to make cycling and walking safe and convenient for daily travel, as it is the case in Dutch, Danish, and German cities. Although much of the focus is on European success, Pucher also shows many specific examples of policies, program, and infrastructure in American and Canadian cities that have greatly increased cycling and walking levels while improving the safety of cycling and walking. He also includes highlights from his new book City Cycling with MIT Press, which provides an overview of cycling trends and policies in cities across the globe. He concludes by advocating far more investment in the measures necessary to promote safe cycling and walking, since these are the key to truly livable, sustainable and socially just cities.

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