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CeMoRe Seminar with Rachel Aldred on Cycling, Culture, Place, and Policy

Date: 21 February 2012 Time: 4.15pm to 6.00pm

Venue: Bowland North Seminar Room 21

Cycling, Culture, Place, and Policy: making the connections

Rachel Aldred, University of East London Sustainable Mobilities Research Group

John Pucher et al (2010: 5122) suggest that in providing for cycling '[t]here are many role models for cities to follow'; citing BogotÓ as combining a Dutch model with 'its own particularly South American program of ciclovias'.

This raises questions about the impact of culture both on cycling levels and on the design, implementation, and success (or failure) of interventions, as well as to what extent interventions can themselves be understood as containing cultural elements.

In this talk I seek to establish the existence and importance of different cycling cultures within one country, using data from the recently completed ESRC-funded Cycling Cultures project. I will show how a cultural approach to cycling can contribute to understanding the choices made by different mobile citizens in specific contexts. For example, it can help guard against essentialising demographic factors (e.g. assuming that cycling must be associated either with affluence or with poverty, when this depends on broader cultural and socio-economic contexts).

Culture, I will argue, shapes the ways in which mobile citizens interpret the use of different modes of transport and experience different travelling environments. It also shapes how policy-makers see cyclists and how they go about planning and implementing the provision of infrastructure and services.

The talk will suggest that taking culture seriously highlights cultural constraints on both individual and policy-maker choices, and the importance of synergising environmental and individual-level interventions with cultural factors that might support cycling.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe), Geography, Lancaster Environment Centre, Sociology

Keywords: Cultural geography, Culture, Cycling, Mobilities


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