Although the bicycle experiences a tremendous renaissance and increased attention is paid to it by politics, science and businesses, significant research gaps in the understanding of bicycle mobility as complex system still exist. It is of crucial importance to close these gaps in order to sustainably promote bicycle mobility, reach the goals set by environmental-, energy- and mobility-strategies and to establish an active mobility culture.
The project BICYCLE OBSERVATORY aims to fuse technical sensor data and qualitative data into a multi-dimensional, spatially differentiated picture of bicycle mobility. This should facilitate a better understanding of the system of bicycle mobility and the vast variety of bicyclists. The contribution of the project BICYCLE OBSERVATORY to the establishment of an extensive bicycle culture is evaluated in the domains of planning, politics, science and the bicycling community. To the best of our knowledge, the conceptually described temporally continuous observation (for instance in the sense of Miller's (2017) Geographical Information Observatory, GIO), of bicycle mobility from multiple perspectives and with scientific monitoring has never been transferred to an operational level.
The project BICYCLE OBSERVATORY can thus be regarded as an important step to a permanent establishment of such an observatory. For this, existing and newly developed concepts and knowledge is going to be joined. Moreover, the necessary technical and organizational framework for a stable operation is going to be investigated. The research activities of this project are embedded into a dynamic network of regional, national and international stakeholders. The project consortium is built by two research institutions and two companies. The setting is explicitly interdisciplinary and covers technical competence as well as research methods from social sciences. This variety is expected to trigger multiple innovations with regard to bicycle mobility, methods and organization. These innovations will be made accessible to a broad range of stakeholders through a dedicated 'openness strategy' (Open Data, Open Science, Open Documentary).
The following results are expected to emerge:
- Insights into the temporal, spatial and qualitative distribution and patterns of bicycle mobility in the test region of Salzburg and a significantly improved data basis for the study area.
- Typologies of bicyclists, each with explicitly described spatial and temporal behaviour patterns and specific attitudes and requirements toward bicycle mobility.
- Data and evidence base for politics and decision making, which facilitate the development of innovative services and business models.
- Support of current economical and societal dynamics in the context of bicycle mobility that enables organizations and citizens to get actively involved.