Walking and cycling are seen as the most sustainable modes of transport and should be placed at the heart of a "just transition" towards low-carbon, energy efficient urban mobility systems in the global North and South. Such systems will be more resilient to the effects of high or volatile oil prices and can also provide affordable mobility and access to destinations across all socio-economic strata.
The potential of walking and cycling can be realised by interventions in the "hardware" of mobility systems, such as infrastructure and built environment, which are attuned to differences between individuals and social groups in terms of needs, preferences, experiences, meanings and exposures to urban settings while walking and cycling. Besides, also the "software" of policy implementation and governance, as well as the practices of maintenance and information provision and the embedded forms of knowledge, meanings and values should be modified.
The objective of this proposal is to determine the features of the urban environment, governance of infrastructure and local communities in São Paulo, The Netherlands, and/or United Kingdom which influence walking and cycling and how these can be optimised to achieve sustainable urban mobility for all. The three countries display large differences in walking and cycling practices, as the countries have very different economic, social, cultural, and political histories.
The project will help improve infrastructures for walking and cycling by offering unique insights into how infrastructures and urban environments shape the highly differentiated experiences of cyclists and pedestrians, and into the role of community-led innovations seeking to make cycling and walking more attractive.