Headline: CITY CYCLING for a Better Climate and Clean Air: IASS Researchers Focus on Sustainable Mobility

The CITY CYCLING campaign encourages local politicians and citizens to choose cycling as a climate-friendly means of transportation between 1 May and 30 September. Participants in the campaign will try to cycle as many kilometres as possible in an effort to promote climate protection and cycling in their communities. Researchers from the IASS are conducting a survey to learn more about participants’ interactions with cycling infrastructure and what it would take to encourage them to cycle more frequently. These findings will be used subsequently in the development of policy recommendations.

CITY CYCLING encourages people to switch to using their bicycle in their everyday lives.
CITY CYCLING encourages people to switch to using their bicycle in their everyday lives. istock/FooTToo

“Recent discussions about the possibility of banning diesel vehicles from German cities have heightened awareness among policymakers of the need to transform transportation systems in order to improve mobility and public health. The CITY CYCLING project and the findings of our research will support local government bodies in their efforts to make cycling more attractive,” explains Erika von Schneidemesser, an atmospheric scientist at the IASS. Together with environmental scientists Laura Weiand and Seán Schmitz, she has developed a catalogue of forty questions. Participants in the CITY CYCLING campaign from all over Germany are invited to take part in the survey.

Findings to inform policymaking, science, and the general public

The survey can be accessed via an online cycling calendar used by teams to record their cycling mileage during the campaign. Researchers from the IASS will begin to analyse the data in September this year, and the survey results will be presented in various publications and lectures, together with concrete proposals for policymakers, in spring 2019.

Municipalities participating in the campaign will choose a period of twenty-one consecutive days between May and September to implement CITY CYCLING in their communities. Following the campaign’s conclusion, the most active towns and cyclists will be recognised at an awards ceremony. In the Berlin-Brandenburg region, the City of Berlin and the small town of Birkenwerder (Oberhavel District) have registered so far, the City of Potsdam is planning to participate as well.

Local members of parliament are also invited to gain first-hand experience of local cycling networks as a part of this campaign to promote climate-friendly mobility. It is hoped that they will later make improvements to cycling infrastructure based on their experiences.

Online platform enables public to recommend improvements

The RADar! integrated reporting platform enables members of the public to report issues with cycling infrastructure and suggest improvements. Municipal authorities can also use the platform to complement road checks and set maintenance priorities. The campaign provides municipalities with a tool for communication, planning and public participation that reconciles the interests of road users with road safety and climate protection measures.

The CITY CYCLING campaign was developed by Climate Alliance and was recognized by the EU in 2011 with the “Sustainable Energy Europe Award” and in 2015 with the “National Energy Globe Award Germany”.

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