The role of the bicycle in good cities of the future

The sun was shining over Medborgarplatsen square in Stockholm when IVA’s project “Good Cities of the Future” opened the doors to a seminar at Debaser on the theme “Uphill and Downhill: Cycling in the Good Cities of the Future.” Fittingly, many of the participants arrived at the venue on their bikes.

During an intensive afternoon the moderator, Linda Kummel, guided the audience through a comprehensive programme highlighting various perspectives on urban cycling. One main theme discussed by the speakers was the potential for and benefits of increased urban bike commuting. Peter Schantz, a professor at GIH (Swedish school of Sport and Health Sciences) focused on the positive public health effects of active commuting, while Daniella Waldfogel, an economic policy expert from the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, talked about the potential of the electric bike to drastically increase the commuting radius in the Stockholm area, compared to a conventional bicycle.

The importance of raising the issue of cycling from a local to a regional level was emphasised by Björn Sax Kaijser, cycle coordinator at Cykelkansliet, and a panel consisting of political representatives from Stockholm City, Danderyd Municipality and Täby Municipality discussed the possibility of working together to expand the infrastructure for cycling. During the audience Q&A it was obvious there were dedicated cyclists in the room and that this is a hot topic. Many of the speakers stayed behind for the reception that followed to discuss the future role of the bicycle.