The one point not as yet clear in the provisional program notes developed to now is how, when and by whom exactly does the actual self-audit or benchmarking exercise take place. This is a matter for each city team to work out for themselves, but here are some for suggestions based on our past experience.
1. Start here
The usual starting point is to organize a first plenary meeting as early as convenient and convene the various key groups and individuals who know most about cycling their city, and then going step by step through the 20 point questionnaire and discuss what the consensus of the meeting could be concerning each of the benchmarks. (It is useful to make sure that the key documents are distributed in advance so that members of the group will have a chance to reflect on and organize their thoughts on each of the key issues under discussion.)
This is an interim report with suggested guidelines and background for organizing city cycling self-audits and events in support of cycling as a principle theme of World Car Free Days events in 2014.
As original organizers of the World Car Free Days movement, we are always attentive to finding ways to make real use out of these generally festive occasions. We have been working consistently on this task since the first program announcement in Toledo Spain at a major European conference in October 1994 under the title of “Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities“.
This year we are proposing that considering cities may give some thought to the possibility of organizing a core Car Free Day event specifically to encourage cycling in cities, and in particular at the core of the CFD events and preparations to encourage cities to conduct and share a “self-audit” in order to provide background and perspective on the state of safe and abundant cycling in their city.
Modifying Copenhagenize approach for 2014 Car Free Day self-audit trial run
(First draft for review and comment)
In the following we take as our point of departure the 13 categories and their 0-4 scoring system of the well-known Copenhagenize Index for Bicycle Friendly Cities, which they have developed over the last half decade for the purpose of their very successful triennial survey and benchmarking exercise looking at more than 100 cities on all continents. World Streets recently published a summary article on this which you can find at http://wp.me/psKUY-3Gn.
Bearing in mind that the approach proposed here as a benchmarking activity in support of Car Free Day events has another set of objectives. For starters it is intended to create a base for (a) an independent self-audit to be finalized and then lead by concerned civil society groups (NGOs, user and environmental groups, etc.) in each city. And beyond this (b) the eventual possibility for sharing results with other cities and groups interested in and/or cooperating directly with the 2014 collaborative project.
Another characteristic of this approach is that the materials you find here are simple suggestions, and it is anticipated that while some cities and groups will work with this more or less as it stands, in many cases we will be seeing different choices of categories, scoring and weighting systems. Each team will decide what works best for them. And what works best for them is what works best for all of us.
The following is intended to provide for our readers a useful overview of the cycling component of the EC’s European Mobility Week, with a view to being useful both for cycle planning and programs and eventually as background for the planned city cycle audit activity presently being discussed as a possible component of a certain number off cooperating cities’ 2014 Car Free Days. This information has been extracted from their European Mobility Week Handbook which is available at http://goo.gl/ahWEyO
We are already close to one-seventh of the way through this very different 21st century: an era not of “order” in the older and more comfortable sense. But rather of chaos, that illusive universe that combines mystery and a certain sense of order . Chaos however is not the end; it is only a beginning. And while we are on the subject, this in from Jarrett Walker in his blog Human Transit in which he reminds us of the power and potential of informal transport. His concluding recommendation is especially interesting and to the point. The full original piece is available at http://goo.gl/TW5meY.
In the context of our search for creating a method for reliably and usefully benchmarking the sustainable transport performance of cities around the world – see http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/benchmarking/ for first background – we would like to address our readers’ attention to the Copenhagenize Index for Bicycle Friendly Cities. In this short article you will find background information and reference on how they carry it out, as well as links to their results and conclusions.
We intend to continue to seek out and report on important benchmarking projects that can help us in our own thinking and efforts to create a more general approach to understanding city performance in the face of the tough challenges of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. In addition to performance indicators for city cycling we are inventorying the state of the art in such areas as walking, public transport performance, parking, car restraint, mobility for specific underserved groups, shared transport, etc. Stay tuned.