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.
Initial references (to set the stage)
Preparations for this project are still in process, but below you will find some references which should help to clarify the objectives and recommendations. By way of initial background information and overall introduction, we would draw your attention to:
- Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities – http://wp.me/psKUY-U9 (1994)
- Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City – http://wp.me/psKUY-3tu (2011)
Current related project information:
As indicated this collaborative self-audit or benchmarking project is still getting underway. The following will be useful by way of interim background information:
World Streets is a rich source of articles, background information and references if your time and interest permit you to dig deeper into the overall background and trends in this area.
- Car Free Days – https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/car-free-days/
- Benchmarking – https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/benchmarking/
- Behavior – https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/behavior/
Other Bicycle Self-Audit approaches
You may prefer these to the approach which we are developing. It is always good to have a choice and here are two good ones.
CHAMP: Cycling Heroes Advancing Sustainable Mobility Practice
The EU-supported CHAMP program at http://www.champ-cycling.eu/ is built on the exchange of good practice and lessons learned in leading cycling cities. They have developed a Performance Analysis-tool tool to help cities gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses in terms of current cycling practice, available at http://www.champ-cycling.eu/en/upload/PDF/Performance_analysis_final.pdf
The performance analysis tool consists of three steps. The first step, the self-analysis, is easy to conduct, and provides a good basis to improve the cycling policy, by identifying its current strengths and weaknesses in a structured way. The peer review and gap analysis are complementary to the self-analysis, providing a more tailor-made approach and giving the opportunity to add external knowledge from other cycling cities to the process. Involving a network of cycling cities allows a mutual exchange of knowledge on cycling topics, while avoiding the costs of external advice.
BTPAD – Bicycle Policy Audit
BYPAD is a flexible tool and can be implemented in towns, cities & agglomerations and regions. BYPAD has already been carried out by almost 200 cities, towns and regions in 24 countries. More than 100 BYPAD auditors from different countries have been trained and certified in order to guide the towns, cities and regions to implement BYPAD. Check the website for the contact details of the national auditors. After the implementation of the audit all cities and regions receive from their national auditor the official BYPAD certificate together with a bicycle action plan. More at: www.bypad.org
This project is moving fast, but be sure that World Streets will be doing its best to ensure you have the latest and most complete information as the project proceeds. A useful secondary source will be the supporting Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/groups/worldcitybike.
Get in touch, do not be shy about asking questions or sharing your critical views. And if you have ideas about your city or group getting involved in some way in this project, the could not be a better time than now.
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Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton