In the last years, there has been a growing importance of cycling in the political arena. Pushed by the agenda for sustainable mobility and healthier behaviours, cycling has slowly but steadily become a priority. At the same time research in cycling has also increased significantly, building know-how on bringing about modal shift.
Research has so far focused on ‘champion cities’ (holding cycling shares higher than 20%) and as such on most successful examples. On the opposite scale, ‘starter cities’ seem to be in a particularly disadvantaged situation, having no cycling tradition nor technical know-how, with little research specifically focused on the problems and solutions for these cities.
This project seeks to contribute to bridge this gap. Within this context, project BooST – Boosting Starter Cycling Cities focuses on starter cities and aims to provide specific technical know-how to allow them to reach the next level of bicycle use.
With this in mind, the project will develop a Starter City Roadmap aimed at offering technical guidance in motivating cycling. The roadmap will provide a toolkit comprising:
- an assessment framework of the Gross Potential for Cycling (GPC)
- an assessment framework of the Economic Value for Cycling (EVC)
- a selection framework for mobility management measures best suited for starter cities.
The GPC will identify and assess the size of target groups by their willingness to shift to cycling, and of target areas by their geographical and built environment conditions. It thus focusses on the gross potential instead of user satisfaction and infrastructure assessment regularly used for ‘champion cities’.
The EVC will built on existing assessment frameworks developed for champion cities and innovate by considering specificities of starter cities, such as, the potential losses on public transport patronage and revenue in early stages, or in fuel tax revenues, which associated to the high infrastructure investments, have a significant impact.
Finally, the Selection framework will provide support in the identification of best suited mobility management measures for cycling in starter city contexts and tailored to their GPC.
The Starter City Roadmap and its toolkit will be made available in the form of a manual and of an interactive website and through several local workshops involving local authorities and other stakeholders. Together with a ranking of national starter cities (regarding its gross potential) the project will empower local policy with technical know-how and arguments against the general sceptical attitudes towards cycling.
The project brings together several experts and builds on prior research on Mobility Management at CITTA, the promotion of cycling at UA, with several ongoing projects and research activities in the field, and the broad expertise of the European Cyclists’ Federation.