Recent publications and presentations on the topic of age-friendly cycling:
- Normalising cycling mobilities: an age-friendly approach to cycling in the Netherlands, Journal of Applied Mobilities 7, issue 3, pages 298-318.
- Where everyday mobility meets tourism: an age-friendly perspective on cycling in the Netherlands and the UK, Journal of Sustainable Tourism 28, issue 2, pages 185-203.
- Urban mobility in Planning: an exclusionary or uniting force? Conceptualising urban mobility for the planning discipline. In the book Teaching, Learning & Researching Spatial Planning (edited by Rocco, R., Bracken, G., Newton, C. & Dabrowski, M.), Delft: TU Delft Open.
- Age-friendly cycling mobility: what is it and how can it benefit (tourist) cities? Webinar at the European Policies Research Centre, 6 April 2022.
- Trauma or Recovery? Exploring the fragility of older cycling biographies. Presentation at the Cycling and Society “Trauma and Cycling” workshop, 23 March 2022.
Age-inclusive cycling and urban transformations in tourist cities
This paper observes that cycling has large benefits for the health, liveability and wellbeing of older people, a growing segment in many populations. Yet, support for the normalisation of cycling mobilities for all ages varies considerably. It is usual to contrast low-cycling contexts, such as the UK, with high-cycling areas, typically favouring highest-rate paradigmatic urban centres. To challenge the imitation and re-creation of engineering solutions elsewhere, we draw attention to diverse cycling habits and norms in residents of a more ordinary high-cycling area (suburban Rotterdam), and observe how cycling is normalised throughout the lifecourse. The findings suggest that age-friendly city strategies and urban mobility policies should more closely consider locally constituted social and cultural processes, beyond providing infrastructure. This article thus provides an in-depth account of what it takes for planning and policy to normalise positive, empowering, and age-friendly qualities in everyday mobility.
This article combines different strands of literature to consider the role of active mobility among older people and its contribution to age-friendliness and more proximate forms of tourism. Two case studies in the contrasting mobility contexts of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom show how everyday mobilities contain implicit and explicit tourism elements. Commutes, local visits, and active travel itself may act as springboards for tourism close(r) to home. The article shows how local tourism roots in individual lifecourses, is shaped by the transport environment, and supports social and physical well-being. The findings provide much-needed empirical insight in the convergence between tourism and everyday mobilities and underline the growing importance of slower and more age-friendly approaches to tourism.
This book chapter is about urban planning tools for an urban mobility transition. This transition increasingly viewed as a tool to improve social and environmental qualities of cities. Despite the role of mobility systems to connect people and places, however, their current design creates socio-spatial exclusions and aggravate climate change and liveability challenges. This chapter outlines the contemporary shifts surrounding urban mobility and planning and argues that urban spaces are better off when city planning – rather than transport planning – is at the heart of their design. This offers a clear remit for planners to engage with urban mobility, appreciate its spatial imprint on cities and regions, and explore new tools and research methods to make sense of people’s individual and collective mobility practices. This chapter concludes that inclusive urban (mobility) design needs to take account of the softer elements that constitute lived urban mobility experiences of diverse population groups. These elements include social, behavioural, and life course factors, but also the wider meanings of mobility, embodied experiences, and its environmental impacts.
Age-friendly cycling mobility: what is it and how can it benefit (tourist) cities? Webinar at the European Policies Research Centre, 6 April 2022.
This virtual webinar of the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) presented the early of the ENTOURAGE project, which addresses the combined urban challenges of population ageing and sustainable mobility. Wilbert presented about the Age-friendly City concept, which has been established in urban planning and policy to address the needs and preferences of all ages. Although transportation is among its key domains, recent urban mobility transformations do not always consider age-friendliness. In particular, while they are key to improving sustainable mobility and population health, active travel modes such as cycling receive limited attention as to how they may extend mobility opportunities in later life. In response, ENTOURAGE develops the notion of age-friendly cycling and applies this novel concept to cities with large tourism economies. These cities face additional challenges of intense concentrations of visitor mobilities in space and time, and depend on long-haul, carbon-intensive travel. Instead, the project explores the qualities of slow(er) mobilities, outlines the conditions for age-inclusive cycling mobility, and consults the experiences of both visitor and resident populations to inform socially inclusive urban transformations. Read the full event description.
Trauma or Recovery? Exploring the fragility of older cycling biographies. Presentation at the Cycling and Society “Trauma and Cycling” workshop, 23 March 2022.
This presentation observes that cycling researchers usually concentrate their analyses on cycling behaviour, cyclists’ experiences and preferences, and promotion of cycling across different demographic profiles. However, the reality in most cities is that considerable population groups do not have access to cycling. To nuance the universality of access to cycling, I present about an older research participant who took cycling lessons as part of ‘exercise on prescription’. This learning experience was very beneficial to her physical, social, and mental wellbeing. The vignette documents her mobile biography and experience, but also the abrupt ending of her cycling aspirations. With this vignette, I introduce three topics to this workshop: 1) the fragility of the cycling biography and bodily competence, beyond the influence of physical infrastructures; 2) the relationality of cycling group dynamics and shared trauma, creating new mental barriers to cycling; and 3) the way in which I treated this vignette as an “outlier” in subsequent analysis, informed by its focus of continuity of cycling at the expense of the ruptures, delays and returns that characterise the cycling biography. Read more about the event and see other presentations about the impact of individual and collective traumas related to cycling.