These are some of the questions at the center of the International Bicycle Urbanism Symposium, which will be hosted by the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. The event is scheduled for June 19-22.
Be prepared for some real urban bike geekery. I’m excited about it.
The International Bicycle Urbanism Symposium, to be held in Seattle in June 2013, will explore how best to encourage and facilitate widespread bicycle use in 21st Century cities. In some European and Asian cities, use of bicycles for several purposes and across several demographic groups accounts for a high proportion of daily trips. Increasing bicycle use has become the goal of many cities around the world – to reduce CO2 emissions, reduce dependence on imported oil, promote better health and quality of life, and to relieve traffic congestion and the space required by automobiles.
A major purpose of this international symposium is to look ahead twenty to thirty years to imagine and explore innovations in urban spatial structure and design, infrastructure, and new policies and programs that can greatly increase the use of bicycles as a part of daily urban life. We will consider several alternative futuristic images that encourage bicycle use, evaluating these alternatives, and then reasoning back to determine how to attain these desired results. We hope to discover fresh ideas for urban bicycle planning and programs, and a research agenda that will further support this. The guiding research questions might be: How can I make my city the most bicycle-friendly by 2040? Are currently leading models from abroad the best guides to future planning in, for example, the U.S.?
Creative pilot cases and advanced facility and vehicle designs from around the world are important means in informing this future, and will be the subject of several track sessionsthat will include critical assessment of these. Similarly, several track sessions will focus on leading research that provides insight into effectively researching long range objectives of encouraging and supporting bike use, and will lead to an understanding of what is known and priorities for future inquiry, as well as a network of interested participants.
Through keynotes, the presentation and discussion of papers, poster sessions, and displays of adventurous designs, the goals of this event are to stimulate ideas and thinking that can be useful to localities, and to disseminate this intelligence through subsequent publications including a refereed book. The audiences for this symposium are planners and designers, researchers, representatives of NGOs that engage in bicycle advocacy, and governmental decision makers.
Stay up to date on conference news on our blog: http://bicycleurbanism.org/