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Trends in active and sustainable mobility: experiences from emerging cycling territories of Dhaka and Innsbruck

Authors: Fariya Sharmeen*, Radboud University, the Netherlands, Rumana Islam Sarker, University of Innsbruck, Golam Morshed, University of Innsbruck, Sujit Kumar Sikder, Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development
Topics: Transportation Geography
Keywords: urban transport, cyclists in Bangladesh, cycling trends, behavior and attitude, barriers, promotion
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Increasingly cycling is being adopted as one of the most sustainable and healthy transport options in many countries. It has emerged as a popular urban transport mode in Bangladesh, especially in nation’s capital - Dhaka. To avoid the exhaustion with infinite waiting hours amidst congestion and considering the fast and flexible route choices with bicycle, mostly young professionals and students are embracing it as their main mode of transport. However, inadequate infrastructure, fear of collision in mixed traffic as well as social stigma are some of the barriers, preventing more cyclists on the road. Somewhat inquisitively Innsbruck has also experienced significant rise in bicycle use (13% to 23%) with a high share of young cyclists since 2002 in a drastically different geo-cultural setting. Keeping the differences in mobility patterns, infrastructural conditions and culture in mind, we present experiences of the practice and attitudes towards cycling and the underlying effects on the frequency of cycling using two detailed surveys on cycling behaviour from both the cities. We argue that while archetypical research on cycling is centered around successful cycling cities, analysing the paths in emerging territories would provide an enriching perspective. Moreover, while comparable contexts are often presented in literature experiences from seemingly contrasting contexts with similar trends provide useful insights of overcoming barriers and fostering innovation. To that end, we scrutinize the motivating factors inducing increased bicycle use as well as the barriers in cycling and point out the plausible strategy and policy recommendations for further promotion of cycling.

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