Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"Promoting Cycling and Walking for Sustainable Cities:
Lessons from Europe and North America"

John Pucher
School of Planning and Public Policy
Rutgers University

Author, City Cycling (MIT Press)

Friday, Oct. 26, 2012
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414

"Bicycle commuting is growing quickly in the U.S., and cities are vying to become more bicycle-friendly. From the bike path to the halls of policy making, John Pucher has his finger on the pulse of cycling progress. Join him as he brings his perspectives as a scholar and a committed cyclist to a discussion of this favorable evolution."James Badham, host

John Pucher portrait

Hosted by Bren School Media Liaison James Badham

Professor John Pucher argues that cycling and walking are the most environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable of all transport modes. He then provides an international overview of cycling levels and trends among many various countries in the developed world, noting that even technologically advanced countries that have high per-capita income and high levels of car ownership can have high levels of walking and cycling and much lower levels of car use than is typical in the USA, Canada, and Australia. Professor Pucher then describes and illustrates a range of policies and programs necessary to make cycling and walking safe and convenient for daily travel, as it is in Dutch, Danish, and German cities. Although much of the focus is on European success, he also shows many examples of policies, programs, and infrastructure in American and Canadian cities that have greatly increased cycling and walking levels while improving the safety of cycling and walking. Pucher concludes by advocating far more investment in the measures necessary to promote safe cycling and walking, since these are the key to truly livable, sustainable
and socially just cities.

John Pucher is a professor in the School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He has conducted research on a wide range of topics in transport economics and finance, including numerous projects for the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Canadian government, and various European ministries of transport. For over three decades, he has examined differences in travel behavior, transport systems, and transport policies in Europe, Canada, the USA, and Australia. Over the past 15 years, his research has focused on walking and bicycling, and what North American and Australian cities can learn from European cities to improve the safety, convenience, and feasibility of these non-motorized modes. His research emphasizes walking and cycling for daily travel to increase physical activity and to enhance overall public health. Pucher has published three books and more than one hundred peer-reviewed articles in academic and professional journals. His latest book, "City Cycling" (MIT Press), provides an international overview of cycling trends and policies:

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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