Cycling for Sustainable Cities

Ralph Buehler + John Pucher (editors)

The MIT Press 2021

The Politics of Cycling Infrastructure:
Spaces and (In)Equality

Peter Cox + Till Koglin (editors)

Policy Press 2021
A book review by Danny Yee © 2023
The twenty pieces in Cycling for Sustainable Cities are organised so as to offer a broad and reasonably systematic overview of cycling in urban areas around the world; the less coordinated papers in The Politics of Cycling Infrastructure are more narrowly focused on the political challenges of getting infrastructure for cycling.

Buehler and Pucher's Cycling for Sustainable Cities is similar to their 2012 book City Cycling, but is not just an update, offering mostly new material. Its articles cover health, safety, accessible infrastructure, cycle parking, e-bikes, bikesharing, policies and their implementation, women, children, older adults, and social justice. There are also six pieces on particular regions, countries or cities: China and India; Latin America; New York, London and Paris; Copenhagen and Amsterdam; Portland and Seville; and Europe, North America, and Australia.

The pieces in The Politics of Cycling Infrastructure focus on political challenges in getting cycling infrastructure built. "Hard Work in Paradise" gives an account of the contested making of Amsterdam as a cycling city. "Mental barriers in planning for cycling" looks at the contrasting perceptions by Austrian administrators, advocates, and planners of the barriers to building cycling infrastructure — and of one another. "Navigating cycling infrastructure in Sofia, Bulgaria" describes the planning, politics, and realisation of a project to renovate Dondukov Boulevard. And so forth.

There is a lot of fascinating material in them, but most people will want to browse these books rather than read them cover to cover. Neither assumes much technical background, but they are not "popular": they have some numbers, use fairly abstract language, and are backed by full references. And some of the pieces in The Politics of Cycling Infrastructure are a little theoretical, with the volume as a whole a bit more academic in feel.

Note: For those after an introduction to cycling's role in transport, I would recommend starting with Peter Walker's Bike Nation: How Cycling Can Save the World or Melissa and Charles Bruntlett's Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality.

March 2023

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%T Cycling for Sustainable Cities
%E Buehler, Ralph
%E Pucher, John
%I The MIT Press
%D 2021
%O paperback, index
%G ISBN-13 9780262542029
%P 464pp

%T The Politics of Cycling Infrastructure
%S Spaces and (In)Equality
%E Cox, Peter
%E Koglin, Till
%I Policy Press
%D 2021
%O paperback, bibliographies, index
%G ISBN-13 9781447345176
%P 247pp