Cycling is a sustainable, efficient, and comparably inexpensive mobility solution that helps cities to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission of the European Commission. Cycling does not only contribute to preserve our planet and our health, but also provides us with cities in which the quality of life is higher, with more space for social activities and more opportunities for business to grow. As such cycling is an undeniable element of the bundle of measures available to cities in view of becoming climate neutral, sustainable, and smart. And unlike other climateoriented measures it has the additional benefit of creating more human-centred ecosystems, with quieter, safer, greener, and more attractive spaces where people of all ages can live, work, play, and stroll. @ How? Cycling can afford its benefits if we are willing to embrace the possibility of change, gathering the communities that can accelerate delivery, and sharing the body of actionable knowledge that exists in many parts of the world. Cycling Community of Practice Cycling Community of Practice – May 2022 The Cycling Community of Practice (CCoP) does just that by letting an organised group of people collaborate in a complex and connected world, addressing adaptive challenges with a collective knowledge rather than in isolation. Policy makers, practitioners, researchers, industries, consultants, businesses, NGOs, and civil society come together to help city governments build and achieve their cycling plans faster and more effectively. These are the declared ambitions of the CCoP. The ICCoP builds on the experience of HANDSHAKE, a research and innovation project funded by the European Commission that inspired and steered the efforts of 13 European cities, including 2 cycling world leaders like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, in their quest to advance, accelerate and spread knowledge on cycling policy. HANDSHAKE leveraged a blend of tools ranging from knowledge exchange, mentoring, and immersive study tours to management of transition, goals setting, and results assessment. As HANDSHAKE came to end in August 2022, the 13 cities expressed the need to find a practical way to sustain long-term the many tools and services offered by the project, opening access to world cities wishing to share knowledge and bolster the quality of life of their citizens. The idea of the ICCoP was thus developed. The IICCoP is intended as an online facility providing cities with inspiration, information, and opportunities to connect with each other. They can promote and join meetings, webinars, and blogs, launch ideas, issue requests for support or in turn offer support. The keyword is collaboration: doing things together allow likeminded people to share objectives, issues, and ideas, to leverage multiple perspectives and solutions, to then develop solutions adapted to the local circumstances. The experience of HANDSHAKE demonstrates that working as part of a transnational group in which traditional organisational and cultural boundaries are trespassed profoundly elevates one’s capacity and confidence. In a world that needs a renewed sense of climate urgency the ICCoP provides cities with a safe landing where the following “assets” are made available: O Up-to-date, essential information on cycling, which allow users to access guiding documents, ranging from general reference handbooks to sources on specific cycling components, and best and worst practices necessary for sound policy making and investments. O Up-to-date, city-specific information on cycling, allowing users to delve into the concrete experiences of cities, drawing from the wealth of material and evidence produced by the 13 cities of HANDSHAKE as well as the cities taking part in relevant networks such as the Dutch Cycling Embassy, European Cycling Federation, etc. (all TBC). O A novel cycling assessment tool for cities’ own appraisal of cycling capacity and better understanding of gaps and how to elevate efforts. O Opportunities for inter- and intra-city networking, allowing cities the ability to break isolation and work in borderless communities of practice. O A stage for members to share, inspire, motivate, empower each other through discursive and participatory learning. This includes facilitating private and public communication platforms, training sessions, webinars, blogs, as well as other channels agreed with the users. O Expert support to seek policy direction, academic research, technical support, solutions, infrastructures, technologies, and services.
Mr. Pascal van den Noort, Executive Director, Velo Mondial