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Showing posts with label Active Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Active Travel. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast: Part 4: Beyond Commuting - Active Travel and Local Economies

In this series, Connecting Places, we explore the spaces, places and sustainable transport systems in Belfast and beyond, with an aim to generate critical debate on the design of our towns and cities.
Series curated by Aaron Coulter 

For previous posts from this series click here


Part 4: Beyond Commuting - Active Travel and Local Economies



Active Travel and Local Economies
(Credit: Aaron Coulter)
Naturally, a lot of focus throughout this week has been placed on bicycle access to Belfast City Centre. One reason for this is the fact that most of the statistical information gathered regards commuting and 19.5% of all trips taken in Northern Ireland, by all modes, are to get to work (TSNI, P23, 2008-2010).


However, a significant percentage of journeys are also made for shopping (20.1%) and Leisure (22.5%) (TSNI, P23, 2008-2010). Tackling these trips, as well as the more obvious commuting trips, could be a highly beneficial strategy for our ailing local centres in Belfast.


In this penultimate post of Bicycling Belfast, we will investigate the potential regenerative effect of improving levels of access for both the bicycle and pedestrian to our local centres.


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast: Part 3: Belfast - a bicycle city in the making?

In this series, Connecting Places, we explore the spaces, places and sustainable transport systems in Belfast and beyond, with an aim to generate critical debate on the design of our towns and cities.
Series curated by Aaron Coulter 

For previous posts from this series click here

Part 3: Belfast - A cycling city in the making?
‘Belfast is a city for cyclists; it has all the advantages of cycling in Amsterdam but without the swarms of other bicycles. This Victorian city, steeped in culture and industrial heritage, is just waiting to be discovered by bike.' 
Source: Go to Belfast 

In part 3 of Bicycling Belfast we will be investigating the city’s current cycling infrastructure to find out how close to reality this statement is. Is Belfast really a city for cyclists, or is the comparison to Amsterdam just a bit too far fetched?

Belfast - a city for cyclists?
(Credit: Aaron Coulter)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast: Part 2: An International Perspective

In this series, Connecting Places, we explore the spaces, places and sustainable transport systems in Belfast and beyond, with an aim to generate critical debate on the design of our towns and cities.
Series curated by Aaron Coulter

For previous posts from this series click here 

Part 2: An International Perspective

Broadly speaking, cycling cities can be split into two categories - ‘traditional’ cycling cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam and then those who have recently taken up the challenge to improve cycling conditions such as New York, London and Dublin (among many others). In this article we will be asking ‘What can Belfast learn from these cities?’

Copenhagen
(Credit: Blue Granola)

Monday, 27 February 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast: Part 1: Debunking the Myth

In this series, Connecting Places, we explore the spaces, places and sustainable transport systems in Belfast and beyond, with an aim to generate critical debate on the design of our towns and cities.
Series curated by Aaron Coulter

For background info on Bicycling Belfast click here.

Part 1: Debunking the Myth
“As a result of varying levels of congestion, topography and land-use, a blanket citywide approach to providing a cycle network is unlikely to be appropriate in Belfast.” 
Bicycling Belfast
(Credit: Aaron Coulter)
In a country where 65% of all trips taken are under 5 miles in distance, and in a city where up to 70% of inhabitants in some inner city areas do not have access to a car, can we really say that cycling should have no significant future in Belfast? What if we take an more analytical approach to the somewhat subjective claims put forward by DRD? Does Belfast have what it takes to become a ‘cycling city’, or are there too many obstacles in the way? 


Friday, 24 February 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast

In this series, Connecting Places, we explore the spaces, places and sustainable transport systems in Belfast and beyond, with an aim to generate critical debate on the design of our towns and cities.
Series curated by Aaron Coulter

Bicycling Belfast: Prelude



Cycling accounts for 0.6% of trips in NI
(Credit: Aaron Coulter)


In recent years there has been a renewed interest from major cities throughout the world in diversifying transportation choices in an effort to reduce dependancy on the private car and improve quality of life for their citizens. These initiatives are often characterised with a rebalancing of capital expenditure priorities in order to accommodate higher levels of spending on more sustainable forms of transport, including walking, cycling, and public transit schemes.

However, despite over a decade of policy initiatives aimed at reducing car dependency in Northern Ireland, transport budgets here are still overwhelmingly in favour of the private car. In 2010 the then Minister for Regional Development, Conor Murphy, not only dedicated 62% of the overall transport budget to the car, a total of £250,000,000, but also cut Belfast’s cycling budget by 98% to £8,000 (Belfast Telegraph). Given this, it is unsurprising that Belfast is currently rated the 3rd most congested city in the United Kingdom and ranks within the top ten most congested cities in Europe.

It is in within this context, and as part of an ongoing process of generating debate on sustainable transport in Northern Ireland through the Connecting Places series, that throughout next week a mini series titled ‘Bicycling Belfast’ will investigate the potential of increasing cycling’s modal share in the city.

Join us next week on the PLACE blog and follow the conversation with Aaron on Twitter #bicyclingbelfast