Cycling and Sustainability

I just received my contributor’s copy of a new book, Cycling and Sustainability, from the publisher, Emerald. It’s a hefty and impressive volume, with contributions from different disciplines and across the globe crafted together by my research colleague and friend, Professor John Parkin of London South Bank University.

I first met John in 2004, when I organised the first of what’s become an annual Cycling and Society Research Group Symposium (the book will be launched officially at the 9th Symposium, at the University of London, in September). John’s a chartered civil engineer and professor of transport engineering, but – although I suspect he’s sometimes felt slightly like a fish out of water – he’s always been admirably happy to extend himself well beyond his discipline, and to engage with the range of social sciences, and this book is testament to his broad and deep interest in cycling, and the ways it can contribute to a more sustainable world.

I felt honoured and privileged when John asked me to co-author the volume’s final chapter. This meant that I needed carefully to read all the chapters which went before, so I can say from first-hand experience that it contains some important contributions to our understandings of cycling.

In our conclusion, ‘Towards a Revolution in Cycling’, we try to summarise the key arguments of the book, and also to demonstrate how the different chapters provide strong evidence for how we might re-make the world in cycle-friendly and sustainable ways. So we are self-consciously ambitious and ever-so-slightly polemical in this chapter, calling for cycling to be given far greater opportunities to contribute towards a healthier, happier planet. It’s well past the time when all the rhetoric as to cycling’s incredible potential needs assertively and earnestly to be converted into concrete actions, which enable it to enter the mainstream as an ordinary, mass mode of transport.

I’m copying details of the book below, so you can see the kind of ground it covers, and decide whether you want to find out more. It’d be great if a copy could be found – not only by yourself but also by others – in your local library.

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