Walking and cycling are arguably seen as the most sustainable modes of transport. They should be placed at the heart of an equitable and just transition toward low carbon and energy efficient transportation systems in the global North and South. Such systems will be more resilient to the effects of volatile oil prices, and provide affordable and healthy mobility and access to destinations regardless of social and economic status.
Realising the potential of walking and cycling
Realisation of the potential of walking and cycling depends upon improvements in both the physical and social aspects of infrastructure that recognize differences between individuals and social groups with respect to needs, preferences, experiences, and meanings. That is, not only must the physical environments of transportation systems be modified to fit the people that use them, but also such things as practices of governance, policy implementation, information provision, and maintenance, and the meanings, values, and knowhow that guide these practices, must change.
The DEPICT project’s aim
The DEPICT project—Designing and Policy Implementation for encouraging Cycling and walking Trips—aims to determine which features of urban environments, local communities, and the governance of physical infrastructures influence walking and cycling and how these can be optimised to achieve sustainable urban mobility for all. This work will be undertaken in Brazil, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, three countries that possess large differences in walking and cycling practices owing to very different economic, social, political, and cultural histories.
We will tackle our aim through three research themes:
Findings from all three of these themes will be combined so as to deepen understanding of the effects of physical and social context on pedestrians’ and cyclists’ experiences and needs.
The DEPICT project is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the São Paulo Research Foundation (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, FAPESP), and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, NWO).