In all corners of Europe, cities face alarming levels of congestion and air pollution and a scarcity of public space, whilst urban environments remain dangerous for vulnerable road users. Cycling is a powerful way to address these challenges and steer cities towards being more sustainable, equitable and economically prosperous places for citizens. The Horizon 2020 project CIVITAS Handshake supports ten highly-motivated EU cycling cities in learning from three pioneering, successful, and world-class cycling cities in the uptake of proven cycling solutions.
Handshake helps cities of all types become more liveable places, improving conditions for cycling as an everyday mode of transport.
Handshake supports the effective take up of the integrated cycling solutions successfully developed by Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Munich, the so called „Cycling Capitals“, to 10 highly committed „Future Cycling Capitals“, Bordeaux Metropole, Bruges, Cadiz, Dublin, Helsinki, Krakow, Greater Manchester, Riga, Rome and Turin. Handshake will achieve this by improving the quality of both cycling infrastructure and communications through identifying innovation in areas such as intelligent transport systems, bike sharing, modelling, bike parking, socio-economic assessment and governance and decision-making.
Cycling innovations brought together into a supportive and novel transfer cycle
Experts and local authorities join forces in Handshake to design, develop and implement over 60 solutions across these 13 cities. These solutions may be multi-faceted or interconnected, but each solution fits into one of four categories of activity that help drive the performance of successful cycling cities.
1. Planning, Regulations and Standards: The delivery of high quality infrastructure, together with achieving a motivated cycling population, require effective planning and preparation. Activities include the preparation of cycling infrastructure network plans, raising the standards in design guidance documents, and linking with other modes of transport to improve how the transport system is managed. Together these help give cycling projects a fair chance to succeed.
2. Infrastructure and Services: The design and layout of physical infrastructure projects is the most topical aspect within Handshake. Solutions range from expanding the quality and proportion of space created for cycling, to improving the street environment, catering for bicycle storage and changing traffic lights to give cyclists easy and continuous journeys without stopping.
3. Modelling and Assessment: Techniques can be used before and after cycling schemes are implemented to make sure they contribute effectively towards a wide range of different objectives. Handshake looks at the effectiveness of cycling solutions from many angles, such as through the experiential analyses of cyclists’ safety, to the modelling and measuring how the transport system operates, to the effectiveness of publicity to encourage cycling.
4. Awareness and Education: What is the point of only having infrastructure if nobody knows where the routes go, or they don’t feel motivated or confident enough to try riding a bike in the first place? Communications campaigns and approaches help blend practical knowledge with inspirational messaging. When done well, they can heighten the success and status of new infrastructure projects.
Cycling knowledge and expertise is being shared through transfer processes and mentoring programmes between cities that will themselves help shape best practice
To do so, Handshake applies Transition Management as a method that helps sustain long-lasting change within cities wanting to advance their cycling practices. The project also runs ‘Immersive Study Tours’ and ‘Immersive Symposia’. Unlike standard conferences or training, these events are highly personal and sensory learning experiences. And finally, Handshake assists its cities to maximize the positive socio-economic and environmental impacts of cycling solutions, capturing quantitative and qualitative effects on different target groups.