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Understanding conditions for bicycle traffic through historical inquiry: The case of Stockholm
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology.
2010 (English)In: IUT Journal (Institute of Urban Transport of India), no Dec, 1-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The development of bicycle traffic in Stockholm follows the general pattern of west European cities: high levels before the Second World War, overwhelming levels during the war, and then a rapid decline during the post-war period. More recently a "renaissance" of the bicycle can be discerned. This article treats the conditions for bicycle traffic in Stockholm during the period 1930–1970. Though the demand for automobility and "modern" transit alternatives should not be disregarded as important "pull" factors in explaining the rapid decline of bicycling in the postwar period, the article highlights two kinds of "push" factors: urban development patterns and conceptions of the bicycle among professional groups in urban transport. The final section of the article is devoted to the recent upward bicycle trend in Stockholm and the simultaneous decline in bicycling in many cities in developing countries, using Delhi as an example of the latter. Given the flexibility and contextual character of notions such as "rational"/"irrational" and "modern"/"non-modern", as seen in the case of Stockholm, it is argued that the decline of bicycling in developing countries should be understood as a socially constructed rather than a "natural", inevitable process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Delhi: Institute of Urban Transport (Indiaa) , 2010. no Dec, 1-16 p.
Keyword [en]
bicycle traffic, history, Stockholm, traffic engineering, urban planning
National Category
History of Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-72556OAI: diva2:487770
QC 20120210Available from: 2012-02-10 Created: 2012-01-31 Last updated: 2012-02-10Bibliographically approved

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Martin Emanuel, "Understanding conditions for bicycle traffic through historical: The case of Stockholm", IUT Journal Dec 2010, pp. 1-16(52 kB)203 downloads
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