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Cycling Policies for the Sustainable City : The Case of the City of Seoul
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study explored the “sustainable city” by focusing on pro-cycling policies as a way to adapt theprinciple of sustainability to urban reality, as impacting the shape of the urban context and the lives of itsinhabitants. The case of the City of Seoul provided the opportunity to discuss potential and pitfallcharacterizing the implementation of pro-cycling policies, in light of the broader international contextoffering cases and examples that are here used as background for the analysis and interpretation of the case ofSeoul. This paper has two main parts. The first questions the key determinants of pro-cycling policies oftenproclaimed as “best-practices” in the field of cycling policies. It suggests that the overall level of cycling ismore related to government policies rather than history, culture, topography and climate. The identifiedgovernment policies have something in common. Firstly, cycling policies have evolved into an essential partof urban planning (cycling-inclusive urban planning). Secondly, they are created through the partnershipbetween the state, the private sector and civil society organizations based on the collaborative planninggovernance. Thirdly, policy components of hard and soft measures tend to be designed based on the needs ofthe great majority of citizens, particularly users. The second part explores the main causes of theshortcomings charactering pro-cycling policies in the case of Seoul. It argues that the main causes aredifficulties of achieving cooperation among different levels of government, the lack of opportunities forcitizen’s participation, the problems of hard components (cycling infrastructure) which is not based onpeople’s needs, unbalanced policy mixture of hard and soft components (non-infrastructural measures).Pro-cycling policies can play a significant role in achieving the sustainable city. To implement cyclingpolicies as a way of achieving the sustainable city, cultural and social shifts should be entailed. Theimplementation of pro-cycling can contribute to this cultural shift which is fundamental to the sustainable city.This is a cycle that has to be turned into a virtuous cycle leading to the city and urban community towardssustainability. However, if the created cycling policies are not based on the partnership and collaboration withvarious stakeholders, they are not likely to get society-wide support, meet the needs of users, and thus reachthe targeted goals. This is also true of Seoul. Even though the City of Seoul set up ambitious goals andinvested a lot of city budget, it could not achieve the desired aims. As a novice in pro-cycling policies, it isinevitable for the city experience trial and error. To reduce trial and error and develop more suitable policies,the city needs to explore best practices of cycling policies around world and adapt them to the local context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 54 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 177
Keyword [en]
Sustainable city, Pro-cycling policy, cycling-inclusive urban planning, collaborative planning
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-216447OAI: diva2:689876
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2013-05-20, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, 08:50 (English)
Available from: 2014-01-22 Created: 2014-01-22 Last updated: 2014-01-22Bibliographically approved

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