Please note this call is now closed and is included here for archiving purposes.
Call for contributions
In car-dominant contexts, planning for cycling is politically contentious – particularly when it involves redistributing rights to space. Proposals for cycleways that reallocate road space, for example, can be criticised as out of touch with what are considered to be the genuine needs of locals for a variety of activities where cycling simply cannot substitute the car. Through challenging the centrality of driving, cycling is argued to create ‘traffic chaos’, which makes the harms of driving even worse. In addition, cycleways that involve reallocation can be constructed as ableist interventions that further reduce the accessibility of public spaces and destinations for disabled people. While proposals for cycle infrastructure may be rejected primarily from the perspective of their impacts on the accessibility of driving, planning for cycling can also be criticised for not being ambitious enough: failing to provide enough directness to major destinations to substitute car journeys, inadequately insulating people cycling from the dangers of ‘traffic’, and neglecting the appropriate spaces and parking required to enable inclusive and diverse cycling (e.g., slow cycling, social cycling, tricycling, cargo cycling).
Furthermore, the processes through which cycle planning is undertaken are equally contentious. On the one hand, actions may be taken to fast-track trial cycling infrastructures that often involve the redistribution of public space from ‘roads’ to ‘cycleways’. These actions may involve a lack of prolonged public engagement and considerable executive decision-making from state and local authorities. Some groups affected by these actions may feel disempowered and ignored, while others may ardently support such resolute (but temporary) approaches, judging them a necessary evil to tackle entrenched car dependence. On the other hand, in public and academic discourse on cycle (and climate-related infrastructure) planning, the imperative of socially-inclusive planning processes can be emphasised. Namely, in order to plan socially just mobility infrastructures, the major groups potentially affected by these plans should be robustly involved in any planning and governance process. This approach may ensure that any plans that are implemented by authorities are by relative consensus and consent rather than by top-down imposition. While rapid top-down approaches are criticised for their lack of citizen participation, more participatory approaches may be criticised for preventing radical actions to transform our mobility systems at an appropriate pace, in light of accelerating climate change.
On the basis of this broad interest in the critical tensions of planning for cycling, for this symposium, we are primarily interested in papers that relate to the socio-political dimensions of planning cycling systems in the context of intensifying climate change. In particular, we welcome submissions that might relate to:
- Cycling Plans: Exploring experiences, practices, effects, perceptions, discourses, and rationales that relate to different kinds of planned or existing cycling infrastructures, programmes and policies;
- Cycling Planning: Examining varied and/or novel approaches to planning & governance for cycling infrastructure (including cycle parking) and wider pro-cycling policies that may vary in terms of citizen participation/leadership and expert authority.
We welcome papers from all research disciplines – social sciences, humanities and STEM – and papers drawing on experiential, applied and local knowledges from sustainable transport professionals and campaigners. We are open to papers that are methodological, empirical, artistic and theoretical in content.
Symposium formats and session submissions
Contributions are welcomed in one of two formats:
- Paper Presentation: 15 minute paper presentation with subsequent panel/audience discussion. Remote presentations welcome.
- Exploratory / Debate Session: collective exploratory discussions and/or debate session around a particular theme or set of questions relevant to the conference.
Deadlines and submission procedures
Please send abstracts of 250 words maximum, to email@example.com by
Wednesday the 16th of March Extended to Friday 24th March
Please provide the following information along with your abstract: title, corresponding author, institution/organisation, and desired submission format (i.e. paper presentation or brainstorm/debate).