Cycling & Society 2017 – Call for Abstracts

The location will be confirmed early in August. Please note that the symposium will no longer be held in Portsmouth as originally planned and that we are currently looking at alternative venues.

Cities To Share

The 2017 Cycling and Society Symposium will focus on Cities To Share – how cycling and society interact. The Call for Abstracts is available below.

Contributions are welcome by researchers, practitioners, cycling enthusiasts and advocacy groups on a series of topics that should help us shape cities to be fit for the future: healthy, safe, sustainable, prosperous places that people want to live in, to work in and to visit.

This year’s Symposium will be held in Portsmouth, a city whose transport system has been allowed to evolve to favour the private motor vehicle over all else. This has brought tremendous flexibility and independence to many people. However, the capacity of the Victorian street layout has been reached and now the problems that come with the private car are starting to outweigh the benefits: 1) The health system is struggling to deal with the people’s lack of physical activity. 2) The city’s growth is being pushed to larger retail developments at the expense of the high streets. 3) Rising levels of air pollution – largely due to vehicle emissions – bring the risk of punitive fines and the implementation of stringent Air Quality Management Areas. 4) The traffic congestion hurts the liveability of the city, as journeys become less safe, more stressful, and generally less pleasant. Yet Portsmouth is unusually well suited to cycling: it is a flat, compact and temperate city where virtually any journey can be made by bike in just a few minutes. It can serve as a prime case study on Cycling and Society.

Contributions are welcome especially but not solely to the following themes:

  • Understanding Safety – the perception that cycling is dangerous is one of the major factors that deters people from cycling. This complex socio-technical issue can be tackled, for example, through a high standard of traffic engineering that prevents conflict between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Cycling as Transport – high-quality cycle provision on the roads is essential for cycling to become attractive for popular transportation and to help increase transport capacity. The processes of re-appropriation of the space for the use of cycling can generate conflicts. We welcome contributions analyzing the politics of space.
  • Equality – the benefits of cycling should be available to everyone who wishes to cycle. Cycle infrastructure should be accessible to disabled cyclists using adapted cycles, child carrying bikes and cargo carrying bikes as well as standard two-wheeled cycles.
  • Cycling as Leisure – like Portsmouth, many cities aim to become tourist destinations. They could be easy and pleasant to explore by bike. How is the urban tourist experience different when done by bicycle? How can cities manage that rising demand? Broader links of leisure and tourism by bicycle in urban or non-urban areas are also welcome.
  • Planning for Cycling – urban planning must embrace transport, active travel and cycling at its core. Planning of new developments, or even new or consolidated cities and towns, needs to integrate a new paradigm of mobility, taking into account local cultural and economical interests. We welcome studies or experiences of planning processes that integrate the different stakeholders involved in the construction of more cyclable environments.


We aim to make the conference accessible to all, although there is likely to be a nominal cost to cover catering.

Submission of abstracts and format of presentations

The symposium welcomes submissions of 300-word abstracts for 20-minute presentations.

Please submit your abstract in an office-editable format to
by the end of Friday 7th July.

Participants will also be invited to submit extended abstracts for consideration for a journal special issue on the topic of Cities To Share.

Important dates

  • Friday 7th July 2017 – EXTENDED deadline for abstract submissions
  • Monday 24th July – DELAYED presenters notified of the format of their presentations
  • 24th July  – DELAYED registration opens
  • 7th and 8th September – location TBC


Please send any questions to the organisers, Jacek Kopecký and Hilary Reed,