Cities are hubs of cycling innovation and expertise, pioneering measures that are making urban environments suitable and safe for bikes. Yet the knowledge arising from this does not always reach those who would benefit from it the most - other cities. HANDSHAKE, a new CIVITAS and Horizon 2020 project, is seeking to change this.
It will support the take-up and transfer of successful cycling measures developed by three world-class cycling cities - Copenhagen (Denmark), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), and Munich (Germany) - to ten other cities across the EU.
The project blends cycling policy, design and promotional expertise from these three Cycling Capitals with emerging innovation from the ten Future Cycling Capitals. They are Bordeaux (France), Bruges (Belgium), Cadiz (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), Greater Manchester (UK), Helsinki (Finland), Krakow (Poland), Riga (Latvia), Rome (Italy) and Torino (Italy).
An innovative knowledge transfer process and a mentoring programme will facilitate the intensive inter-city learning so crucial to the project's success.
At the beginning of October, the HANDSHAKE group gathered in Copenhagen for the project's kick-off meeting and a study tour. Proceedings opened with a poster session that gave the 13 cities an opportunity to interact and present the cycling situations in their cities.
The tour took in Copenhagen’s recent bike-related infrastructure developments, including new bridges and links across its riverfront areas. Afterwards, the whole consortium was welcomed at the Irish Embassy in Copenhagen for a reception and invited to attend Velo-city 2019 in Dublin, a HANDSHAKE partner city.
Drawn from diverse geographical contexts, socioeconomic conditions and planning cultures, the HANDSHAKE consortium are united in their desire to nurture a new set of cycling champions and strengthen international knowledge sharing in the field.
These common goals should help HANDSHAKE achieve its ambitious aims, which include:
- Inspiring the creation of holistic cycling visions and concrete transfer approaches;
- Improving cycling modal share and safety, with 60,000 more people on bikes and a 37.5% reduction in cycling accident rates across all cities involved in the project.
- Realising cycling's potential to relieve congestion and improve public health.
The project is set to run until February 2022, and its website will appear soon.