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Low Carbon Communities

Low Carbon Communities

Imaginative Approaches to Combating Climate Change Locally

Edited by Michael Peters, Shane Fudge and Tim Jackson

Community action is a vital strategy in the fight against climate change and has increasingly informed government policy, academic inquiry and grassroots action since the start of this century. This timely and engaging volume explores both the promise of community-based action in tackling climate change and some of its limitations.

Chapter 6: Mobilizing Sustainability: Partnership Working between a Pro-cycling NGO and Local Government in London

Justin Spinney

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental geography, environmental sociology, geography, human geography, politics and public policy, public policy


Justin Spinney INTRODUCTION In the move towards a low carbon world modern forms of mobility have been increasingly problematized, particularly automobilities (Bickerstaff and Whitelegg, 1987; Walker, 1999; Vigar, 2002; Bohm et al., 2006; Bonham, 2006; Horton, 2006, 2007; Merriman, 2009). As awareness and evidence of the global and local environmental (not to mention bodily) consequences of automobility have grown, particular groups have consistently positioned the bike and cycling as a panacea for modern urban ills, framing it as environmentally benign and healthy in opposition to and as a replacement for the car. However, whilst there have been various booms in cycling as a ‘leisure’ practice, against a background of increasing car ownership, its popularity as a mode of everyday movement in the UK has been in gradual decline1 since the Second World War to the point now where in Greater London (UK) less than 2 per cent of all ‘utility’ journeys are made by bicycle (3.7 per cent in inner London) (Transport for London (TfL), 2008, p. 1). Part of the reason for this decline, it is argued, is that London’s car-centric infrastructure militates against cycling. In order to rectify this situation successive governments have focused upon improving the infrastructure2 for cycling in order to promote the bike as a means of transport. As a result attempts have been made in recent years to provide this infrastructure (in the form of the London Cycle Network – LCN – in London). In order to ensure that the proposed routes and improvements are what...

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