Normalising cycling mobilities: an age-friendly approach to cycling in the Netherlands

Wilbert den Hoed, Helen Jarvis
2021 Applied Mobilities  
Cycling is promoted as a form of urban travel with well-established benefits to health, liveability and wellbeing. These benefits are comparatively large for older people, a growing segment in many populations. Yet, support for the normalisation of cycling mobilities for all ages varies considerably. It is usual to contrast low-cycling contexts, such as the UK, with high-cycling areas, typically favouring highest-rate paradigmatic urban centres. To challenge a too simplistic imitation and
more » ... ation of engineering solutions elsewhere, we draw attention to diverse cycling habits and norms in residents of a more ordinary high-cycling area (suburban Rotterdam), and observe how cycling is normalised throughout the lifecourse. Using mobile and biographical methods, we argue that a more nuanced appreciation of cycling normalisation is gained from viewing ageing and cycling relationally and biographically. This is because the habit-forming realm of normalisation functions through both conscious decisions and unconscious practice, bound up with life events and the external environment. The findings suggest that age-friendly city strategies and urban mobility policies should more closely consider locally constituted social and cultural processes, beyond providing infrastructure. This article thus provides an indepth account of what it takes for planning and policy to normalise positive, empowering, and age-friendly qualities in everyday mobility.
doi:10.1080/23800127.2021.1872206 fatcat:s3u2ww4vrjbdhajwejnbkexzl4