On 3 June the UN celebrates World Bicycle Day to promote sustainable transportation and road safety. We report from Turkey, where Tepebaşı, a district of Istanbul, aims to revive a once very vibrant biking culture which was largely replaced by motorised transportation.
Cycling in busy cities can be very dangerous. According to the World Health Organization 54% of traffic-related death are among pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists.
Only a few cities have managed to establish an adequate cycling infrastructure. For example, Utrecht, in the centre of the Netherlands, invests 132 euro per year per person into biking infrastructure, while for most European cities this figure is less than 5 euro. Therefore, the lack of infrastructure discourages people from using their bicycles.
In Tepebaşi, a district of Istanbul, only 2% of the residents use bicycles today, but a look into the past shows that cycling used to be a common means of transport. This development was stopped by the urbanisation accompanied by a ruling model of motorised mobility. In the midst of car dominated traffic, the Municipality is planning to revitalise the biking culture once again, with support from the EU project REMOURBAN.