8945 - Cycling and social inclusion in Rio de Janeiro. On the transformative potential of cycling towards inclusive urban spaces.

The introduction of social inclusion / exclusion into transport research led to the creation of a multidimensional field of research (see Lyons 2003, Preston 2009). Analysing quantitative indicators, such as vehicle miles travelled (VMT), across social groups prevails. Apart from leaving qualitative dimensions of social exclusion unregarded, this focus on VMT neglects the fact that more miles travelled a) may be no guarantee for better inclusion, and b) are not desirable from an social-environmental point of view (see Carlson et al 2010). In this light, studying cycling is stimulating. Firstly, cycling shows an ambiguous character, for that it can be both, the result of exclusionary tendencies in transport polices, and a tool to enhance social inclusion in urban spaces. This leads consequently to the question, how mobility interferes in shaping inclusive / exclusionary urban spaces. Lastly, the perception of space through cycling and its consequences on inclusion also need to be addressed. This paper positions cycling in the context of social inclusion / exclusion and establishes links towards an inclusion-oriented urban space. The transformative potential is being contrasted against the social and physical reality in Rio de Janeiro, where inequality and exclusion in transport, but also attempts to promote cycling are evident. The final objective is to assess the current cycling policies in Rio de Janeiro regarding their effects on social inclusion, and sketch paths for possible further research bridging qualitative and quantitative approaches. Carlson, D.; Howard, Z. (2010) Impacts of VMT reduction strategies on selected areas and groups, The State of Washington, Seattle Lyons, G. (2003) The introduction of social exclusion into the field of travel behaviour, in: Transport Policy 10:4 Preston, J. (2009) Epilogue: Transport policy and social exclusion - Some reflections, in: Transport Policy 16:3

Keywords: Cycling, Social Inclusion, Urban Space, Rio de Janeiro

Author: Aichinger, Wolfgang (Difu, Germany / Deutschland)
Co-Author: Ledo, Isabela (TU Delft, Amsterdam, Netherlands / Niederlande)


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