Cycling for Sustainable Cities

The Cycling for Sustainable Cities research project is done in collaboration with the CITY CYCLING campaign. The aim is to assess effectiveness of pro-bicycling initiatives and to provide concrete and practical information about infrastructure priorities to decision-makers from a bottom-up perspective.


Cycling has a range of benefits to individuals, wider society, and the environment. To foster sustainability, local policies will need to reduce individual motorized (fossil fuel based) forms of transport and encourage sustainable transport options, such as cycling. Understanding what key processes impact cycling behavior as well as cyclists’ views on infrastructure can help realize policy goals to promote and encourage cycling. The review of current literature showed that contextual factors such as whether the actual infrastructure meets the needs of different cyclists are relatively under-researched.

Although around 78% of Germans own a bicycle, the proportion of all journeys completed by bike in Germany lies at an average of just 10% (German Federal Environment Agency, 2011). Furthermore, about 40% of all journeys less than five kilometers long are done by car. There is substantial potential for increasing the amount of trips taken by bicycle and fostering sustainable mobility, thereby contributing to reductions in air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions, noise pollution, and traffic congestion.

In the context of the CITY CYCLING campaign, researchers at the IASS are conducting an anonymous questionnaire-based survey that aims to investigate how pro-cycling initiatives and cycling infrastructure can foster greater uptake of cycling as a mode of transport. The primary aim is to contribute to the science of cycling research, and to provide comparable, policy-relevant conclusions for identifying the most effective strategies for increasing bicycling from a bottom-up perspective.


CITY CYCLING is a campaign developed by the Climate Alliance. The campaign aims to motivate citizens to use their bicycle in their everyday lives, and to increasingly raise bicycle usage and cycle traffic planning as an issue on the agendas of local parliaments. All municipalities (towns, cities, communities, rural districts/regions, etc.) in Germany are invited to participate in the campaign for 21 consecutive days between May and September, annually. For more information regarding the campaign, please visit the official website at