Flashback Friday: What if… We built a cycle-friendly Christchurch?

Back in my former life at Canterbury University, I got asked to take part in a regular series of UC public seminars. The focus of my talk was on how we could rebuild the city to be more cycle-friendly, remembering that this was when the idea of a network of Major Cycle Routes was still embryonic and unconfirmed. I recently rewatched the video of the seminar, and it was interesting to see what had happened (or not) in the intervening years around Christchurch. This post (originally published in Aug 2013) previews that seminar – judge for yourself…

A presentation coming up might be of interest to viewers, as part of the University of Canterbury’s “What If Wednesdays” series of free public seminars.


What if… We built a cycle-friendly Christchurch?

Presenter: Dr Glen Koorey

Wed 28th August 2013, from 6.30pm at the Undercroft, beneath the University of Canterbury Central Library

  • What can we gain from being more cycle friendly?
  • How could Christchurch lead NZ in cycle commuting?
  • What can we do to make it a safer mode of transport than driving?
  • What are the latest trends in cycle commuting around the world?

We all know that cycling to work means less traffic on the roads and pollution in our skies. But many people don’t jump on their bikes because they are worried about their safety. How can we overcome safety concerns for commuters? Is it financially viable to transform Christchurch into a state-of-the-art cycle-friendly city? What are the current cycle trends overseas and what could the future hold for Christchurch if we embraced the concept with open arms?

Where is cycling’s place in the rebuilt city?

Dr Koorey will present some observations and ideas, based on his experiences of cycling from around the world and from his own research here in New Zealand. He will also discuss what this might mean in practice in Christchurch to create a truly “cycle-friendly” city, particularly in light of the City Council’s planned $70m investment in cycling over the next 5 years.

Because space is limited, if you want to attend you need to register (free) for this event beforehand.

For a sneak preview of some of the issues to be discussed, you can check out this Youtube video (note the advertised date has changed; it is now on the 28th):

The seminar itself will also be recorded and posted later onto the WiW playlist.

The following week (Wed 4th Sep) there’s another seminar that might also be of interest: What if… The world really did go green? Visiting Professor Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University (WA), will discuss how “the Green Economy” is rapidly changing our way of thinking about fuel and energy use, and what governments and companies do globally. Again, more details and registration can be found on UC’s What If Wednesday website.

See you there!

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