UN eyes bicycles as driver of post-COVID-19 ‘green recovery’

UN eyes bicycles as driver of post-COVID-19 ‘green recovery’

Can bicycles be a solution to the challenges of the post-COVID-19 recovery? European member countries of the United Nations recently created a taskforce to take this question further and discuss ways to make ‎post-COVID-19 mobility more environmentally sound, healthy ‎and sustainable.

As many countries in Europe and elsewhere are starting to lift lockdowns, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) sees an opportunity and obligation for the transport sector to restart in a manner that is conducive to a more efficient, greener system.  “A ‘new normal’ needs to be developed to replace ‘business as usual’,” it states.

‎During the lockdown, city dwellers enjoyed clear blue skies thanks to cleaner air and began to hear birds sing as noise decreased.  Pollution levels in Barcelona dropped by an estimated 62 per cent, and similar situations have been observed in other big European cities such as Milan, London and Paris, according to the Commission.

Public transport usage has fallen significantly as an increasing number of people choose to walk or ride bicycles to avoid crowded mass transits and follow health authorities’ advice for physical distancing.  To respond to these trends, Milan, Geneva, Brussels and London have decided to invest in flexible bike lanes....

This article from the UN explores how countries across the world are prioritising space for cycling in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can read more here.