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Oxford Global Leadership Programme: Health Wellbeing and Urban Mobility

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Tim Jones

on 2 February 2015

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Transcript of Oxford Global Leadership Programme: Health Wellbeing and Urban Mobility

Dr Tim Jones
Faculty of Technology Design & the Environment

Cyclists’ identities and practices have been shaped by acclimatization to current hostile cycling conditions to the extent that they sometimes struggle to understand why more people don’t cycle. And in so doing, they inadvertently perpetuate their identity as part of a ‘velomobile elite’.
To develop a better understanding of how the design of the built environment and technology shapes older peoples engagement with, and experience of cycling, and how this affects their independent mobility, health and wellbeing.
Independence & control = wellbeing
Bicycle use as
per cent of all journeys
made by people age 65 and over.

UK = 1
DE = 9
DK = 15
NE = 23
Mobile Observation
Video elicitation
Cycling for Health and Wellbeing in an Ageing Society
'Velomobile Elite'
Active ageing
"Process of optimizing opportunities for health participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age."
WHO 2002

'Critical mobilities' approach to research (Jensen, 2013)

Older people must constitute part of the cycling landscape when imaging future mobility -
important indicator species of any just velomobile society.

cycle BOOM will:

develop a series of recommendations for various institutions to improve opportunities for older cycling;

formulate an urban design vocabulary for cycling and tool to assist designers attend to the experiential, rather than just the instrumental, components of cycling*
(*cf. Ann Forsyth & Kevin Krizek (2011) Urban Design: Is there a. Distinctive View from the Bicycle?,
Journal of Urban Design
, 16:4)
Electric Bike Trial


8 week loan period

Min 3 x 30 mins use per week

Measure cognitive function and wellbeing at beginning and end

Pedal and control group

Diary of Cycling Experience (DoCE) & GPS

Focus groups
"...we cannot expect shifts in practices to occur when only part of the choice architecture is altered, leaving much of the underlying basis for consumption practices unchanged."
Barr S, Prillwitz J, 2014, "A smarter choice? Exploring the behaviour change agenda for environmentally sustainable mobility" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 32(1) 1 – 19
Handler, S. (2014) An Alternative Age Friendly Handbook. Urban Age Consortium | MICRA.
Handler, S. (2014) An Alternative Age Friendly Handbook. Urban Age Consortium | MICRA.
Handler, S. (2014) An Alternative Age Friendly Handbook. Urban Age Consortium | MICRA.
What role cycling in the age friendly city?
video elicitation useful in 'validation and exploration' [p199]

'cognitive processes and habitual procedures are often hard, if not impossible to observe. Also they are not always subject to reflection by the participants ' [p201]

'enabling new levels of detail (eg through playback and slow motion)' [p203]

'focus and compare relevant sequences of interaction' [p203]

Schubert, C. Videographic elicitation interviews: exploring technologies, practices and narratives in organisations in Kissman, U. (2009)
Video interaction analysis: methods and methodology
Global Leadership Programme: Global challenges in transport

Part I

Nature of cycling in the UK

Part II

The electric bicycle phenomenon and implications for travel, health and wellbeing

Part III

What role cycling in an ageing society?

Interviews with 22 participants in NL & UK
Amsterdam, Utrecht, Groningen, Oxford.
12F | 43-70 years (ave. 56) | All full driving licence |
5 without access to car | All but one owned bicycle.
Thematic Analysis
Knowledge formation
User experience
Perceived impact on travel & health

Combination of factors
“I was

trying to get back into cycling

but with that

health issue
in place as well as the
constraints of being a single parent

having to only leave the house at a certain time

and be home at a certain time. So I was faced with a number of factors so I

needed to speed up

but I couldn’t speed up because of my health, so I started to look at E-bikes as a dual thing. I thought it would

get me fit

it would

enable me to speed up

my journey on a bicycle and it would have all the added benefits of
lowering costs.

I don’t have to worry about


and all those sort of things but it was the first two of I want to cycle, how do I speed up my journey and how do I address the fitness issue…?”

Helen, Oxford.
Motive For Purchase
Response to 'critical juncture' | Maintaining velomobility
“When I turned 50 I decided it was time to change something about my health habits, so I did not have time to do any physical activities, so at that point I decided that [e-]biking to work might be a reasonable idea.” Marcel, Groningen.
“In February I took the metro, it’s good, I walk to it, it’s 30 minutes, and at the [hospital] I jump out and I’m at my work. But I don’t like to sit in the metro, and … in winter, okay, [but] in summer, I don’t think I like it. So some colleagues said, “why don’t you buy an E-bike?

Ellis, Amsterdam.
“I got some health problems – my kidneys and muscles don’t function too well anymore, so I lose strength every month, and it’s getting worse…I noticed with normal biking I was out of breath..." Ramona, Utrecht.
Perceived impact on travel behaviour
Continuity | Intercepting car use
“I use the e-bike so much more than I imagined and if I have to go to town [8kms] then it doesn’t enter my head to use the car [which was the previous method].” Natascha, Groningen.
“[If I hadn’t have purchased an e-bike] I wouldn’t have got back on my bike, no. [Beforehand] I drove every day, that’s what I was doing. I was driving every day, parking over the road, so I would have carried on doing that.” Helen, Oxford.
“My mother lives in Abingdon. Whereas before I probably wouldn’t have tackled the journey on my ordinary bike, I feel that I can easily get there and back by using the E-bike.” Bradley, Oxford.
“It’s not possible to travel by regular bike four days a week, so I can choose metro or car [laughs]…then I would not travel by bike.” Ellis, Amsterdam.
Perceived impact on health
“Well for me I think I lost weight now just…just because I’m now going with E-bike, because I move more.” Marjolijn, Groningen.
“[On my regular pedal cycle]…three or four trips in the whole summer, and with my e-bike I do it three times a week. I just started doing more exercise because I’m taking much more trips outside the city – which I never did before.” Suzanne, Amsterdam.
“I didn’t know that I liked it that much. I always feel happy. I liked it so much better than sitting in a car. Yeah, I can tell. Like if you have a glass of wine – it feels good. So it’s a kind of warmth…a nice feeling inside.” Natascha, Groningen.
Moving more and being moved
Dissonance | Riposte
“Two years ago I bought my E-bike, and it’s getting hard to go back onto the normal bike then, because it’s pretty addictive the E-bike. [laughs] And it’s not good for your condition, for your health.”
Ramona, Utrecht.
“ Alright, I understand [the] point if you say, well, [if] someone is travelling 5km every day [by] normal bike ... he would buy an E-bike, then he would have less exercise. But that’s not how it works in practice. In practice people cycle longer, more often, they ... in my own experience I’m just faster getting the bike than taking a car. If it’s very windy normally I think I would take the car sometimes – and now I’m not even thinking about it, I just take the bike.”
Anton, Amsterdam.

Perceived impact on health
General barriers
Economy | Technology | Social Stigma | Safety | Infrastucture
Carrying children
Battery performance
Battery load time
'For old people'
'Not 'green'

Minor incidents
Intra v inter city
Parking at hubs
Financial outlay
Battery replacement
“…my bike doesn’t seem like an electric bike, so I camouflage it with the big bags on the back, and with the plastic flowers on the front, just to camouflage the electric part – you don’t see it”

Ramona, Utrecht.
“I think most E-bikes are made for women aged 60 and over or something and they don’t think about it how you can move your child on it.”

Marjolijn, Groningen.
“Like most things with a battery there’s a sort of honeymoon period, and then after a couple of years you’re looking at, you know, it declining in efficiency ... and the battery is quite an important ... financially it’s quite expensive.”

Carina, Oxford.
“In the beginning you have to get used (to the fact) that it goes very fast (...) I pulled the brakes, and the brakes are very strong, and so I just pulled myself over”.

Suzanne, Amsterdam.
“Outside the city I have it on maximum acceleration, maximum support, (...) But in the city I normally put it down a notch or two, because all the other cyclists ... if you go too fast then there will be accidents and you have to brake all the time, so it doesn’t work anyway.”

Anton, Groningen.
Promoting electric cycling
1. Embed e-biking in policy discourse

2. Develop design guidance for e-biking

3. Provide incentives for industry to innovate

4. Provide consumer support (tax relief, service)

5. Tackle stigma through social marketing

6. Monitor and research e-biking
The Experience of Electric Bicycle Users
in the Netherlands and UK
Urban cycling "precludes the ‘ride-along’ method" [p162]

...and provides "a way of ‘seeing there’ (Laurier, 2010) and ‘feeling there’ when you can’t be there... a way of apprehending fleeting moments of mobile experience...
a tool to extend sensory vocabularies" [p163]

'mobile video ethnography can contribute to a new mobilities agenda by facilitating more nuanced understandings of daily corporeal mobility which move beyond seeing instrumental factors as solely determining why and how people move around'. [p163]
Spinney, J. (2011) A Chance to Catch a Breath: Using Mobile Video Ethnography in Cycling Research,
, 6:2, 161-182
share of trips by bicycle falls from 1.8% (40-49) to 1.2% (50-59) to 1.0% (60-69) to 0.8% (70+)
Source: National Travel Survey 2013 (data for England)
Average distance for cycle trip is 1.8 miles for those aged 70+ compared to 4.8 miles for 40-49 year olds
Source: National Travel Survey 2008-2010 (data for GB)
Only 22% of those aged 60+ confident cycling on roads compared to 41% of those 16-59.
Source: DfT Climate Change and Transport Choices Segmentation Model project (2009-2010 data for England)
42% of those aged 60+ say they would cycle (more) if more dedicated cycle paths
Full transcript