Bicycle City: Riding the Bike Boom to a Brighter Future

Regular price $ 32.00

by Dan Piatkowski

Island Press

5/23/2024, paperback

SKU: 9781642833072


It took an oil crisis in the 1970s for the Dutch to realize that they simply couldn´t afford to live without bicycles, and today the Dutch lead the world in urban cycling. Fifty years later, another crisis, the pandemic, has led to a boom in bicycling and a radical rethinking of the future of urban mobility, demonstrating the possibility of a car-free urban future. The pandemic "bikeboom" is one of the very few bright spots in an otherwise terrible time - and an opportunity we cannot waste. The climate crisis is all too real, the inequities in our cities too severe, to allow the US to backslide to the status quo of car-dependence.

In Bicycle City: Riding the Bike Boom to a Brighter Future cycling expert Daniel Piatkowski argues that the bicycle is the best tool that we have to improve our cities. The car-free urban future--where cities are vibrant, with access to everything we need close by--may be less bike-centric than we think. But bikes are a crucial first step to getting Americans out of cars. Bicycle City is about making cities better with bikes rather than for bikes.

Piatkowski offers a vision for the car-free urban future that so many Americans are trying to create, with no shortage of pragmatic lessons to get there. Electric bikes are demonstrating the ability of bikes to replace cars in more places and for more people. Cargo bikes, with electric assistance, are replacing SUVs for families and delivery trucks for freight. At the same time, mobility startups are providing new ownership models to make these new bikes easier to use and own, ushering in a new era of pedal-powered cities.

Bicycle City brings together the latest research with interviews, anecdotes, and case studies from around the world to show readers how to harness the post-pandemic bikeboom. Piatkowski illustrates how the future of bicycling will facilitate the necessary urban transitions to mitigate the impending climate crisis and support just and equitable transport systems.


"If cycle tracks will abound in utopia, Daniel Piatkowski's optimistic-but-realistic roadmap offers the directions cities need not to make themselves better for bikes, but to make themselves better with bikes. Inspiring readers to think beyond the status quo, Bicycle City offers the tools we need to free ourselves and our communities from the car and chart a path to a fairer and brighter future." -- Melissa and Chris Bruntlett, authors of Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in our Lives

"Bicycle City is the book for city lovers, especially those that are disenchanted with the snail's pace of efforts to win back cities from the destructive vise grip of auto domination. Dan draws on his professional training, his eclectic interests, and his vast experience living in cities of all types to produce a book that is both highly accessible and really enjoyable. He offers hope that change is possible and lays out pragmatic steps for the type of actions that can be applied anywhere to make cities more equitable, more resilient, more ecologically sound and, most of all, more livable." -- Norman W. Garrick, Professor Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut

About the Author:

Dan Piatkowski is associate professor of Integrated Land Use and Transportation Planning at OsloMet-Oslo Metropolitan University. Before moving to Norway, Dan taught urban planning at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and at Savannah State University, and worked in planning in Colorado and New Mexico. He has authored many articles and co-authored the book Bicycling for Transportation: An Evidence-Base for Communities.