13 Sep 2018

This is the third part of our series from 2017 Walter Dickie Leadership Bursary winner Steve Brooks, National Director of Sustrans Cymru. In this blog he talks about what he learnt on the Copenhagenize course in Denmark, and how city leaders can promote sustainable transport in their cities.

bikes OG

I came out in Copenhagen and it was liberating.  

I'm not a cyclist. There, I said it.  Mikael Colville-Andersen said it to me, and I said it back to him.  Mikael is an urban designer and mobility expert and the founder CEO of the  Copenhagenize Design Company.  Mikael is an example of a social-entrepreneur who's identified a social problem and is working to fix it, albeit in the private sector. 

Clearly, in one sense I am a cyclist.  I work for  Sustrans, I have a shed full of bikes and virtually every pair of trousers I own has stubborn oil and dirt marks around the ankles.   But in another sense, I am not a cyclist. Cycling is something I do, rather than something I am.  Lots of people cycle for sport or leisure, and sometimes I do; but most of my trips on a bike are for practical purposes like commuting to work or traveling to meetings. 

Mikael drew a parallel with the vacuum cleaner.  Most of us own one and use one regularly, yet we wouldn't describe ourselves as a 'vacuumists'.  It's just one of several machines we use to make our lives easier.

Keep reading on the WCVA blog