This CityLab workshop 'A Multi-Perspective Take on Advancing Cargo Bike Ownership for an Inclusive and Progressive Society' took place in Cork as part of the Socio-Cycling Symposium in February 2023.
University College Cork
UCC Centre for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning
The benefits of cycling for the environment and society are well documented (Masterson and Phillips, 2022; Garrard et al, 2021; Chatterjee et al, 2019). In recent years, there has been an upward trend of cargo bike ownership as families, business owners, and individuals see cargo bikes as a viable alternative to car ownership (Carracedo and Mostofi, 2022; Vasiutina et al., 2021). Cargo bikes are embraced for their functional capacity but also because they are fun. These benefits are largely untapped and there are many limitations to cargo bike ownership in Ireland that need attention.
This participatory workshop was led and facilitated by Dr Ruth Hally (UCC Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning) and brought the experience and perspectives of four cargo bike owners to inform a discussion with diverse stakeholders to explore how we can advance the policy landscape and societal attitudes to cargo bike ownership in Ireland.
Tom Hennessy - Tom’s cargo bike has allowed his family to remain a one car family with all the environmental, health and financial benefits attached. The topic of cycling safety and infrastructure will be central to Tom’s discussion as well as the fun side of cargo bike use. He will also provide a brief history of his transition to a utility cyclist as well as details on his cycling advocacy activities in Cork and beyond.
Orla Burke - Orla doesn't drive and has significant health impairments that limit her ability to walk and recover from walking. When Orla was pregnant with her second child, she realized she could not face navigating the damaged and obstructed paths in Cork City with 3-year-old and a newborn. She had become increasingly isolated as a parent of one toddler but knew this would only get worse with a small baby. She discovered bikes that could carry kids and all their gear. Her Urban Arrow cargo bike changed her whole experience of parenting as a disabled person.
Ann Njeri Njuguna - Ann describes her long tail e-cargo bike as essential. She shares her bike with her daughter’s father and they drop their daughter to school on the bike every day. Neither of them own cars and if Ann didn’t have her e-cargo bike she would have to choose between her job or her daughter’s school. Recent health issues have put into perspective just how important her bike is to her family.
Robert O’Riordan - Known as the Irish Bikesmith, Robbie is a cargo bike expert and enthusiast. He believes cargo bikes can play a role in tackling environmental and health issues. Robbie will provide a brief history of cargo bikes including their recent rise in popularity as well as some pointers for purchasing and optimizing your cargo bike.
Participant's were also introduced to the opportunity for trans-national exchange with partners from the UNIC Alliance and were shown this video providing a brief insight into cycling in Oulu.
The Socio-Cycling Symposium was organised by Socio-Cycle - a research partnership between UCC researchers, Cork Cycling Campaign and the Cork Environmental Forum.
Urban resilience and transformation