Hoping, not coping; my Street Talk at the Movement for Liveable London

What do Barack Obama, Canadian bears, older women, gay rights campaigners and parking metres have in common?!

Last week it was my turn to present at Street Talks, and a host of you turned out to hear me and contribute to the debate about where London's cycling advocacy movement should go next.  Many thanks to all of you who took the time to take part and to pack out the pub - I never expected to see people sitting on the floor just to hear me trying to string together a link between all those disparate elements!

The good folks at the Movement for Liveable London recorded my talk so those of you who missed it can listen again (and indeed you can catch up on any of the Street Talks you may have missed, here)

The crux of my talk was this; with the cycle campaigning agenda changing so rapidly we need a new wave of advocacy, "Advocacy 2.0" if you like, to not only ensure we can face down any threat that may challenge cycling's forward progress but also to really take efforts to create conditions for mass cycling up a level.  This new face should be a united front of cycle campaigners, pedestrian campaigners, clean air activists, childhood freedom lobbyists and public transport advocates.  Instead of many small voices speaking out against a common enemy, we should join together to create a large voice that the pubic can engage with - not just cyclists - and which political leaders can't ignore.  We explored how the built environment creates inequality and excludes people, and how our approach to coping with this environment as cyclists excludes people too.  Lastly, I touched on why the very campaigns we choose and each of their messages are so crucial if we want enough people to care about creating change - and to have an effect at a political level.

There was some great debate after the talk which isn't on the recording here, but I'm really interested to know - do you think cycle campaigning has changed in recent years, and where do you think it should go next?

Share |


Anonymous said...

Very confusing advert. Cycling towards and equal mark city ames ibikelondon. I just assumed you'd misspelled "aims" as "ames", but then it still didn't make sense. Eventually I deciphered it...something you probably shouldn't have to do.

Phil said...

I don't attend talks or campaign however I made an exception one night and heard Mark speak.

It really changed my view and showed me what was possible. Holland & Denmark were as backward as we are in terms of road design in the 1970s. But 100,000's of people took to the streets and made politicians change that.

Couldn't happen hear...well 10,000 cyclists took to te streets in London this year.

ibikelondon said...

@Anonymous Sorry if you found the typography of the first slide of the entire presentation confusing. The idea of the slide is to make people look at things in a slightly strange and thought-provoking way - much like the rest of the presentation! As for my surname, well, you get used to it after a while.

@Phil Thanks for your kind comments. Dreaming big is my specialty!

Paul said...

Speaking as a teacher I though that was a brilliant presentation. Perhaps not totally fair, despite being over 60 I can cycle most places, but I agree that to get more people cycling you need to improve conditions.