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Book aims to ‘normalise’ cycling in cities for children


The Magnificent Story of the CyclePlanet is a new book which promotes cycling for children as an essential element to creating ‘more human-centric cities’.

It’s the result of a collaboration between the Amsterdam-based social BYCS, a social enterprise which promotes cycling, and Mariana Salvador, activist for sustainable mobility and the Bicycle Mayor of Santa Fe in Argentina.

Available as a downloadable e-book, the story’s aim is to normalise cycling as an every-day means of travel for young children, and focuses on a series of key themes related to personal mobility and its role in developing cities that are created with people in mind; cities which are safer, have cleaner air, are more playful, a sense of community and more accessible public, green spaces.

Dedicating the book to her daughter Antonia and ‘all the children of the world’, Mariana writes: “This book was inspired by the need to show that there is another way of living, different from the extractive development system that alienates us from our essence and destroys the planet. A way of living in harmony with nature, with our body and spirit or however they call it in the rest of the universe.”

‘Cycling is advantageous for the city’

The book says that prioritising cycling, especially for children and their caregivers, is ‘advantageous for the city, due to its health benefits and its contribution to reducing health problems, inequality and pollution’. These benefits, it adds, include:

  • enabling greater connections between children and their caregivers
  • supporting good cognitive development, spatial and environmental awareness in children
  • increases children’s and caregivers’ connections with the community
  • helping ensure that children who start cycling early in life are less likely to become inactive

The book was launched at the recent World Bicycle Forum in the Argentinian city of Rosario, and is available in English and Spanish (under the title ‘Cicloplaneta’).

Click here for more on the work of BYCS, including a partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation highlighting how the importance of cycling to children’s health and well-being should be a core part of urban planning. 

Author: Simon Weedy

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