Event brings together speakers including the men responsible for traffic in London and Copehagen

A free symposium taking place in London this Friday will explore how the Danes have managed to encourage cycling over the past four decades and what lessons from Copenhagen can be applied to London to ensure that more journeys are made by bike.

The symposium, which takes place at the Covent Garden premises of New London Architecture, brings together speakers including Ben Plowden, director of surface transport at Transport for London, and his counterpart in Copenhagen, Niels Tørsløv, director of traffic for the Danish capital’s council.

Mark Ames of the I Bike London blog will be among those hosting workshops as part of the event, which is called Living Suburbs - Getting to Copenhagen and is organised by the London Borough of Ealing in partnership with urban design and sustainability experts URBED and the TEN Group of senior local government officers in London.

The event’s page on the NLA website makes the observation that “Britain has long been the land of the railway and the car, with a deeply entrenched attitude that cycling is for either the poor or the fanatically fit,” before asking, “How much more liveable would London’s suburbs be if cycling were mainstream, as it is in Scandinavia and the Netherlands?

“A series of speakers, including Danish representatives, will share their experience with practitioners and policy makers in London and a number of workshops will compare approaches, and agree what action needs to be taken.”

Sponsors of the event include the Danish Embassy to the UK, and while attendance is free, registration is required, which you can do by following this link.

Recently, cycling experts from the Netherlands held a series of Love Cycling, Go Dutch conferences in the UK, visiting Bristol, Glasgow, London and Manchester to outline how urban planners there managed to achieve spectacular growth in cycling from the 1970s onwards, and how the Dutch experience could be translate to the UK. A report on the Manchester session is on the British Cycling website.

Living Suburbs: Getting to Copenhagen
NLA, The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC!E 7BT

Friday 30 November, 0900-1300, registration open from 0830

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


phax71 [288 posts] 5 years ago

Could it be anything to do with the fact that the Danes are generally a progressive, intelligent people whereas as the Brits can be a very smallminded, short termist people ..

G-bitch [328 posts] 5 years ago
phax71 wrote:

Could it be anything to do with the fact that the Danes are generally a progressive, intelligent people whereas as the Brits can be a very smallminded, short termist people ..

Yes of course - that must be why the extreme right parties over there are considerably larger and more powerful than our own pitiful pretenders like the BNP  7

There's a plethora of reasoning which covers local/national governance structure and policy decisions dating over 40+ years - there are no short/succinct explanations.

I'm glad that the Danes are getting involved like this as they do not have the 'total segregation' approach like the Dutch, so the kinds of measures they have in place are probably slightly more achievable from a UK city perspective.

dullard [140 posts] 5 years ago

Well, we could translate it by killing off, say, 55 million people in the UK so we match the overall Danish population or get down to their population density of 130 per sq km against UK's 257. London would obviously need some disproportionate culling with its current 4760 per sq km, but hey, whatever's needed to make us Danes.