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Copenhagen is a Realistic Model for Green Transportation - Author Reading

Thursday, June 20, 2019
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Type:
The Green Arcade
Location Details:
The Green Arcade
1680 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

We are in climate emergency and cities around the world (including San Francisco) are struggling to find solutions. Copenhagen is often looked upon as a hopeful model because of its extensive bicycle system (29 percent of all trips are made by bicycle) and Copenhagen has a well-deserved reputation with impressive green mobility metrics. Yet in California and in cities and regions around the world naysayers dismiss comparisons with Copenhagen. With only superficial knowledge they claim that we cannot have high rates of cycling or good public transit because we are different and Copenhagen is too unusual or special.

This is not true. In Street Fights in Copenhagen: Bicycle and Car Politics in a Green Mobility City, Jason Henderson and Natalie Gulsrud argue that Copenhagen’s politics of mobility is more, not less, like most cities around the world. They show how in Copenhagen political debates over bicycle lanes, car parking, congestion pricing and new road building are remarkably similar to debates in California and worldwide. Crosscutting these debates are geographically transcendent political ideologies such as left-progressive, neoliberalism, and right-conservative. These political ideologies come with competing conceptualizations about bicycles and cars, and they appear in almost every major city worldwide.

Street Fights in Copenhagen shows that there is an incredible potential for green mobility by shifting many urban trips from the car to the bicycle, but becoming a bicycle city is a deeply political pursuit. Understanding the political project that made Copenhagen a green mobility inspiration will help situate and inspire those interested in decarbonizing our transportation system and making cities livable and equitable. This book offers hope and critical insights into how this might be achieved in most places around the world. The book will especially appeal anyone contemplating what a “Green New Deal” might look like, as well as anyone interested in city planning, urban transportation, urban studies and the environment.

Jason Henderson is Professor of Geography & Environment at San Francisco State University. Natalie Gulsrud is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen.
Added to the calendar on Wed, Jun 5, 2019 4:20PM
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