Bicycle Utopias : Imagining Fast and Slow Cycling Futures book cover
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Bicycle Utopias
Imagining Fast and Slow Cycling Futures





ISBN 9780367582241
Published June 29, 2020 by Routledge
218 Pages

 
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Book Description

Bicycle Utopias investigates the future of urban mobilities and post-car societies, arguing that the bicycle can become the nexus around which most human movement will revolve. Drawing on literature on post-car futures (Urry 2007; Dennis and Urry 2009), transition theory (Geels et al. 2012) and utopian studies (Levitas 2010, 2013), this book imagines a slow bicycle system as a necessary means to achieving more sustainable mobility futures.

The imagination of a slow bicycle system is done in three ways:







  • Scenario building to anticipate how cycling mobilities will look in the year 2050.






  • A critique of the system of automobility and of fast cycling futures.






  • An investigation of the cycling senses and sociabilities to describe the type of societies that such a slow bicycle system will enable.


Bicycle Utopias will appeal to students and scholars in fields such as sociology, mobilities studies, human geography and urban and transport studies. This work may also be of interest to advocates, activists and professionals in the domains of cycling and sustainable mobilities.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Prologue: Imagining a slow bicycle system



The new ‘structure of feeling’



The end of neoliberalism: embracing the slow



The urban form



Bike + train + cargo = love



Cycling as mobility policy



From subculture to culture



The bicycle economy and big data



Know-how and technology transfer



Innovations in bicycles and accessories



Broader societal and economic changes



Steps from 2016 to 2050



Chapter 2, Introduction: Tips of the cycling iceberg



Chapter 3: How to imagine biketopias



Utopia as method



Conclusions: Enacting the social



Chapter 4: Beyond autopia



The elephant in the city



From autopia to Carmageddon



Electric, autonomous, networked, shared



The mobility growth paradigm



Going car-free



Careless car-free?



Conclusions: Beyond cars, beyond growth



Chapter 5: Utopias, dystopias, biketopias



In praise of slowness



Early biketopias of modernity and progress



Fast cycling for urban regeneration and growth



Slow bicycle utopias



Mad Max on a bike



Convivial biketopias



Bike spaces of hope



Conclusions: A break from growth



Chapter 6: Senses



On growing pedals



Velomobility at a glance



Grow ears, awaken the whole body



Working the inner body: balance and movement



Pain festivities: ‘sufferfest’



How to achieve eurhythmia?



Conclusions: Flowing towards eudaimonia



Chapter 7: Sociabilities



Cycling as interaction order and sociable practice



The Ride-Formation



Swarm sociabilities



Conversation sociabilities



Carnivalesque sociabilities



Club sociabilities



The chain-gang



The accordion



Conclusions: Fluid Ride-Formations



Chapter 8: Slowness



Need for speed



Tactics of slowness



Affecting the slow



Slowness, sufficiency, de-growth



Conclusions: A norm of sufficiency



Chapter 9: Conclusions





 

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Author(s)

Biography

Cosmin Popan is Research Assistant in the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University

Reviews

 

What  might  an  urban  cycling  future  look  like?  This  book  makes  a  unique  contribution  to  the  sociology  of  mobilities  and  mobile  methods  with  a  critical  and  creative  examination  of  where  we are  and  where  we could  be.  Popan  questions  the  normative  dominance  of  ‘fast’  urban  mobilities,  namely  the  utopian  promise  of  the  car,  with  his  thorough  and  in-depth  analysis  of  ‘slow’ cycling  cultures.  This  timely  investigation  of  post-automobility  futures  challenges  the  reader  to  imagine  the  possibilities  of  different  sensory,  embodied  and  social  worlds.

Kat  Jungnickel,  Goldsmiths,  University  of  London,  author  of  Bikes  and  Bloomers:  Victorian  Women  Inventors  and  Their  Extraordinary  Cycle  Wear 

This book impressively explores so many dimensions of changing bicycle mobilities—among them economics, policy, cultural meaning, embodiment, identity, sociability, and technology—that it is a must-read. It is also a unique and forward-thinking book, weaving together innovative methods, critical analysis, and utopian thinking to envision a future ‘slow bicycle system,’ and, more importantly, the actions and changes necessary in the present to construct that future. Cosmin Popan is a sophisticated guide through these complicated issues, and one cannot but admire the ambition and accomplishment here.

Luis Vivanco, University of Vermont, author of Reconsidering the Bicycl