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UN Organisations Recognise Potential of Cycling in High-Level Report

Industry- & Retail Organizations

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Up to 435,000 additional jobs might be created if 56 major cities had the same cycling modal share as Copenhagen. This is evidenced by a publication from the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

UN Organisations Recognise Potential of Cycling in High-Level Report
More cycling brings lots of additional jobs is shown by a growing number of research reports. – Photo Bike Europe

Adding to a growing body of research on the economic benefits of cycling, the joint report published by the three named authoritative world bodies looked at jobs linked to cycling in 56 major cities of the pan-European region, comprising Europe and the CIS Member States of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Data collected from 37 cities

The team of researchers showed that cycling creates jobs in areas as diverse as design and manufacture, wholesale, retail and repair, tourism, and services (messengers and bike rental). They based their estimates on data collected from 37 cities using a standardised approach in the pan-European region.

Other key findings

Besides calculating the number of jobs that could be created, the report presents some other important key findings:

  • Investing in cycling increases the number of cycling-related jobs
  • More cycling creates new types of jobs
  • Public authorities play a major role in creating green jobs related to cycling

Sustainable development goals

Policy recommendations include a range of fields that European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) is actively working on: the integration of cycling into broader urban transport systems, monitoring cycling activity to inform future decision-making, effectively collecting and using information on the employment benefits of cycling, understanding the contribution of cycling to tourism and positioning cycling as a means of achieving multiple sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The study by the three world bodies also states that further research into the relationship between cycling jobs and modal share would greatly be facilitated by better and more consistent data collection.

Earlier ECF findings

The new report, with its focus on cities, complements and confirms earlier findings from the ECF study “Cycling works: Jobs and Job Creation in the European Cycling Economy”, which notably found that 650,000 jobs are linked to cycling in the EU as a whole already today and that more than 400 000 new jobs could be created if the modal share of cycling doubled.

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