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Europe’s bicycle workshops as contributors to community economies and sustainable urban transport

Research output: Other contribution



Bike workshops or ateliers vélo are examples of urban sustainability ‘in action’. Not-for-profit in orientation, they rely on voluntary labour, and cheap or free premises, to provide an
‘urban commons’ where people source parts and learn to fix up a working bicycle, aided by volunteers. Dead bikes and bits are salvaged and brought back to life on city streets.
I studied several workshops in Brussels in 2015. This is summary report published by the funders. Workshops were found to offer local economic and social benefits, in terms of transportation and as part of community economies, acting as hubs for social links and actions. Workshops aim towards vélonomie – bicycle autonomy, people that can ride and maintain their own machine. This is their contribution to more sustainable and alternative transport, and also to community solidarity.

Bibliographic note

A final report. http://urbanstudies.brussels/sites/bcus.be/files/Urban%20Traces%20report_Simon%20Batterbury.pdf