Ageing, mobility and translations: everyday experiences of inclusive urban cycling in the UK and the Netherlands.

Wilbert Den Hoed, Helen Jarvis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


Active forms of transport improve public health and reduce travel costs, pollution and congestion. At the same time, the urban landscape is characterised by an ageing population, as people live longer and often ‘age in place’. This paper intends to bring the domains of ageing and active travel together by highlighting the transport mode of cycling within wider age-friendly mobility. The age-friendly discourse is materialised through the case of everyday cycling mobility, as an inclusive approach to all ages and abilities uplifts overall mobility practices and relieves age-related issues. From this perspective, cycling opens up mobility and wellbeing opportunities that extend to the social aspects of participation and inclusion as well as the embodied experience of outdoor space and the wider environment. This paper employs research methods that are rooted in the mobility turn and associated mobile accounts of everyday mobility and is based on in-depth multi-method engagement with older people in both Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. The combination of objective recordings, dynamic mobile interactions and individual biographies finds that the everyday experience of cycling is by definition shaped by the ageing process and the wider lifecourse, characterised by individual mobility negotiations, rhythms and disruptions. A more nuanced appreciation of ‘normalisation’ of cycling, as present in the the Dutch case, serves as a basic ingredient for effective ‘translation’ of the observed social and environmental cycling infrastructure in the UK, and shows how initiatives promoting cycling in the British context may avoid exclusionary processes and strengthen interdependent mobilities. Ultimately, it applies the Age-Friendly City (AFC) agenda by linking older people's transportation to social processes, wellbeing and quality of the urban space and challenges common interpretations of Dutch cycling and re-creation of 'Dutch' environments elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScientists for Cycling Colloquium
Subtitle of host publication12 June 2017 Nijmegen
Place of PublicationNijmegen
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventVelo-City ‘Scientists for Cycling’ Colloquium - Nijmegen, Netherlands
Duration: 12 Jun 2017 → …


ConferenceVelo-City ‘Scientists for Cycling’ Colloquium
Period12/06/17 → …


  • urban cycling
  • Netherlands
  • UK
  • everyday experiences


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