Stimulating urban cycling in Palma de Mallorca (Spain)

This MOBILITYACTION saw organisations including advocacy groups for children, cycling, and the disabled come together to develop an event to highlight cycling on the Spanish island of Mallorca. They were joined by the city of SantanyĆ­, which lies at the southern tip of the island.

One of the participating groups, La Veu dels Infants, had already carried out a study in SantanyĆ­ and the nearby town of Calonge. As well as finding that car traffic made pedestrians feel less secure and that pedestrian infrastructure was lacking, the study revealed that cycling was rare and usually practiced by older people. Parents tend to drive their children to school, even though journeys tend to be over short distances. There is also a lack of bus services in the area, so alternatives to car transport are not realistic for many residents.

To highlight the situation, the group decided to promote cycling in their community by organising a public cycling demonstration in Majorca's largest city. Among their long-term aims is to increase demand for cycle lanes in SantanyĆ­ and other cities on the island. To make cycling relevant to a wide audience, it was important to highlight aspects of cycling apart from environmental concerns. These included showing the benefits for city residents and for wider society. They also ensured that they had permission for the demonstration from the city.

The demonstration attracted around 65 participants, and the action attracted attention in local television and print media. The organisers made good use of social media such as Facebook, using it to communicate the reasons for the demonstration and its results.

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