Making Cycling Spaces in Hilly Cities


Traffic congestion and environmental pollution in cities have stimulated the rise of policies to encourage practices of less polluting, and more economic and healthier modes of transportation, such as cycling. Several factors influence bicycle use, including the steep gradients which can limit it use, but do not completely prevent it. In this context, urban planning and transport engineering play a key role in promoting cycling, with particular emphasis on the definition and design of cycling networks at hilly cities, according to the citizens’ needs on their daily commutes. To address this challenge, this paper describes the starting developments and the methodological approach of a doctoral research having the following goals: to define the data to be considered in feasibility studies of designing cycling mode in hilly cities; to develop a bicycle suitability model based on demographic, travel-generating poles, type of bicycles (regular vs. electric) and road network criteria; to develop a model to support the definition of cycling network based on connectivity, network intersections, integration with other modes of transportation, parking and safety; and to define a procedure for assessing solutions and define cycling routes hierarchy, having as case study the hilly city of Covilhã, at Serra da Estrela mountain.

[1] A. Virtudes, A. Debicka, L. Janik, M. Barwinska, N. Choinacka, A. Carriço, IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environment Science, Soft mobility as an urban design solution for river banks, 221 (2019).

[2] A. Virtudes, H. Azevedo, A. Abbara, J. Sá, IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering, Soft mobility as a smart condition in a mountain city, 245 (2017).

[3] J. DeKoster, U. Schollaert, Cycling: the way ahead for towns and cities, European Communities, 11 (1999).

[4] N. Schaap, L. Harms, M. Kansen, Cycling and walking: the grease in our mobility chain (Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis, 2016).

[5] 6t-bureau de recherché, The E-Bike: a New Metropolitan Mode? Data on e-bike uses and users based on 6t´s mobility panel (Paris, 2015).

[6] ETSC - European Transport Safety Council, EUROCITIES. EU Cycling Strategy, vol. 22 (2017).

[7] F. Rudolph, Analysing the impact of walking and cycling on urban road performance: a conceptual framework (FLOW project) (Brussels, 2017).

[8] IMTT – Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes Terrestres, I.P. Rede Ciclável, Princípios de Planeamento e Desenho (2011).

[9] P. Bourke, S. Hodge, The Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation (Web site), https://www.

[10] Presidence du Conseil de L´Union Européene, Le Gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, Ministère di Développement Durable et des Infrastructures, Declaration on Cycling as a climate friendly Transport Mode (2015).

[11] P. de Sousa, Análise de Fatores que influem no uso da bicicleta para fins de planejamento cicloviário (Universidade de São Paulo, Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos, 2012).

[12] American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officiais (AASHTO), Guide for the development of bicycle facilities (Washington, 1999).

[13] American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officiais (AASHTO), Guide for the development of bicycle facilities, 4th ed. (Washington, 2012).

[14] N. Sousa, A.E. Gonçalves, J. Coutinho-Rodrigues, Energy for Sustainability International Conference 2017/ Designing Cities & Communities for the Future, Pedelec on a hilly city: A case study in Coimbra (Funchal, 2017).

[15] S. Passos, Instrumento de apoio à criação de um mapa de potencial ciclável da rede viária com recurso a SIG (Departamento de Engenharia Civil e Arquitetura, Universidade da Beira Interior, 2018).

[16] G. Rybarczyk, C. Wu, Applied Geography, Bicycle facility planning using GIS and multi-criteria decision analysis, 30, issue 2, pp. 282-293 (2010).

[17] A. Sousa, B. Santos, J. Gonçalves, IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering, Pedestrian Environment Quality Assessment in Portuguese Medium-Sized Cities, 471 (2019).

[18] A. Tomé, B. Santos, C. Carvalheira, IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering, GIS-Based Transport Accessibility Analysis to Community Facilities in Mid-Sized Cities, 471 (2019).

[19] P. Morais, Os SIG no processo de criação de instrumentos de apoio à decisão – O Mapa de Potencial Pedonal de Lisboa, (Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território, Universidade de Lisboa, 2013).

[20] A. Mohammad, R. Fauzi, R. Muhamad, Saudi Journal of Biological Science, Geographic Information System (GIS) modeling approach to determine the fasted delivery routes, 23, issue 5, pp. 555-564 (2016).

[21] P. Ryan, Cycle network and route planning guide, (2004).

[22] FHWA, The bicycle compatibility index: a level of service concept, final report and implementation manual, FHWA-RD-98-095 (1998).

[23] Transportation Research Board (TRB), Highway Capacity Manual: A Guide for Multimodal Mobility Analysis, 6th ed. (2016).