The second EPRC webinar of 2022 was held April 6th (11:00 – 12:00 UK) over Zoom. Dr Wilbert den Hoed – Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Barcelona, Spain – presented on the topic “Age-friendly cycling mobility: what is it and how can it benefit tourist cities?”.
Den Hoed shared insights from his new research project ENTOURAGE, which aims to address the combined urban challenges of population ageing and sustainable mobility. He described the potential of the Age-friendly City concept, which has been established in urban planning and policy to address the needs and preferences of all ages. Although transportation is among its key domains, recent urban mobility transformations do not always consider age-friendliness. In particular, while they are key to improving sustainable mobility and population health, active travel modes such as cycling receive limited attention as to how they may extend mobility opportunities in later life.
In response, den Hoed’s project develops the notion of age-friendly cycling and applies this novel concept to cities with large tourism economies. These cities face additional challenges of intense concentrations of visitor mobilities in space and time, and depend on long-haul, carbon-intensive travel. Based on research in three European tourist cities, the project explores the qualities of slow(er) mobilities, outlines the conditions for age-inclusive cycling mobility, and consults the experiences of both visitor and resident populations to inform socially inclusive urban transformations.
Wilbert den Hoed is an urban geographer with a core interest in mobility, ageing and urban sustainability. He works at the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) in Spain, where he is part of the research group Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies (GRATET). His research project ENTOURAGE examines urban mobility transformations in European tourist cities and their effects on the social inclusion of older residents and visitors. It combines mobilities, ageing and tourism studies to understand and tackle the negative effects of ‘overtourism’ and work towards an ‘age-friendly tourism’. In 2018, Wilbert obtained his PhD at Newcastle University, where his thesis focused on the role of urban cycling as facilitator of mobility, wellbeing, and positive ageing over the life course. Until 2021, Wilbert was a Research Associate at the European Policies Research Centre, based at Strathclyde University and Delft University of Technology. In various applied research projects, he studied urban and regional development policies and specialised in policy analysis on topics such as the energy transition, EU Cohesion Policy, national regional policy, and urban planning.
Future EPRC webinars will delve on topics of sustainability, regional policy and development. Please see the present schedule for this year here.