THE ACT OF (FUTURE) CYCLING IN VIRTUAL REALITY – TESTING URBAN DESIGNS AND RESEARCHING THE EMBODIED EXPERIENCE AND WELL-BEING OF CYCLISTS



THE ACT OF (FUTURE) CYCLING IN VIRTUAL REALITY – TESTING URBAN DESIGNS AND RESEARCHING THE EMBODIED EXPERIENCE AND WELL-BEING OF CYCLISTS

Authors

Joost De Kruijf, Utrecht University & NHTV University of Applied Sciences, Geert De Leeuw, University of Applied Sciences

Description

Cycle SPACES, a VR-bicycle simulator for testing urban designs and serves multiple research purposes related to the act of cycling, embodied experiences and the satisfaction with travel as part of well-being of cyclists.

Abstract

CHANGING DYNAMICS IN CYCLING
Cities need to ensure and improve accessibility in a durable and attractive way. Walking and cycling are seen as key principles in healthy urban living. Vital people, liveable environments and sustainable cities can come one step closer when walking and cycling have a more rightful place in our urban mobility systems.

The designs of bicycle paths are usually minimal to the demands of its users. In a situation in which the number of cyclists (utilitarian and recreational) increases the situation becomes alarming. When speed, mass and skill differences on the bicycle path become more diverse the situation quickly become dangerous and inexcusable in the little space available. The effects of the rapid increase in the number of E-bikes (25 km/h) and the development of speed pedelecs (45 km/h) on the act of (urban) cycling and the well-being of cyclists are unclear. Standardized design guidelines for (new) infrastructure often prescribe the five leading principles: coherence, directness, comfort, safety en attractiveness. Are the bicycle paths currently developed ready for the cyclists and bicycles of tomorrow?

This paper describes the dynamics of urban cycling and explores the opportunities of ex-ante evaluation of urban designs in which (future) cycling and the satisfaction with travel as part of well-being of cyclists are more evenly integrated.

CYCLE SPACES

Cycle SPACES (Cycle SPatial Context Experiences Simulator) is a Virtual Reality simulator in which different scenarios can be tested while the user of the simulator is fully immersed in the virtual world1). Questionnaires and measuring equipment can be linked to the set-up for research purposes. The set-up is shown below2). Cycle SPACES will be linked to the Phd-research to spatial quality and green landscapes and sceneries of Robert van Dongen (Technical University of Eindhoven) as well as the Phd-research to the expected and actual appreciation of bicycle trips in relation to the spatial context and subjective well-being of Joost de Kruijf (Utrecht University).

Publisher

Association for European Transport