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Promoting cycling for everyone as daily transport mode (PRESTO)

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Cycling is the most energy efficient urban transport mode with a high potential to reduce energy consumption and to enhance the liveability of European cities. However, most of this potential still has to be activated. Cycling is already a "serious" transport mode in some countries (e.g. Netherlands and Denmark). But it can also become a high impact measure to foster energy-efficient transport patterns in countries without a real "cycling culture". PRESTO contributed to effectively activate this potential! PRESTO aimed to improve energy efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution by increasing the modal share of cycling. It also aimed at increasing traffic safety and at improving public health by promoting physical activity. The project transfered the best European know-how on three thematic pillars: - Infrastructure Planning, developing sound plans for better and safer cycling conditions - Promotional "soft measures", changing people’s minds towards a real "cycling culture" - Promotion of pedelecs, enabling and encouraging cycling among "sleeping" target groups, which usually would not cycle (e.g. elderly, business people, people seeking comfort).


  • PRESTO has prepared four policy guides, "Giving Cycling a Push": 1) General Cycling Framework; 2) Cycling Infrastructure (covering among others the riding bicycle, the standing bicycle and interchanges), 3) Promotion of Cycling (covering benefits, messages, approaches and evaluation); 4) Electric Bicycles (covering user groups, the market, opportunities). In addition, 25 facts sheets have been prepared, giving concrete implementation advice (available in EN, DE, IT, FR, CS, PL)
  • Infrastructure: Within PRESTO, the cities are developing infrastructure implementation plans covering lane networks and bicycle parking. The plans will be the basis for establishing a real cycling culture in the cities. The Process is ongoing; the thematic leader L&P is giving advice to the partner cities.
  • Promotion: Several promotional activities are taking place in all PRESTO cities. The measures will improve the image of cycling and show that cycling is fancy, healthy, and good for shape. Through all these activities, PRESTO also expects to create a demand for a new, healthy cycling lifestyle.
  • Pedelecs: Within the scope of PRESTO, pedelecs (bicycles with an attached motor that assists pedalling) will be demonstrated at several events in each partner city. Citizens will get the chance to test pedelecs and thus to see for themselves the advantages and the range of application of such electric bicycles. This should affect the market of sustainable and energy-efficient e-mobility.
  • E-learning: Through modularised on-site training sessions and e-learning classes, interested stakeholders will be trained by selected experts and will gain knowledge on different cycling issues and policies. A professional e-learning product will be available by the end of the project’s lifetime for all interested European stakeholders.

Lessons learned

  • Even the most appealing local activities can have problems, but obligations to PRESTO have given continuity to work on local issues and served as a catalyst to get certain work back on track;
  • The approach and understanding required to develop and foster a cycling culture differs depending on whether a city is a starter, climber or champion cycling city. It makes no sense to send a Dutch expert to a Poland or Croatia if the expert is trying to impose Dutch experiences on them;
  • Exchange between cities on common problems greatly benefits technicians, who are the most difficult people to involve. They get the opportunity to speak to like-minded people and can more easily take-up each other’s experiences.

Partners and coordinator

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Rupprecht Consult - Forschung & Beratung GmbH
Contact point: 
Siegfried Rupprecht, Matthias Fiedler
+49 221 60 60 55 22
Mr. Siegfried Rupprecht
Dr Susanne Boehler-Baedecker
+49 221 606055-14
Wolfgang Backhaus
+49 221 60 60 55 - 19


Key documents

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In brief

01/05/2009 to 31/01/2012
Contract number: 

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