Greening the Islands Foundation

The role of bicycle between regeneration, sustainability, and usability of territories

The ongoing change involving all sectors can be identified and defined as ecological humanism, a period in which man gradually becomes more of an actor and less of a spectator, acquiring more awareness and responsibility towards the planet he inhabits.

The principles of regeneration, usability of territories and sustainability refer to environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects. These three dimensions are part of living and visiting a territory responsibly, promoting social integration, protecting the natural and cultural heritage, and preserving biodiversity. Principles that become vitally important on islands of all latitudes.

The bicycle can be, and increasingly is becoming, the key to this transition, generating concrete actions and results where it is applied. From sustainable mobility to tourism, the bicycle is the common element for those already living in a place and for those visiting and discovering it for the first time. The bicycle allows you to see like a magnifying glass, with a slow pace to tell the story of a place, the transformations, the wealth or poverty, but also to see and improve what is missing in terms of services and infrastructure.

The bicycle is an ecosystem of contaminations: when it is the protagonist of sustainable mobility with its economy, it brings value and quality of life, and when it is the protagonist of travel and recreation, it becomes an ideal connector between nature, art, food and wine, fostering involvement and encounters with local communities.

As far as mobility is concerned, some islands have begun to promote the use of two-wheelers by educating citizens with important measures. Transforming historic and urban centres into extensive LTZ (Limited Traffic Zones) areas, or instituting ’30 zones’ by reducing the speed limit to reduce accidents but also to demonstrate the temporal and economic convenience of travelling home-school and home-work routes by bicycle, perhaps electrically.

Good practices come from Barbados Island, working to become the first zero-emission country by 2030, investing in electric buses and promoting car sharing and bicycle rental to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Or from Yakushima Island, famous for its sustainable mobility through the use of electric buses powered by hydropower. In addition, the island promotes car sharing and encourages visitors to explore on foot or by bicycle.

These actions are essential to address the challenges of sustainable mobility on the islands, to preserve the environment and to improve the quality of life for island communities. Collaborations and partnerships allow working in cooperation with environmental organisations, public institutions, and the private sector to develop sustainable mobility solutions tailored to the needs of each island.

Silvia Livoni

Silvia Livoni

On Key

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