World Bicycle Day on 3 June 2023 celebrates the bicycle as a simple, affordable, reliable, clean, healthy, environmentally friendly and sustainable means of transport. As demonstrated through initiatives such as #BikesForUkraine, the bicycle can enable access to health care, education and other social services for the most vulnerable populations, as well as contribute to cleaner air, less congestion and economic growth.
At all ages, the benefits of being physically active outweigh the potential harm, for example through accidents. Walking and cycling can reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes, certain cancers, diabetes, and even death. According to the World Health Organisation, safe infrastructure for walking and cycling is a cost-effective transport mode and can contribute to greater health equality for the poorest urban residents, who cannot afford the use of a private vehicle.
In the fight against climate change, a sustainable transport system is critical to achieving the United Nation's (UN's) Sustainable Development Goals. Meeting the needs of people who walk and cycle will continue to be a critical part of the urban mobility solutions to help cities de-couple population growth from increased emissions, improve air quality and reduce congestion. The COVID-19 pandemic led many cities to rethink their transport systems and improve road safety, including by taking measures to support cycling.
Acknowledging the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been used for two centuries, the UN General Assembly decided to declare 3 June each year 'World Bicycle Day'. On this day, the General Assembly encourages initiatives to organise bicycle rides at the national and local levels, as a means of strengthening physical and mental health and well-being, whilst tackling climate change, and developing a culture of cycling in society.
Article first published on www.un.org.
Photo Credit: © Gustafsson / Westend61 on Offset/ Shutterstock.com - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.