The Italian draft recovery plan envisages thousands of kilometers of new cycling tracks which would massively increase the quality of urban life.
In a nutshell:
- Road transport is responsible for heavy air pollution in cities
- Increasing number of Italians use bikes as a means of daily transport, particularly during the pandemic
- The expansion of cycling infrastructure could help the healthy recovery of people and cities
Italy’s Recovery plan could allocate more resources to the construction, enhancement and maintenance of cycling networks at the urban, metropolitan, regional, and national level. The measure could have both touristic and recreational scopes, facilitate daily travel and intermodality, and ensure safer and healthier cities, thereby improving the wellbeing of citizens.
This is especially an important step, as more Italians are starting to use bikes as a means of daily transport. According to Eco-Counter, the use of bicycles increased by 27.5% during the pandemic , while other estimates suggest that with adequate infrastructure the number of citizens using their bike as the main mobility tool could increase from 2 million to 6 million.
It is thus very welcome that a draft proposal of the Italian RRP provides resources for (i) the construction of 1.000 km of urban and metropolitan cycle paths and (ii) the construction of 1.626 km of tourist cycle paths.
This proposed measure proves that recovery resources can contribute to sustainable and forward-looking mobility solutions. At the same time Italy should push ever harder for a better integration of sustainable mobility, amining for 5.000 km of urban and 10.000 km touristic bike lanes.
Italian draft National Recovery and Resilience Plan (2021)
Legambiente (2021), Per un’Italia più verde, innovativa e inclusiva. Il PNRR che serve al Paese
Sole 24 Ore (2021). La bicicletta al centro della mobilità sostenibile: due osservatori per sviluppare le potenzialità
Eco-counter (2021). Looking back on the 2020 cycling boom – digging into the bike count data