Maud de Vries, Co-Founder and CEO of BYCS, introduces our 2021 Annual Report.
A core tenet of our organisation has always been to position the bicycle as the real zero-emissions vehicle that the world needs in the effort to curb climate change, improve societal health, and support more inclusive communities. Taking the 9 hour Climate Train from Amsterdam to Glasgow for COP26 was undoubtedly a highlight of 2021 that only reinforced this belief. Witnessing the global discussion around transport decarbonisation predominantly focusing on electric vehicles was at times frustrating, but overall energising, motivating us to continue to uphold cycling as an important solution in both policy and planning toolkits.
This year has been a year of growth and learning for BYCS in many ways. We remained busy while navigating the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, growing our presence in India and Latin America, publishing new research, increasing our editorial output, launching a new advocacy campaign, as well as developing our initiatives and partner networks around the world.
A landmark moment of 2021 was the establishment of our ANBI approved foundation, BYCS Global Foundation. This decision grounds our work and long term strategy in international social impact, which has always been our beacon, and aligns our ethos with our operational structure. To accompany this change, we engaged in new conversations with a wide array of stakeholders, from philanthropies, government bodies, municipalities, international NGOs, and of course, civil society stakeholders.
These discussions and new partnerships are already blooming, and we are delighted to embark on multiple, new international projects in 2022. Whether it is facilitating a new community of practice around inclusive cycling in Latin America, expanding our Bicycle Heroes youth programme in 3 European cities, launching multi-city pilot programmes for caregivers, deepening our programmes in India, or continuing our strategic consulting for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region, it’s going to be our busiest, most exciting, and impactful year yet.
As we look with optimism towards the many initiatives cities have continued to undertake to promote active transportation this year, as well as the inspiring work of many organisations around the world, we are keenly aware that the forms of moving that enable all people and our planet to thrive are still far from being prioritised around the world. Our current urban mobility paradigm still revolves around private automobility. Car-centric cities cater to the few, and contribute significantly to many of our greatest local and global challenges. This year, we are determined to continue engaging with urban stakeholders at multiple levels, initiating, supporting and strengthening efforts to position cycling as a means to achieve liveable, sustainable, resilient, and equitable cities. The evidence is finally emerging that an increased investment in cycling uptake behaviour change, will yield a much higher and more diverse ridership. This has always been our belief and we are excited to keep upholding inclusive cycling cultures.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our 2021 year report. We are proud of the work we’ve achieved, and the organisations we have worked with. Forming coalitions of partners guided by a common urban vision is essential to the success of our mission, and we are excited to continue building our ecosystem in 2022.
Maud de Vries, BYCS Co-Founder & CEO