My name is Luca Simeone and I am the director of the Napoli Bike Festival. I am very passionate about cycling. I simply love it! I like many kinds of cycling experiences from mountain bikes to road bikes, gravel, and vintage bikes. My cargo bike was the first in Naples and I use it to reach my office every day as well as to drive my daughters to their school. During the past 20 years within the cycling mobility, I had the opportunity to play different roles, both from the institutional and NGOs side. These experiences gave me the ability to analyse problems from different perspectives and views for a better solution.
Cycling is a tool for societal change in the direction of easy and sustainability solutions. And Naples could only benefit from a change in this direction. What is needed is a paradigm shift to the cycling culture and the first step would be to see more people reaching their daily activities on a bicycle. I think that by legitimising this mean of transportation as fast, cheap, and enjoyable we could promote a behavioural change. I also think that it is important to spread a positive narrative regarding cycling by giving each of us the good example, in other terms, be the change that you want to see!
What are your plans as Bicycle Mayor?
Naples is a very colourful, charming but also very complex city. Naples has about one million of inhabitants that lives in a rather small area with a very high population density. The city is characterised by high level of unemployment and poverty. Therefore, the possibility to give a new opportunity of mobility by bikes and micro mobilities could help and benefit especially the most vulnerable of our society. Indeed, my motivation in working in this field is driven by the will to create a positive impact (especially financially) for this targeted group living in our city as well as in the suburbs.
One of my key goals is to make cycling better, safer, and more available for children and commuters in Naples. In Naples the quality of life for children is very low and there is also a rather high level of obesity among children from 5-10 years old. One project is that of creating “school streets” which are thought as protected area outside some selected schools. This will eventually encourage more people/children to use the bike to go to school. The commuters are also among my targeted group. I think that everyone who decides to use the “bike to work” activity has the potential to become an “influencer” and so convince/attract more people to use the bike to go to work.