Creating inclusive recreational and commuter cycling communities one bicycle lesson at a time. Philippe Dagher is a successful entrepreneur and nature lover, always striving to implement solutions for a clean and healthy city. Being one of the first people to ride his bike in a suit, he has successfully convinced friends and employees to start riding bikes as well. He believes that cycling is just as safe as walking, as long as you ride responsibly. In no more than seven years, he hopes to see a Lebanese capital that holds 50 percent fewer motor vehicles than today. His aims for Beirut are to encourage more cyclists in the city and improve cycling infrastructure at the same time. For Philippe urban cycling is not just necessary, but also highly practical and liberating. Despite of the chaotic traffic and lacking infrastructure, 17 years ago he learned that biking worked well and that all he needed was a bike; for exercise, mobility and commuting.
What is your mission?
My mission is to make Beirut a healthier city to live and grow in. By substantially growing the number of bikers in Beirut, I intend to make this city more pleasant and attractive and functional to residents and visitors.
What challenges do you face?
→ People’s reluctance to start biking in a harsh car-centric environment.
→The government’s lack of awareness of the actual problem ( pollution, congestions, chaos) and lack of willingness to adapt the city to soft mobility and public transportation.
What is your next step?
→ The first things I’ll do in Beirut is organize a public films screening at Sursock museum to create public awareness among the public decision makers.
→ I also want to work with the Beirut municipality to set up some dedicated bicycle lanes and come up with a long term vision for cycling in Beirut.
Would you like to have a Bicycle Mayor in your city too?