EGU24-18514, updated on 11 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Modeling the Interplay between Urban Environmental Characteristics and Cyclist Route Preferences

Pranav Pandya1, Maider Llaguno-Munitxa1, Martin Edwards2, Emilie Lacroix2, and Gabriele Manoli3
Pranav Pandya et al.
  • 1Louvain Research Institute for Landscape, Architecture, Built Environment (LAB), University of Catholique Louvain (UCLouvain), Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium
  • 2Psychological Sciences Research Institute, University of Louvain (UCLouvain), Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium
  • 3Laboratory of Urban and Environmental Systems (URBES), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

As cities grapple with the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change, the Brussels Capital Region (BCR) stands at the forefront of fostering sustainable urban mobility, particularly through the development of cycling infrastructure aimed at bolstering public health and well-being. Policy initiatives implemented in BCR such as 'Good Move' and 'Ville 30' have acted as catalysts, prompting a paradigm shift towards specialized cycling lanes and facilities, thereby enhancing the safety and convenience of cycling as a viable transportation alternative. However, the growing recognition of urban heat stress and thermal discomfort as significant public health concerns, particularly for users of urban soft mobility means, highlights the pressing need for immediate and targeted interventions from urban stakeholders. While it is widely recognized that weather conditions, especially during very hot and cold days, influence cycling behavior, as do urban environmental features like the urban fabric and the presence of green infrastructure in a street, there remains a need to establish quantifiable metrics for assessing the impact of thermal comfort on cycling behavior. This study aims to address this gap, offering a nuanced examination of the cycling routes and cycling behavior of the BCR. We propose a multidisciplinary approach that integrates geospatial, psychological, and environmental sciences to examine the complex interplay between cycling path planning, urban design, micrometeorology, and thermal comfort. Data spanning from 2019 to 2022 has been sourced from multiple channels, including Brussel Mobility, Google Street View (GSV) with semantic image classification, Local Climate Zone (LCZ) maps, and meteorological stations. Geospatial data for Elsene and Etterbeek has been collected. The initial findings reveal that creating green pathways in urban areas can lessen heat stress and enhance comfort for cyclists. Moreover, cyclists are inclined to steer clear of extremely hot or cold weather conditions. Integrating urban microclimatological conditions into the framework of urban cycling design, this research aims to steer policy development towards creating urban soft mobility solutions that are more comfortable, climate-adaptive, and prioritize health considerations.

How to cite: Pandya, P., Llaguno-Munitxa, M., Edwards, M., Lacroix, E., and Manoli, G.: Modeling the Interplay between Urban Environmental Characteristics and Cyclist Route Preferences, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18514,, 2024.