Cycling Cities: The Munich Experience

Adri Albert de la Bruheze, Ruth Oldenziel

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic


Munich has embraced cycling as a positive policy instrument, even taking on the mantle of Germany's cycling capital (Radlhauptstadt) in 2010. A remarkable turn of events.
The richly illustrated book shows how until then, the city treated urban cyclists as a nuisance. Well into the 1980s, policymakers devoted their resources to automobility. Even the (underground) public transit system was built to create unhindered flows for cars above ground. Under pressure from social groups since the 1970s, the city responded with alternatives: separate infrastructure for cars, public transit, cyclists, and pedestrians, without giving up on urban automobility like Copenhagen and Amsterdam.
In the 1990s, a public-private collaboration between the city and car manufacturer BMW brought a political compromise: encouraging public transit, walking, and cycling, without curtailing cars.
This history shows that Munich achieved its aim trough a true balancing act - managing conflicting interests, while making cycling a policy benchmark for its standing in the world as livable city.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherFoundation for the History of Technology
Number of pages71
ISBN (Print)978-90-73192-50-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameCycling Cities
PublisherFoundation for the History of Technology


  • urban mobility
  • cycling
  • Politics of technology
  • Sustainability
  • history

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