Call for Papers

4th Annual Meeting Cycling Research Board & Smart Cycling Futures End Conference

Virtual symposium 26-28 October 2020

The Future, Past, Present, and Scale of Cycling

The Cycling Research Board (CRB) holds an annual meeting to share and discuss academic research on cycling. This year’s meeting, organized by Eindhoven University of Technology, is being paired with a Dutch cycling policy conference on Smart Cycling Futures. The CRB Annual Meeting actively seeks to bring together a broad range of researchers, from social scientists to engineers, historians and philosophers interested to better understand, and plan for the role of cycling in the present, past and future. The first three CRB Annual Meetings took place in Nijmegen (2017), Amsterdam (2018) and Delft (2019) with participants from across Europe and North America and growing representation from other regions.

We invite high quality research papers and/or presentations from all fields of study and disciplinary backgrounds. We particularly welcome inter- or transdisciplinary work by early career researchers, from wild ideas to empirical results. The CRB Annual Meeting is a unique gathering built around interdisciplinary networking opportunities for both academics and practitioners or policymakers involved in research to strengthen alliances and facilitate the transfer of knowledge to action. We offer a constructive environment in which mutual support in developing joint and individual academic products (e.g. papers, research proposals) is central, giving us all energy to continue our endeavors for a holistic understanding of cycling.

What makes the CRB Annual Meeting different from other transportation conferences is the quality of discussion that is possible in a specialized setting, as opposed to large gatherings that address (urban) mobility as a whole. Essential to this is a well-structured social and workshop program that seeks to both share and generate new ideas for cycling research. Each Annual Meeting also offers social events (e.g. documentary screenings) and dedicated workshops on important skills for researchers (past examples include e.g. How to give high quality presentations; How to fruitfully engage with popular media).


Deadline for submission:        23 August 2020 (extended deadline)

Notification of acceptance:      1  September 2020

4th CRB Annual Meeting:        26-28 October 2020



The 4th CRB Annual Meeting 2020 joins forces with 2 research programs nearing completion:

1) Smart Cycling Futures is part of the larger research program Smart Urban Regions of the Future, funded by the Dutch Research Council NWO. Smart Cycling Futures brings together researchers in different academic domains from Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle, and Eindhoven University of Technology, as well as several Dutch regions and cities, to developing smart cycling innovations for more resilient and livable Dutch urban regions.

2) Bicycle Challenges: Past, Present, and Future of Sustainable Urban Mobility is an Eindhoven-based research program funded by Pon Holdings, Rijkswaterstaat, and Eindhoven University of Technology. Four PhD candidates are investigating the governance of cycling as part of sustainable urban mobility from a long-term perspective and the emergence of new mobility concepts. It challenges the focus on urban mobility by looking at the socio-technical challenges of past and current innovations, engaging with historical and sociological research methods.

At the 4th CRB Annual Meeting, participants from both of these groups share their findings on the conditions and pathways for upscaling cycling on multiple geographic levels in the context of a long and rich Dutch cycling tradition. Together, the temporality of past/present/future and spatiality of the scale of cycling provide the themes for the conference.

The Future, Past, and Present of Cycling

What explains the current variation in cycling levels? Geographic features (e.g. flatness of terrain, urban form) do not correspond one-on-one with cycling levels. The path dependencies associated with institutional enthusiasm for cycling and its alternatives (particularly public transit) help explain the policy and financial support (or lack thereof) for cycling. Cycling culture comes into play, as does the presence of a vociferous social movement fighting for the right to the street and demanding traffic safety for all, particularly children. Together these factors help understand current cycling and the opportunities/threats for future upscaling.

 The Scale of Cycling

The 2020 CRB Annual Meeting devotes explicit attention to the layered geography of cycling. Cycling has often been considered a largely local and urban phenomenon with weak institutional representation on the national level. In contrast, the 2020 CRB Annual Meeting foregrounds the multiple scales on which the bicycle operates. How can it boost innovative, sustainable regions? How do cycling knowledge and practices circulate transnationally? Can new forms of cycling increase its share in commuting over longer distances, including as part of chain mobility? Upscaling may require a larger emphasis on the bicycle as an excellent means of regional mobility or an essential last-mile solution in chain mobility. The venue of the conference exemplifies this. E.g. in Eindhoven, the railway station area has been designated International Hub XL, a new gateway for international travel into the most innovative region of The Netherlands, but also a lively, mixed dense urban district. The urban motorway in the heart of the district will transform in a city boulevard redesigned for active modes of mobility. To become a smooth-functioning mobility hub, the bicycle is a key connection to the rest of Eindhoven, the broader Metropolitan Region Eindhoven, the rest of The Netherlands and, via Eindhoven airport, the European Union and beyond.



The deadline to submit proposals is Wednesday, July 1st, 2020. To submit your proposal, please visit:

We welcome three forms:

1) Individual Paper Proposals

Individual paper proposals must include:

(1) a 300-word (maximum) abstract;

(2) a one-page (maximum) CV.

Abstracts should include the author’s name and email address, a short descriptive title, three to five key words, a concise statement of the thesis, a brief discussion of the research method, and a summary of the major conclusions. In order to allow the maximum number of people to present their work, presentations will be limited in time to around 20 minutes.

2) Conventional Panel Proposals

Conventional panel proposals must include:

(1) a 300-word (maximum) abstract of the panel, listing the proposed papers, a session chairperson, and (optional) a commentator;

(2) a 200-word (maximum) abstract for each paper;

(3) a one-page (maximum) CV for each contributor, chairperson, and commentator

Panels should consist of three or four speakers. Several panels may be organized on one topic. Please note, the program committee reserves the right to adjust proposed panels, relocating papers to different themes and/or adding papers to panels, as required.

3) Unconventional Panel Proposal

Unconventional panel proposals must include:

(1) a 400-word (maximum) abstract of the panel, listing the various individual contributions (if applicable), and a chairperson or commentator (if applicable);

(2) a one-page (maximum) CV for each contributor.

The program committee warmly welcomes sessions with formats that diverge in useful ways from traditional sessions. These can include (but are not limited to) round-table sessions, workshop-style sessions with pre-circulated papers, and a range of other formats (see e.g. for a range of examples). The program committee encourages creative formats that foster dialogue and active audience involvement. The program committee will look favorably on formats that make sessions less hierarchical, reducing the ‘distance’ between audience, presenters and commentator.



We will use a digital platform for the Cycling Research Board Annual Meeting 2020.

The three-day CRB Annual Meeting (start in the afternoon of October 26th) was originally scheduled to take place at the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology, where cycling advocacy and innovation have a long tradition. Eindhoven University of Technology held the founding meeting of Stop the Kindermoord (Stop the child murder), a movement that fought to reclaim car space to create safer cycling conditions.

Participants are welcome to join the one-day Smart Cycling Futures end conference on October 26th. The focus of that conference will be Dutch language workshops for policy makers discussing the results of living labs on smart cycling in the Dutch cities Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Utrecht and Zwolle. The day ends with an English keynote that kicks off the CRB program and there will be an optional screening of the new documentary Together We Cycle (sequel of Why We Cycle), zooming in on the history of Dutch cycling.