On this episode of the Shift Up podcast, Bike Shop Girl Family Cyclery owner, and podcast host Arleigh Greenwald sits down with Modacity co-founders Melissa and Chris Bruntlett to talk about their new book, "Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality". Melissa and Chris began their journey of changing the bike industry in 2010 when they made the conscious decision to sell their car in favor of biking, walking, and taking public transportation. Now they have written a book called Building the Cycling City and are taking its message of multi-modal transportation around the world. In this conversation, Arleigh, Melissa, and Chris talk about the story of Modacity, the need for bravery in affecting change, and how to stay positive in the fight for a better bike industry.
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As the conversation unfolds, Melissa and Chris share the story of their company, Modacity. Modacity’s story goes back to Vancouver in 2010 when Melissa and Chris decided to sell their car in favor of multi-modal transportation. Through this change, they discovered the benefits of increased connectivity to the people and places in their city. Today, Modacity’s goal is to make modern cities throughout the world more welcoming and accommodating to multi-modal transportation in order to build holistically healthier communities. During this section of the conversation, they also begin to unpack ways that cities can make themselves more socially active and healthy and raise more interest in biking.
Since Melissa and Chris’ bike advocacy is taking them to cities all over the world, Arleigh asks them to share candid examples of positive change they have seen. Right away they mention the cities of Amsterdam and Vancouver, which have both made huge strides in implementing multi-modal transportation and creating more socially active communities. As they admit, the healthy culture seen in these two cities has not been easily achieved. Chris and Melissa stress the need for more brave politicians if this change is going to happen on a political and infrastructural level in other cities. They believe that pushing back against the traditional systems of transportation requires deep conviction and bravery because it may cost someone their political career.
As the conversation closes, the discussion shifts toward longevity in advocacy and how to stay positive in this fight for a better bike industry. Chris pushes back against those who see the transportation industry as a zero-sum game. Instead, He believes that there are options for change where people of all transportation preferences can win. With this in mind, he and Melissa call for the bike industry to kill others with kindness. This kindness and positivity is the message that permeates their new book, Building the Cycling City. This discussion with Melissa and Chris is an encouraging signpost on the road to a more diverse and inclusive future for the bike industry.
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Links Mentioned in the Podcast
• Learn more about Modacity
• Check out the book, Building the Cycling City!
• Watch Modacity on YouTube
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