Open lecture Wednesday 9. December at 1300: "Cycling Megacities: Social Perception, City Space and Mobility" by Charlie Palmer

Charlie Palmer will discuss his global study Cycling Megacities and the future of urban movement in megacities. Cycling Megacities is a study into the current conditions for cycling in cities of over ten million people. It has evolved from the idea that we should not only be looking at the small cities of Copenhagen and Amsterdam - where concepts of ‘life sized cities’ or ‘human scale cities’ have developed - for answers to the future of non-motorised transportation. Instead we should look at the mega metropolis for answers on how to design the sustainable cities of the future. Over 55% of the world’s population now resides in urban areas and this is only set to increase with developing nations still urbanising rapidly. Subsequently sustainable urban mobility is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

Over the last four months Charlie has circumnavigated the globe visiting ten megacities in countries the UN defines as developing: Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Kolkata, Dhaka, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. He will present the experiences he had cycling around each city as he explored the streets by bicycle and met cyclists, cycling activists, organisations and authorities that are shaping the future of mobility. Cycling Megacities is not a comparative analysis of cycling infrastructure around the globe, it is an exploration into how large cities are growing, how macro and micro movement patterns have developed in expansive urban environments and whether cycling is a viable option in the mega metropolis.


Charlie trained at The School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University and Sheffield School of Architecture (University of Sheffield), where he gained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Architecture in 2012 and his Masters of Architecture Degree (with Distinction) in 2015 respectively. He won the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship in 2015 for his project 'Cycling Megacities'. He is an associate for Architecture Sans Frontières-UK and is a member of the UK Construction Industries Cycling Commission.  Charlie has just returned from the study trip and continues his investigations into innovative ways of dealing with mobility in megacities through the design of architecture and urban environments while editing the footage from the Cycling Megacities project into a short documentary.