VC_Cooperation between NGOs and municipalities


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Cooperation between NGOs and municipalities

Hungarian Cyclists’ Club (HCC)‏

Virág Bencze-Kovács, MSc.

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VC_Cooperation between NGOs and municipalities

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  2. 2. Our main question is: How could and how should a civilorganisation actively participate in the process of creating acycle-friendly city? We can see that in the case of a “climber”country, this factor is indispensable.Situation analysisIn countries like Hungary, a relatively low level of carownership and high but decreasing share of public transportare common phenomena in “climber” countries. However,cycling is two-faced with a striking contrast between citiesand the countryside.If some tasks – such as promotion of cycling ormaintainance, or even route planning - are not fulfilledproperly by the public sector, these tasks are done ormotivated by civil organisations. 2
  3. 3. CMThe HCC is an NGO originating from the Critical Massmovement.The highest number of participant in the CM demonstrationwas in 2008, eighty thousand of cyclist all around the cities.Though the number of people using bicycle as a means oftransport grows rapidly in Hungary, decision makers,designers and representatives of transport policy usuallyignore this fact. That’s why the professional work of civilorganizations has a great importance: support and promotionof cycling can only be integrated into the objectives ofmunicipality leaders based on a bottom-up civil initiative.The increased number of bikers is caused by CM, by the biketo work campaign and awareness raising.--> In the last few years cycling in Budapest became acommon phenomenon 3
  4. 4. The HCC is an NGO originating from the Critical Mass movement.The highest number of participant in the CM demonstration was in2008, eighty thousand of cyclist all around the cities.Though the number of people using bicycle as a means oftransport grows rapidly in Hungary, decision makers, designersand representatives of transport policy usually ignore this fact.That’s why the professional work of civil organizations has a greatimportance: support and promotion of cycling can only beintegrated into the objectives of municipality leaders based on abottom-up civil initiative.The increased number of bikers is caused by CM, by the bike towork campaign and awareness raising. In the last few years cycling in Budapest became a common phenomenon 4
  5. 5. Since 2004, membership of HCC has increased to 1000 people all over thecountry, and besides the civil advocacy towards our professional work isstrengthened since then.The strength of the Hungarian Cyclists’ Club is that we help for themunicipalities with the joint work of the technical working groups and localgroups. In our professional teams transport, communication and marketingprofessionals are involved. We have local groups in 10 cities all overHungary, where the volunteers express the local needs and experiences.-->We have a regional and professional network for effective advocacy. 5
  6. 6. Our partners: Municipalities, Engineering Companies,Manufacturers, Politicians, Governmental apparatus • We are lobbying by local governments • We present a new approach for traffic design firms • We make suggestions for bicycle-rack manufacturers. • We influence political decisions, • and we pressure on public bodies to develope the cycling network and legal background.--> The value of our role is that we are independent. We bringknowledge and interested parties together. 6
  7. 7. What can be done to involve and motivate municipalities? • Organising Workshops in the City Hall - professional days--> We show the features of a bike-friendly city, we emphasize the benefits, we talkabout the promotional opportunities, we draw up the first and cheapest steps to do -the local groups make local demands and suggestions.(This is usually a high-spirited conversation, in the emerging debate the views of thenegotiating parties come closer to one another,, and they even recognize thoseopportunities and problems that may not have been previously considered.) • Making formal and informal contact with designers, giving consultation in the planning of bicycle infrastructure.--> We help the designer to implement appropriate solutions for the bikers. • Consultating about planting bike parking facilities--> We have a complete service pack for the design and implementation of bikeparking in a lot for public places. (We are connected with the authorities and themanufacturers as well, to speed up the process.) • Supporting statement and expertise for state/EU granted bike projects--> We control quality and necessity of the bike routes. • Providing designers, decision makers and stakeholders with posters, leaflets and technical articles--> We publish and spread the latest technical recommendations and guidelines.--> Our idea is to form long-term agreements with municipalities. 7
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  9. 9. I show the results of our work in the last two years.• We have played a significant role in the changing process of road code.• We have participated in the committee working on the new Cycling Design Standard.• We help the private and public sector as well to plant more and more bike parking place.• We have cooperated in forming the Cycling Concept of Budapest, we have formed a bicycle working group in the city hall, that works at least on monthly basis. Thus, we can control the developments. The success of our lobby is the new type of cycling facilitis in Bp.: new bikelanes, one-way streets, bus-bike lanes, advanced stop lane) 9
  10. 10. Our good examples in other cities are the following: • We have prepared the Cycling Concept for Érd, and the vice mayor asks for our opinion on the development projects regularly. 1. In Miskolc, we lead a Bike-friendly Workshop, and we were also involved in the consultation of bike network planning. 2. In January 2010, Győr accepted the Citys Cycling Programme prepared in cooperation with HCC and the municipality. 3. In Szeged and Debrecen, the local groups are involved in the bike affairs by the city. 4. We have prepared Bike Parking Map for 5 different districts in Budapest. The bike stands are under construction…likely, hopefully.Thus, we can truly cooperate in a useful and integrated way with municipalitieswhich are open to our efforts. The decision makers of the municipalities are oftennot aware of good examples, they are not familiar with the literature on bicyclesafety and design, promotion methods. For the first sight it seems to be difficult toaccept that these good practices can be used in Hungary as well.But after a longer cooperation it becomes easier. The role of HCC in Hungary can also be a good example for organizations in other “climber” countries. 10
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