Yougal Tak (https://bycs.org/yougal-tak/) joins international network of change makers, to accelerate cycling adoption. Udaipur now has a Bicycle Mayor to accelerate the city’s approach to cycling. Yougal Tak joins an influential network of independent city leaders that is now active on every continent, all working to make their cities more human-centric and fit for the future.
Yougal Tak’s task as Bicycle Mayor will be to work across all parts of the community to identify the most pressing issues, and then bring people together to work on implementing practical solutions. Passionate about cycling and creating a more livable city, he takes up the voluntary role beside his job as Manager- Urban, Built Environment, Mobility at ICLEI- South Asia, where currently as a part of a formal engagement with Udaipur Municipal Corporation (UMC), he has been supporting Udaipur on the themes of sustainable mobility, urban built environment, climate resilient cities etc.
Bicycle Mayor network was established and is coordinated by the Dutch social enterprise BYCS (https://bycs.org/), which works to create and scale breakthrough new solutions for cycling. It has a mission called 50by30, which means they want 50% of all city trips to be taken by bike by 2030. They have this mission because cycling does not just provide active, clean mobility solutions for cities but it also improves public mental and physical health, improves the environment, builds stronger communities and fosters new, sustainable economic opportunities.
Every Bicycle Mayor in the network works towards this mission according to local needs but with the shared experience of the other Bicycle Mayors. And being part of the network also elevates each person’s profile, ensuring they can be more effective in their work. The focus areas for their work can be very varied. In Cape Town, the Bicycle Mayor has been educating young women to ride, allowing them to access education and employment for the first time. In India, the Bicycle Mayors are all actively tackling the air pollution crisis in their cities, whilst in Amsterdam, there is a focus on improving safety for children.
Yougal Tak said that the initial focus for the work in Udaipur will be
- To bring in the necessary awareness to change the mindset and attitude of general citizenry as well as decision makers towards cycling through extensive communication and outreach (C&O) activities, Information Education Communication (IEC) activities, focused group discussion (FGDs) etc.;
- To try and get commitment from decision makers on creating dedicated fund for creating/ improving cycling infrastructure in the city and secure investments (government and private) towards the same;
- Preparation of Bicycle Master Plan for Udaipur, intended to serve as the primary guidance document for the city to allocate resources, undertake projects and evaluate the outcomes towards achieving the goals set for improving cycling in Udaipur.
In his interaction with UdaipurTimes, Yougal said, “I am really pleased to be named as Bicycle Mayor of Udaipur, as it gives me an enormous leverage from being the part of global bicycling community in the process helping city in gaining momentum in getting back its citizen to their long lost love, i.e. ‘bicycling’.“
Having connected to BYCS also have an important impact in a way that as now, being an city which share a global platform with its other national and international cities, it will make city decision makers much more supportive and serious on pushing bicycling in way, which till now knowingly or unknowingly is missing from the ranks.
I keep telling people that’ it is cool to ride bicycle’ and that it will catch more eyeballs than your expensive motorbike or car. So go ahead and ride one to your school, college, your tuition, to your office and everywhere and anywhere. Just make sure to wear a helmet while riding one and always remember – no helmet, no cycle.
I as the Bicycle Mayor of Udaipur and also as a citizen of this city, urge all the fellow citizens to start using cycles for your daily commute, to really make Udaipur a ‘Bicycle City’ in true sense and to be known as one, along with its other famous name. i.e. ’Lake City’ and ‘Smart City’.
Maud de Vries, co-founder of BYCS, said: “We need to ensure our cities are more liveable and ready for the challenges of the future. But the changes required are not happening fast enough. We know that the bicycle is key to transforming this, and we know that every city can benefit from having a Bicycle Mayor to unlock this potential. We are thrilled to welcome Yougal Tak to the international Bicycle Mayor network and excited to see what happens next in Udaipur.
For more local information contact:
For more information on the global network, contact BYCS:
Rafi Friedmann, firstname.lastname@example.org