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New bicycle chair starts in February

14 days ago

3 minutes

Source: Fiets Berad

Cycling professor, Dr. Meredith Glaser, appointed as academic expert for more and safer bicycle traffic in Flanders

Dr. Meredith Glaser, an expert in sustainable mobility from the University of Amsterdam (UvA), has been appointed as the inaugural chair holder for the newly established Bicycle Chair at Ghent University. This initiative, spearheaded by Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters, aims to bolster Flanders’ ambitious cycling policy with academic knowledge and insights.

The significance of cycling as a mode of transportation has increased significantly in recent years, accompanied by substantial investments in cycling infrastructure in Flanders. To further support this positive trend with scientific research, a new Bicycle Chair will be launched at Ghent University, with financial and substantive support from the Flemish government. The academic work that the chair will produce this is will contribute to mobility policy and social debate on bicycle mobility in Flanders. Dr. Meredith Glaser, the appointed chair holder, will engage in various course units at Ghent University and work closely with stakeholders involved in Flemish cycling policy.

Dr. Meredith Glaser: Internationally Renowned Cycling Expert

Dr. Glaser, an American with approximately 15 years of experience in spatial planning, transport, and mobility, brings a wealth of expertise to her new role. Having earned her master’s degree in urban planning and public health from the University of California Berkeley, and her doctorate in spatial planning from the University of Amsterdam (UvA), she has established herself as a leading figure in the field. Dr. Glaser currently serves as the executive director of the non-profit organization Urban Cycling Institute and is a lecturer at the Faculty of Society & Behavior at the UvA. Her collaboration with renowned Dutch cycling expert Prof. Dr. Marco te Brömmelstroet underscores her international standing in the realm of cycling policy.

Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters expressed her enthusiasm for Dr. Glaser’s appointment, highlighting the need for robust research and scientific insights to advance cycling policy in Flanders. Dr. Glaser herself emphasized the growing recognition of cycling’s potential to address various societal challenges, stressing the importance of translating academic research into tangible policy initiatives.

Prof. Frank Witlox of the Geography Department at Ghent University praised Dr. Glaser’s credentials and expressed anticipation for their collaboration, emphasizing her profound dedication to the field of cycling.

Elevating Cycling Policy through Scientific Research

As a part-time visiting professor, Dr. Glaser will conduct scientific research on several specific themes, including bicycle safety, influencing bicycle behaviour and use, and the development of smart technology to enhance cycling comfort and safety. These themes have been selected in consultation with a supervisory committee comprising representatives from Ghent University, the Department of Mobility and Public Works, and the knowledge center Fietsberaad Vlaanderen.

Financial support from the Flemish government

Financial backing from the Flemish government has facilitated the establishment of the Bicycle Chair, situated within the Geography department of Ghent University’s Faculty of Science. The chair, set for a three-year tenure, comprises the appointment of a part-time visiting professor and a half-time scientific employee. The initiative receives a subsidy of a maximum €249,999 from the Flemish government to sustain its operations and cover the wage costs of employees.

What is a chair?

Companies, organizations, or individuals that want to finance scientific research or education on specific themes can do so through a chair. It is a form of collaboration with the university on new developments in domains that are important to society.

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