Planners as middle actors in facilitating for city cycling
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The paper explores the knowledge-making and efforts of planners in facilitating cycling in two Norwegian cities with high ambitions for developing more sustainable mobility modes through cycling. Building on empirical data from shadowing local planning agencies in the two cities, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis, we argue that studying planners and their mediation work is crucial to understand how to transition to more sustainable mobility modes. We find that one reason for Trondheim’s success was that planners made continual efforts to mobilize a variety of people, ideas, and experiences. They developed new arenas for mediating meanings, co-creating of knowledge, and decision-making together with other actors, such as politicians and cyclists, while in Bergen planners operated with a clearer boundary between planning and politicians and use. Trondheim was thereby more successful in normalizing cycling in decision-making arenas and among citizens compared to Bergen. We, therefore, argue that mediation practices of planners is crucial in shaping planning cultures and governance regimes which can foster more sustainable mobility solutions.