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New campaign to encourage cycling to work

In the week from 20 to 24 September, there will be more reason than usual to take your bike to work, as Aarhus University is making a special effort to encourage cycling to work. It’s all about making a difference for the climate.

2021.09.17 | Signe Opstrup

If you cycle to campus from Monday to Thursday during the campaign week, you are likely to meet AU’s Green Team. They will be at central locations around campus in Aarhus, handing out green snacks, bicycle reflectors or recyclable AU water bottles as part of the new bicycle campaign, which is now being tested. Photo: AU Foto

"I cycle to campus every day – except during the winter months. It makes me happy and it boosts my positive energy," says Gitte Grønning Munk. She is a conference planner at the Arts Administrative Centre, and a cycling ambassador at AU.

Gitte Grønning Munk is one of 12 AU employees who have agreed to be part of the university's cycling campaign, which aims to highlight the benefits of cycling. During the campaign week from 20-24 September, along with her 11 colleagues, Gitte Grønning Munk will encourage other AU employees to take their bikes to and from work.

You can meet Gitte and her colleagues in small videos on the university's internal channels, and on posters hanging around campus during the campaign week.

At Campus Aarhus, water bottles, green snacks and reflectors will be handed out to employees cycling to work during the campaign week. Also, at the campuses in Aarhus and Emdrup, cyclists will be able to visit the mobile bicycle repair shops to have their bikes serviced. Finally, a new digital bicycle parking map will show employees where they can park their bike and find a pump station if they have a flat tyre. 

Making climate-friendly transport attractive

The cycling campaign is based on Aarhus University's climate strategy 2020-2025. The climate strategy includes a sub-target to promote the percentage of employees and students choosing a climate-friendly means of transport to commute to and from campus. The university should make it as attractive as possible to commute by bicycle, according to University Director Arnold Boon:

"Many people actually want to go by bike, and the university wants to support this by making cycling an attractive and easy alternative. Not just during the campaign week, but every day, all year round. That’s why we have focus on offering good conditions for cyclists on campus areas. For example, bicycle parking is high on the agenda when we discuss physical campus development at the university.”

As a university, AU can contribute to a better climate, he adds:

"We do this through our research, but also through our actions. The size of our institution, with thousands of employees and students, means that we can make a real difference if we put in a concerted effort. The campaign week will help to demonstrate this, and hopefully it will encourage more people to cycle to campus," he says, stressing that there may good reasons why people have to choose another means of transport.

Plans for future campaigns

The cycling campaign has been developed and is being run by AU’s Green Team, which is responsible for implementing the university's climate strategy 2020-2025. Susanne Søes Hejlsvig, who is the programme manager for AU’s climate initiative, expects the campaign to be an annual event at the university.

"This year, we’re concentrating on trying out the campaign at our campus in Aarhus, and we’re excited to see how it will be received by employees. Based on experience from Aarhus, we’ll then consider how to continue and further develop the campaign so that it can be expanded to more locations in the future," says Susanne Søes Hejlsvig.

Activities during the campaign week (20-24 September)   

  • Water bottles, green snacks and reflectors: If you cycle to campus from Monday to Thursday during the campaign week, you are likely to meet AU’s Green Team. They will be at central locations around campus in Aarhus, handing out green snacks, bicycle reflectors or recyclable AU water bottles. Read more on the website.
  • Mobile bicycle repair shops: As an experiment, there will be a mobile bicycle repair shop on Campus Aarhus on Tuesday and Thursday, and on Campus Emdrup on Thursday. So why not stop by for a service check so you’re all set for many bike trips to and from campus during the autumn. The first people to visit the repair shop on the three days will get a free service check sponsored by Direktør M. C. Holst's legat til fordel for Aarhus Universitet. Read more about service checks and the location of the repair shops
  • Bicycle map
    If you are unsure where to park your bike or fix a flat tyre on campus, check out the new digital map of bicycle parking lots and pump stations at AU. The map is available on au.dk/cykelkort.

Facts about bicycles at AU

  • Did you know that there are more than 10,000 bicycle parking lots on AU campus areas? Or that the University Park has three-times as many bicycle parking lots as parking lots for cars? Find more cycling facts and read more about the cycling campaign on au.dk/ibike
  • If you have any questions about the campaign, please send an email to AU’s Green Team at greenteam@au.dk.
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