may, 2021

20may2:10 pm2:50 pmEmpowering women through active mobility

Event Details

Empowering women through active mobility

Thursday, 20th of May, 14:10-14:50 CEST

Language: English

Numerous data from the private and the public sector have indicated a gender gap in active mobility with only about one-third of women commuting by active modes such as cycling. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more women into cycling. Since the start of the pandemic, cities across the globe have seen a surge in active mobility with bike surge as most prevalent. In response, cities are implementing and promoting initiatives that are taking street space back from cars, encouraging active transportation and thus accommodating for the increase in bike ridership.  As planners and policymakers are rediscovering street space as public spaces, gender equity should play a center role to retain the positive momentum of women in cycling. Equally important is for the public and the private sector to work together to understand and address the barriers preventing women from partaking in cycling.

This session will identify the barriers and solutions in redesigning and recreating gender inclusive public space. Panelists will discuss strategies, policies, and infrastructural changes in encouraging more women to cycle and examples of effective implemented pilots will be shared.


Welcome and introduction by the moderator Ms. Sina Zhen, Sustainable Mobility Junior Officer, ICLEI World Secretariat (5 mins)

Presentation by Ms. Sonal Shah, The Urban Catalysts (5 mins)

Presentation by City Representative from Bogota, Colombia (5 mins)

Presentation by Representative, Active Mobility Communities of Interest at the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance (5 mins)

Panel discussion and Q&A from audience (20 minutes)



(Thursday) 2:10 pm - 2:50 pm


Autonomy 10 Rue de Penthièvre, Paris, île-de-France 75008, France

Speakers for this event

  • Sina Zhen

    Sina Zhen

    Junior Officer, Sustainable Mobility

    Sina supports the EcoLogistics Community project in the Sustainable Mobility team at ICLEI. Her previous professional experiences include transportation consulting, policy research and business development in the fields of electrification, automation, and shared mobility. She holds an MBA in Sustainable Mobility Management from the Technical University of Berlin and a BS in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University.

    Junior Officer, Sustainable Mobility

  • Sonal Shah

    Sonal Shah

    Executive Director, Centre of Sustainable and Equitable Cities and Founder, The Urban Catalysts

    Sonal Shah is the Executive Director of the Centre of Sustainable and Equitable Cities and the founder of The Urban Catalysts, advising multiple stakeholders – governments, development banks, philanthropic organizations and think tanks on sustainable, equitable cities and transport. Over the last 15 years, she has worked across 10 states in India, Asia and the United States. She has advised on gender and social inclusion in public transport, road safety programs and mainstreaming gender in urban mobility, street design and urban planning. She was responsible for introducing India’s first gender-sensitive urban planning guidelines and actively contributed towards revising India’s national urban street design guidelines (IRC codes) to make them people-oriented. Sonal has led projects supported by UK Aid, ADB, IKI, Oak Foundation, Gates Foundation, GIZ and Bloomberg Philanthropies. She has taught at numerous institutions such as the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Anant National University, KRVIA, Academy of Architecture and the JJ School of Architecture. Sonal graduated from the MSc Urban Planning program from Columbia University. She was featured in the Alumni Spotlight in Fall 2013-14, and in the Remarkable Women in Transport 2020 by the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative. She was also part of the NITI Aayog’s WEP-UNDP program on Innovative Finance.

    Executive Director, Centre of Sustainable and Equitable Cities and Founder, The Urban Catalysts