Special Issue on "Modeling Choice Behavior of Cyclists and Pedestrians in Urban Activity Spaces”


Despite many recent disruptions in transportation systems caused inter alia by economic crises, pandemics and war situations, the current mobility development is still on a rising edge. This holds for transport movements at a metropolitan scale (e.g., big cities) and at a national scale (e.g., in emerging economies). This development jeopardizes environmental and climate goals. Several transportation measures have been proposed to mitigate the environmental externalities of uncontrolled transport movements, e.g., by imposing road pricing, by introducing electric vehicles, by implementing advanced logistics, and by resorting to digital information and choice tools. Clearly, the latter technological support tools have been widely accepted in public transport, car mobility, logistics and aviation. There is, however, an increasing important class of transport mode users which has remained under- investigated in the search for sustainable transport and mobility, viz. cyclists and pedestrians.

It is noteworthy that in the rich history of transportation science advanced statistical analysis and modelling of spatial mobility behavior in private transport and in transit systems have gained a great popularity, with a wealth of quantitative and modelling studies. However, the modelling of spatial movements (e.g., route choice, trips frequency, trip duration, destination choice) of cyclists and pedestrians has not kept the same pace. The same holds for digital support tools for both ‘active micro mobility’ management and for supporting spatial choices of cyclists and pedestrians (apart from simple apps).

The current neglect of the potentially important category of ‘green mobility actors’ is regrettable. In particular, active micro-mobility is increasingly advocated as one of the promising responses to the challenges imposed by the current energy crisis, leave aside the need for sustainable transport modes. In addition, many ‘slow motion’ transport modes are increasingly advocated as contributors to a healthy (‘active’) lifestyle. Furthermore, in the context of the present discussion on the popular concept of a ’15-minute city’ the use of environmentally-benign transport modes such as bicycling seems to be a sine qua non. Arguments often used in this setting are also related to the use of bicycles (including e-bikes) as a connecting pre-mode for the use of public transport. And therefore, there is a need to revisit active personal mobility in the context of a digital society against the background of energy scarcity, environmental sustainability and healthy (active) lifestyles.


The special issue of is devoted to the theme of ‘Modeling Choice Behavior of Cyclists and Pedestrians in Urban Activity Space’ and seeks to publish a collection of advanced analytical studies on the merits of seemingly slow-motion transport modes, in particular biking and walking. It also addresses the question whether active micro-mobility leads to different urban speed performance or more efficient transport achievements in urban areas. Furthermore, an unconstrained ‘homo mobilis’ may generate high environmental costs and risky climate implications. Clearly, active forms of personal mobility are an under-investigated topic in transportation research, while it has the potential to become a promising solution to spatial mobility externalities, as was also shown during recent corona times.

Nowadays we see in general an interesting use of digital support tools for mobility choices and analyses, while the use of advanced tools for supporting active personal mobility is still lagging. Together with the insufficient use of digital research tools for investigating active spatial mobility, it is evident that there is much potential for focusing the attention on advanced quantitative analysis of the behavior of cyclists and pedestrians (e.g., crowd-sourced data), in terms of both motives or perceptions and actual choices (and implications thereof). In this setting the convenience, flexibility, financial costs, speed, environmental impact, safety and physical and mental health aspects of cyclists and pedestrians can be put in the broader context of a multi-modal mobile society. Modern digital tools (e.g., cell phone data, GPS data, mobility sensors, cameras, social media information) will be instrumental in developing new research trajectories and generating novel insights.

The proposed special issue seeks to:

  • Generate new analytical and empirical knowledge on the potential role of active personal mobility in a mobile society (in particular, urban areas).
  • Develop advanced modelling and quantitative studies on the complex behavior and attitude of cyclists and pedestrians in the multi-faceted urban fabric.
  • Study the contribution of active personal mobility to climate-neutral cities, circular cities, sustainable cities or 15-minute cities, in the context of urban land use.
  • Present modern, often digitally-oriented studies on active personal mobility that offer a clear scope for enhancing future quality of life in the urban activity space.
  • Emphasize the close interface between ‘slow modes of transport’ and spatial land use (including nature) as a source for enhancing quality of life in urban areas.
Key Dates
  • Initial paper submission via the JTLU website: October 30, 2023
  • Review feedback completion: March 28, 2024
  • Final paper submission: April 30, 2024
  • Online publications: June 30, 2024
Publication Costs

All articles in this special issue will be open-access articles. The publication cost for each article in this special issue is $1,500.

Guest Editors

Louafi Bouzouina
LAET-ENTPE, University of Lyon (France)

Karima Kourtit
Open University (The Netherlands)

Peter Nijkamp
Open University (The Netherlands)