Hot or not? The role of cycling in ASEAN megacities: Case studies of Bangkok and Manila


Stefan Bakker (a), Marie Danielle Guillen (b), Papondhanai Nanthachatchavankul (c), Mark Zuidgeest (d), CarlosFelipe Pardo (e), Martin van Maarseveen (f)

Published Date

January 2018





(a) Independent consultant
(b) Ateneo de Manila University
(c) Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
(d) University of Cape Town
(f) University of Twente


The Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) recognizes the role of nonmotorized transport for sustainable urban development in its policy framework. National and local policymakers in Thailand and The Philippines, two tropical countries without a tradition of urban cycling, are increasingly paying attention to cycling as well. This article aims to assess the current situation and progress in cycling, using Bangkok and Metropolitan Manila as case study cities, and to describe the necessary conditions for advancing the significance of cycling in tropical megacities. This is done by operationalizing the so-called Technological Innovation Systems (TIS) framework, which has been used in transition studies since 2008, however, never for cycling. As such this article also “tests” this framework for its application in sustainable transportation. The two case studies are characterized with regards to the current role of cycling in the mobility system, its infrastructure, governance system, and existing research on the potential and barriers. We find that TIS can readily be applied to our cases, with the analysis showing that elements such as knowledge development, actor networks, e-bike adoption, infrastructure, resource mobilization and legitimation are not well developed; on the other hand, flat terrain, attention for cycling for health and environment, heavy congestion, expansion of public transport, growing bike industry, active university communities, and the emergence of advocacy coalitions, could open up opportunities for increasing its modal share.


Stefan Bakker, Marie Danielle Guillen, Papondhanai Nanthachatchavankul, Mark Zuidgeest, CarlosFelipe Pardo & Martin van Maarseveen (2018) Hot or not? The role of cycling in ASEAN megacities: Case studies of Bangkok and Manila, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 12:6, 416-431, DOI: 10.1080/15568318.2017.1384522

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