chapter  8
15 Pages

Recruiting people like you: socioeconomic sustainability in Minneapolis’s bicycle infrastructure

ByMelody Hoffmann

Research suggests that there is a link between bicycling and the socioeconomic status of a city. Richard Florida (2011, 2012) describes riding a bicycle as a signifier of the “creative class”1 and suggests that cities where people bike commute have more affluent and highly educated residents, and fewer residents with workingclass jobs. The creative class and its members’ expendable income have become desirable to cities across the United States. Cities that once built bicycle infrastructure to promote environmentally friendly lifestyles now build it to attract young, educated workers. This chapter provides evidence of this shift and explores its implications for equity and justice in the twenty-first-century city. The City of Minneapolis, its bicycle advocacy organizations, and a bustling bicycle culture serve as a case study in this chapter. Minneapolis has closely followed Portland, Oregon, as a top bicycling city due to its commitment to building off-street bicycle trails and bicycle lanes.