, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 347–362 | Cite as

Critical mass: forging a politics of sustainable mobility in the information age



Critical Mass, an urban bicycle/sustainability movement, began in San Francisco in 1992 and has spread to more than 100 cities around the world during the past eight years. Featuring organized monthly bicycle rides in specific cities, Critical Mass uses the Internet to sustain local and global actions, combining cyber-communication with face-to-face interactions. Critical Mass aims to shape debates on sustainability and material practices that will contribute to sustainable communities through a celebration of bicycling. We examine the ways in which Critical Mass uses scale to organize for sustainability. We also describe, through a survey of participants and interviews with bicycle advocates, how Critical Mass has been successful in changing people's travel behavior and in legitimizing the efforts of formal advocacy organizations.

bicycling Critical Mass Internet political organizing scale social movements sustainability 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Highland ParkUSA
  2. 2.School of GeographyClark UniversityWorcesterUSA

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