Hugo Kampen and Wilbert Wentink investigated whether and why the percentage of people cycling is lower in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Amsterdam. These are neighbourhoods where quality of life is significantly lower than in other neighbourhoods due to an accumulation of problems. The majority are also neighbourhoods with a disproportionately high percentage of people of non-western origin. In four out of five Amsterdam neighbourhoods in this study people do indeed cycle less than the Amsterdam average. In Vogelwijck for instance the share of cycling is 29 per cent, compared to 39 per cent for Amsterdam overall. In Osdorp-oost cycling has a 16 per cent share.
Causes are not the same for all neighbourhoods. In general it is however true that the higher percentage of people of non-western origin in a neighbourhood is an important element. They hardly use bicycles, as a result of status and cultural reasons. Another factor is the high percentage of young people in possession of a public transport pass. There are however also a number of factors specific to only one or two neighbourhoods. For instance low-quality bicycle parking facilities, good accessibility by car, infrastructural quality or distance to the town centre.
Campaigns to promote cycling should therefore take into account neighbourhood-specific characteristics, according to Kampen and Wentink. To that end they have designed a checklist local authorities may use in order to implement measures on the basis of the most important factors. Quite often this does not entail providing new bicycle infrastructure or solving dangerous traffic situations. Cheap solutions like extra parking facilities and cycling lessons are often more effective.