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Project Drawdown, Daniel Kane, Ruth Metzel; Senior Fellows: Mamta Mehra, Eric Toensmeier, Ariani Wartenberg; Senior Director: Chad Frischmann


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, Civics, Health

Resource Types

  • Articles and Websites
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Bicycle Infrastructure

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  • This article explores increased bicycle infrastructure as a climate solution, including implementation costs, financial benefits, and CO2 emissions reduction.
  • Students will learn that people rarely travel by bicycle in urban areas, the amount of travel by bike has increased due to increased infrastructure, and additional bicycle infrastructure can prevent many gigatons of carbon emissions.
Teaching Tips


  • This article also mentions how increased bicycle infrastructure could impact traffic congestion.
  • This article acknowledges that weather and geography can influence the expansion of bicycle infrastructure in a city.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Some students may need the terms car-centric cities, pop-up lanes, infrastructure, urban, "rails to trails," or others defined before reading the article.
  • Students should know what greenhouse gases are, their effect on the planet, and how modern transportation contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. 


  • Students can use this article for a research project on the connection between city planning and climate change mitigation.
  • Teachers can assign this article as homework to enhance an in-class discussion on how bike-friendly their community is and why so many cities in America have car-centric infrastructure.
  • Combine this article with other infrastructure-related solutions from the Table of Solutions for a lesson on city planning, who engages in it, and why it matters.
Scientist Notes
This article proposes bicycle infrastructure as a solution to curb emissions from vehicles. The composition introduces the positives associated with increasing and improving bicycle infrastructure. The methodology, scenarios, and models are provided, along with the results and a discussion about shifting passengers to lower-emitting modes of transportation. This article would be a great addition to a lesson discussing alternative methods for reducing carbon emissions.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.12.9-12 Analyze how people use and challenge local, state, national, and international laws to address a variety of public issues.
      • D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
      • D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
      • D2.Eco.2.9-12 Use marginal benefits and marginal costs to construct an argument for or against an approach or solution to an economic issue.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.
  • National Health Education Standards
    • Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
      • 1.12.3 Analyze how environment and personal health are interrelated.
  • Related Resources


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