Marion Lagadic

DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development


Leveraging perceptions and shared values to promote urban cycling : an analysis of cycling practices in the Greater Tokyo area

Research abstract

While London is struggling to achieve a cycling modal share above 2%, each day, 14% of trips within the Greater Tokyo area are made on a bicycle. This urban area of about 39 million people displays the highest concentration of urban and suburban cyclists in the world. Yet, at the micro-level of the street, one will not find high-quality cycling highways used by crowds of fast cyclists. Instead, mothers on mamacharis (mother’s chariot) are slowly making their ways through pedestrians on the sidewalk. 

While sidewalk cycling is the norm on the street, it is not by law. The Road Traffic Act actually classifies bicycles as « light vehicles » required to use driveways. However, the text also allows children below 13, elderly people, and anyone who would feel at risk on the road to ride wherever they feel safe. A survey conducted in Tokyo in 2003 actually revealed that only one in four respondents knew that the law actually prescribed for cyclists to ride on the road in non-exceptional cases (Suzuki and Nakamura 2017). 

The case of Japanese cycling challenges common visions of what a cycling city is made of. How has this massive cycling practice been produced and reproduced, if it is not through purposive policy action and infrastructure development ? Marion's DPhil research will investigate this question.


Nihan Akyelken

Debbie Hopkins (interim supervisor)


Marion started on the DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development in October 2019. Trained as an urban planner at the LSE and Sciences Po, she currently works as projet manager at 6t Research, a Paris-based research consultancy specialised in mobility and transport. As part of her job, she studies the impacts of shared mobility services on urban transport ecosystems and advises local authorities in their development of sustainable mobility strategies. 

Passionate about Japanese cities and the Japanese language, her personal interest developed in an academic interest when she discovered cycling practices in Tokyo. She hopes her research into this topic will offer perspectives for policy innovation.


Lagadic, Marion. "Along the London Overground: Transport Improvements, Gentrification, and Symbolic Ownership along London's Trendiest Line." City & Community 18.3 (2019): 1003-027. 

Lagadic, Marion, Alia Verloes, and Nicolas Louvet. "Can Carsharing Services Be Profitable? A Critical Review of Established and Developing Business Models." Transport Policy 77 (2019): 68-78. 

Uploaded list available on Marion's Orcid profile

Papers and lectures

Conference, IMS Luxembourg, September 2019, "Encouraging cycling practices : combining VTBC programs and new service offers"

Conference, Angers Region Urban Planning Agency, January 2019, "Urban cycling : innovating to encourage practice"

Conference, ENSA Val de Seine, December 2018, "Cycling as a demonstrator of an informal regulation of public space in Japan"

Research interests

Cycling ; Transport ; Mobility ; Japan ; Social Practice