Claiming back the streets of São Paulo – a biking collective training for women

Country: Brazil

Organization: Bike Anjo

Representative: Martina Horvath


Description of the project: Bike Anjo is an online platform promoting safe and secure riders who can teach and bike alongside beginners. Bike Anja is one of its projects, focusing on women learning to bike in São Paulo. The city road planning (intense flow of cars and reckless drivers) impose several barriers to beginner cyclists, especially women who also experience street harassment. Volunteers, through monthly workshops, teach beginners to pedal, traffic rules, signalling and precautions. Ninety percent of the participants are women. There are also 2 comfort workshops encouraging women to use bicycles as their main mode of transportation; training them on basic mechanics, intimate hygiene and dressing tips, etc.

Climate impact: According to the Institute of Energy and Environment, automobiles account for 72.6% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in São Paulo. The average car in São Paulo produces 261,36 kg of CO2 monthly. Bike Anja hopes that the biking women will become multiplying agents by encouraging other women to start cycling, reducing the amount of cars on the streets, thus reducing GHGs in the city. They also hope that the project will push the local authorities to prioritize bicycle infrastructure.

Gender impact: The project supports the autonomy of women by contributing to their daily economy (reducing their transportation costs), health and agility, as well as security in the city’ streets. This action also promotes women cyclists’ active contribution to climate mitigation. The events are promoted on social networks and at different city locations to make it more available to other women. Meeting venues are close to subway or train stations, to guarantee accessibility.

Scalability / replicability: Bike Anjo is active in several Brazilian cities. The communication platform is well- known and very effective. It’s model (with workshops and bike tours) enables other cities to easily add women focused groups (Bike Anjas). Bike Anja has already seen great results although it was implemented without any funding. On their blog, they posted several topics related to biking to encourage more beginners to join the workshops. The blog has an increasing number of readers and enthusiasts.