Meet U of T's student city builders

Léa Ravensbergen riding a bicycle
Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 9:42am
Romi Levine

It’s been a busy year for University of Toronto students leading the charge to make cities more sustainable, equitable and accessible.

That includes Léa Ravensbergen. The U of T Mississauga PhD candidate has spent the last five years researching urban cycling – particularly in relation to gender – under the supervision of Professor Ron Buliung.

Ravensbergen worked in collaboration with a community initiative called Bike Host, which helps newcomers get acquainted with urban cycling by pairing them with cyclist-mentors and lending them bikes and safety gear.

“Some women I interviewed learned how to bike through this program – an achievement they described as incredibly empowering,” she said. “For them and others, biking provided confidence in their physical abilities, was a time-saving mode of transport or facilitated a sense of belonging in Toronto, their new home.”

Ravensbergen is currently gearing up for winter cycling after spending some time in Melbourne, Australia, where she was analyzing interview data and presenting her findings at Monash University.

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