School of Architecture and Civil Engineering

BCF - Building Cycling Futures

General Description

Cycling is a sustainable, efficient, and comparably inexpensive mobility solution that helps cities to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission of the European Commission. Moreover, cycling contributes to people- friendly, safe, economically resilient urban and rural environments, and increased public health. Despite this potential, many cities and countries grapple with how to take the necessary steps to provide safe and attractive spaces to accommodate and encourage cycling. One reason for this is a growing, yet unmet, demand for opportunities to gain specific expertise and knowledge useful for integrating cycling into contemporary urban and transportation plans.

As an endowed chair on cycling (BMDV-Stiftungsprofessur Radverkehr), the Chair of Bicycle Traffic is tasked to address this educational gap and develop master’s degree programmes to advance expert knowledge on creating and maintaining sustainable, bicycle-friendly mobility systems. Contributing to this aim, the goal of the Building Cycling Futures (BCF) project is to build and launch an unprecedented Master of Science programme “Cycling Futures” with an inter- and trans-disciplinary approach, including the domains of urban planning, infrastructure design and engineering, architecture, social sciences and humanities, technical fields as well as law and policy.

This joint (or multiple) master’s programme will be based at the University of Wuppertal together with a consortium of other universities in Europe. By combining the interdisciplinary expertise and curricula at a variety of international universities, the programme will expose students to different perspectives on how to rethink, design, and manage the cycling cities of tomorrow.

Project implementation

The BCF project will be managed by the Chair of Bicycle Traffic in collaboration a minimum of two additional higher education institutions in Europe. A Steering Committee is designated to develop the framework for and content included in the study programme. This programme planning work will be complimented by an Administrative Committee overseeing all organisational, financial and administrative decision-making activities.

This Erasmus Mundus Design Measures funding will be used to support a 15-month collaborative programme design period to develop an accredited joint (or multiple) master’s programme prepared to welcome a first intake of students in winter semester 2024.


The primary goal of the BCF project is to develop a fully-integrated study programme jointly designed by the partner universities. To meet this goal by the end of the funding period, the following objectives are identified:

  • Develop a fully integrated curriculum: Define the learning outcomes for the study programme and develop teaching methods that encourage the active participation of students in their learning. The joint (or multiple) degree programme will be designed for students to spend one semester at each partner university. Curriculum offered each semester will include existing modules, online courses, summer schools, and other existing teaching materials at the partner universities as well as newly developed courses and materials to fill in any gaps identified. Particular attention will be paid to adhering to the “Student-centered learning, teaching and assessment” standard of the Standards and Guidelines for the Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area.
  • Clarify financial and administrative aspects: Resolve financial and administrative aspects of the joint programme, such as tuition, financing of staff for ongoing administrative tasks associated with the programme, materials, rooms and other facilities for teaching, and communication.
  • Clarify organisational aspects: Address organisational aspects relating to the physical mobility of students, including but not limited to housing, study visas, local registration, language courses, and integration at the partner university, at each of the partner institutions.
  • Prepare communication and recruitment strategies: Develop and implement strategies to promote the Cycling Futures master’s programme and to increase visibility of the programme at the local, national, European and international level to attract excellent European and international students.
  • Formulate consortium agreement: Sign a comprehensive consortium agreement between the University of Wuppertal and all partner universities. This document will serve as a field manual for cooperation as well as being the foundation for the accreditation of the master’s.
  • Start accreditation process: Conclude the funding period by starting the accreditation process of the joint (or multiple) degree programme (first choice is a joint degree). The consortium will aim for accreditation using the European Approach.

Funding source

European Commission - Erasmus Mundus Design Measures


01. October 2022 to 30. January 2024


Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heather Kaths
BCF Senior Expert
+49 (0)202 / 439 4433

Cat Silva, MUP, MPA
BCF Project Manager
+49 (0)202 / 439 4432

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