Ottawa Coun. David Chernushenko hopes his new documentary on urban cycling will open up attitudes about urban design and transportation.
The 40-minute documentary, called “Bike City, Great City,” features interviews and scenes from bike-friendly cities in Europe and North America, focusing primarily on Ottawa, New York and Copenhagen. The Capital Ward councillor says he shot European footage and interviews during a summer trip in 2008, with the rest of the North American footage taken by him over the last year and a half.
“In a way it’s the story of Ottawa, and our slow but steady progress towards becoming a really good city for cycling,” Chernushenko said, though he adds there are significant steps to be taken to match progress made in European and other North American cities.
Chernushenko acknowledges there are significant differences between Ottawa and other cities in the film, but believes important steps can be made to create better infrastructure and perceived safety for cycling.
“It’s a shift towards adapting our cities so they work better for more people,” he says.
The budget for the film was raised through crowd-funding and sponsor donations, says the film’s producer Terry Kimmel . The film’s website says that $8,000 still needs to be raised to break even. It was produced in partnership with Tucker House, a non-profit environmental learned and retreat centre.
The first screening will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mayfair Theatre, followed by a Q & A period with Chernuskenko. A second screening at the same time on Wednesday will be followed by a panel discussion including Citizens for Safe Cycling, the Canadian Automobile Association and the Envirocentre.