Whether you’re an adult, teen or child, cycling promotes physical, social and mental health. Hopping on a bike is also good for the environment, as it cuts down on road congestion and noise pollution while reducing emissions, according to a health report from Statistics Canada.
In British Columbia, cycling continues to gain popularity, with rates of cyclists in metro Vancouver jumping 64 per cent between 2006 and 2016, according to a study by Hub Cycling. Now, the B.C. government is aiming to double the percentage of trips taken by active transportation (human-powered transportation, like cycling) over the next eight years.
That’s where one developer wants to get things spinning. In partnership with Concord Pacific, we take a look at how the company is building cycling communities in its projects both by adding amenities and by partnering with local organizations.
Laying the foundation for active communities
According to Concord Pacific vice-president David Ju, the company’s cycling mentality dates back years, to its building three kilometres of the False Creek seawall in Vancouver with bike paths.
Fast-forward to 2022, and that history has inspired the company to continue building on its cycling foundation as it focuses on strengthening communities and supporting family-oriented events as well as building unique infrastructure to enable the cycling community.
“We were already ahead of the Vancouver biking curve, and that really resonated with the team at Concord Pacific — especially after COVID, when people were seeking alternatives to the gyms and workout studios,” Ju says.
“Concord has always been searching and exploring different frontiers on the sustainability side and on the wellness side for the community. That fit into this biking culture that we’re trying to establish in all of the communities we’re trying to build and include.”
READ MORE: Report makes case for cycle highways in metro Vancouver
Getting involved with local organizations
Part of Concord Pacific’s strategy in fostering cycling communities is to get in at the ground level with local organizers and events. In June, it hosted the second annual Tour de Concord at False Creek, an event Ju says the company plans to do again next year. All proceeds from the festival went to supporting youth cycling and high-performance programs from Cycling BC, the province’s governing body for the sport.
“The event brings community attention to our sport,” says Erin Waugh, CEO of Cycling BC. “They are helping to highlight the excitement of the sport, and their investment in events has allowed for high-level events after the long COVID pause. Concord Pacific and their team have been phenomenal, and their excitement about the sport shone through at the June 30 event.”
In 2021, Concord Pacific also began presenting the Norco Canadian Enduro Series (NCES), a series of high-performance and endurance-based cycling events, on their Whistler weekend. That partnership continues at the upcoming September event, where Concord Pacific is not only presenting the championship and hosting the event at the Sundial Hotel, but helping to cover costs for local youth riders 21 and under.
According to NCES managing director Matt Holbrook, that kind of support is essential for fostering the love of sport for youth riders and promoting the event within the community.
“Having this level of partnership that wants to reach out to the community is really amazing,” he says. “It’s been a really key partnership to move us into that next level of community engagement. It’s important to have the youth coming in and loving the sport and then staying in the sport, which obviously helps our race series. We know that if we can support them and make it better from an access point, then those riders are going to stay with us and become future business people for us.”
Building bike friendliness from the ground up
One big project underway at Concord Pacific is Concord Metrotown in Burnaby. The condo community is being touted as the most bike-friendly place to live in Canada, with 47,000 square feet of bike amenities, such as dedicated elevators and washing stations, to support everyone from daily commuters and spinners to weekend riders.
The development is also designed to connect residents to Burnaby’s urban bike trail network, including the Central Valley Greenway, BC Parkway Trail and trails around Burnaby Mountain and Simon Fraser University.
“It’s a highly urbanized environment, so we also want to provide people with the outdoor experience,” Ju says. “One reason why people move to B.C. is for the outdoor experience. So we were looking for solutions to give our residents that experience.”
“Health and wellness are really important as we all live our lives in different states and at different stages,” he adds. “We appreciate different things. But health and wellness should always be something that we all treasure.”
READ MORE: Burnaby gives green light to develop bike share pilot project
For more information, visit Concord Pacific online.