Rowena Farr is a passionate cycling advocate originally hailing from Bristol, UK. Rowena studied Human Geography at the University of Exeter, where she developed her passion for creating sustainable and connected communities. She has spent most of her career working in civic tech: enabling governments around the world to connect with citizens via participatory online tools. Rowena has worked with climate and transport departments in Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Europe to help them consult with citizens online: connecting them more directly to decision making.
Moving to Vancouver in 2018 helped her to strengthen this interest and passion for building sustainable cities and communities, and she now works for the non-profit HUB Cycling leading on the Bike to Work Week program. In 2019 alone, the program attracted nearly 5,000 cyclists to try cycling to work for the first time. Rowena is a keen advocate for sustainable transport as a whole, and when she’s not cycling can be found travelling by train when she can.
Rowena leads on HUB Cycling's Bike to Work Week in Metro Vancouver which attracts 18k participants annually through it’s Spring and Fall bi-annual bike to work week events. In 2019, 191,355 KGs of GHGs were saved via participants cycling to work. Since its inception, the program has encouraged 20,000 new cyclists to try cycling to work for the first time: helping the region to transition to a low carbon emission economy as residents choose greener, more sustainable modes of transport.
Metro Vancouver is growing at an unprecedented rate as more workplaces and individuals choose to move to the region and Rowena would like to continue to evolve the program and continue to support workplaces to help them grow their cycle to work initiatives.
Although the Bike to Work Week program already existed, the event and program has looked very similar for the last decade. Volunteering at the other community events in Metro Vancouver such as the Mural Festival over the past couple of years has helped Rowena develop an appreciate of the importance and challenges of curating and evolving large community events with restricted budgets. Rowena would love to help equip and encourage growing workplaces and offices with the tools they need to get more of their employees cycling to work.
MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET
My commitment to a sustainable planet started at a young age when I used to travel a lot by train. Growing up, I travelled a lot by public transport and am proud to say that I have never owned a car. I’m passionate about the benefits of getting more people cycling and walking to help create safer, vibrant and more connected communities. I also strongly believe that lots of people making small every-day changes in their lives can help lead to a positive impact on the climate and an improved community cohesion.