Beelines: a lovely example of Green Jujitsu
Recently, I’ve been looking enviously at the Manchester Beelines project to bring together 1000 miles of cycle routes across the Greater Manchester area. While the project itself is fantastic, I’m particularly taken with the branding.
The worker bee has long been associated with the city, formalised as part of Manchester’s coat of arms in 1842. However, like many outsiders, I only became aware of its significance in the outpouring of grief and solidarity following the horrific Manchester Arena in 2017. The bee was the totem around which the City rallied.
Cycling in the UK is too often seen as something for a clique of lycra-clad oddballs, not for everybody – a difficult perception to shift. My Green Jujitsu approach to engaging people in change for Sustainability says “work with the existing culture, rather than trying to change it.”
Given the deep emotional connection between bees and the City, to call the network ‘Beelines’ is a perfect example. It says loud and clear ‘this network is for Manchester’.