19 November 2018

Cycling with Disabilities and Injuries

14 Below Zero - Broken Hand
I haven't been on a bicycle for 7 days. The reason? A couple of cracked ribs. I've tried each and every day to cycle, but it hasn't been possible. When a simple cough is enough to bring tears to your eyes, riding a bicycle is a long shot. A serious blow to my pride but hey, at least I can walk around the neighbourhood. Which is nice.

Many Danish cities have small cars like these to measure the level of comfort on the bicycle infrastructure. I have a better, cheaper idea.

The city should just give citizens with broken or cracked ribs a smartphone, with activated GPS and a live line to a person at the Bicycle Office. Then they just ride around the city. Every time an OWWWW! or groan is heard, the GPS location is registered. That way the city will be able to map the spots that need maintenence. Now broken ribs are one thing, but what of citizens with more serious injuries or disabilities?

So I thought I'd whips together this article with photos of Copenhageners and other urban dwellers cycling with injuries or disabilities or using other vehicles that improve accessibility and mobility.

Like the shot of a Copenhagener in the morning rush hour (above) riding with what looks like a broken - or at least injured - hand, above. Still looking cool as you like.
Bicycle Crutches 02
Then there is this Copenhagener carrying her crutches with her on her bicycle. Fair enough, she might have been heading to the hospital - across the street - to deliver the crutches back.
Double Crutch
Then I remembered this shot from a while back of a girl carrying her crutches and getting doubled by her mum. The bicycle is a versatile tool. I know several friends who, after many years playing sports, have problems with their knees. They are invariably advised to ride a bicycle by their doctors.

Urban Mobility
There is a bike for almost everyone.

If you also make the bicycle the quickest and safest way to get around a city, people will do so - whatever their physical challenges. The bicycle is a freedom machine for many people.
Mobility Five Wheels, Three Arms
The dapper gentleman to the left may have reduced mobility for whatever reason, but he can get out and about with ease on this tricycle. Note his cane sticking out of the back.

I see the man in the right photo quite often. He rides a tricycle and only has one arm. A friend of mine knows him and I'm told that he only has one leg, too. He lost his limbs in a landmine explosion in the country he was born. He still gets about with ease on his wheels. Both of these gentlemen were impeccably dressed.

Bicycle Mobility
This gent is amazing and so is his cargo bike. A retrofitted Nihola lets him ride around the city with no lower arms and only one leg to pedal with. Fantastic.

Rock Star
If you're a legendary Danish rock star, like Steen Jørgensen (above), you have a certain look to maintain and Steen pulls it off to perfection. The fact that he has no left arm is of little consequence.

Disabled Motion
I took this photo in Tokyo. The man had some form of disability with his legs. It required effort for him to get the pedals to turn but you can bet that it was a fraction of the effort he'd use when walking.

Casting Call Crutch Bike Crutch Bike
The lady on the left has a kind of cast on her leg, but still rides. The two photos on the right are from last winter. The boyfriend was holding the girls' crutches and she moved slowly along - injured foot wrapped in plastic - on a child's bicycle they had borrowed. It was icy so the crutches were probably more dangerous than helpful so the bicycle stepped in to assist. They were heading to the hospital down the road.

Vienna Cyclist Sticks
I spotted this lady in Vienna, Austria. Carrying her walking sticks to help her after she got off her bicycle.

This quaint sign on this tricycle reads, "Slightly Disabled".

Invalidecykler
What with all the bicycle options for disabled - whether permanently or temporarily - it's not surprising to see a parking sign like this outside my local library. It reads "Invalid Bicycles", reserving a space close to the door for those who need it.

Wheelchairs
Montreal Wheelchair
I took this photo in Montreal. A trike pulling a wheelchair behind. This takes intermodality to a whole new level.

Wheelchair Transport
This retrofitted Nihola (it really is the Danish brand that offers unique variations of their cargo bikes) is designed simply to carry a wheelchair with passenger.

Walker Transport
This gent has his walker in the front of his cargo bike - intermodality once again.

Active Cyclist
You see many trike brands in operation in Copenhagen on a daily basis. This gent had what appeared to be Down Syndrome and he enjoys active mobility on this trike.


Electric Vehicles
Amsterdam Cycle Chic - Wheelie
Spotted in Amsterdam. An electric scooter with the wheelchair on a rack on the back. Compared to other cities, you see so many of such vehicles on the cycle tracks of Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Used by people with disabilities and the elderly. It's a massive market with many brands. Offering urban mobility to people who might be restricted to a wheelchair.

Heading For The City
Cool as you like in Copenhagen.


Bicycle Cane
If it is ripe old age that has reduced mobility, the bicycle still serves a purpose. I see this lady all the time in my neigbourhood. Always walking her bicycle with groceries in the basket. Perhaps too unstable to ride, but using the bicycle as a kind of crutch. Lovely.

12 April 2018

Ghent - Changing the Whole Circulation Plan Overnight: a Strong Political Decision


When passengers get out of the train, they usually recognise a bicycle-friendly city by the number of bicycles parked by the entrance of the station. There is no need to say that Ghent is one of those.

Copenhagenize Design Co. works hard to analyse and showcase the Top 20 large bicycle-friendly cities in the world for the Copenhagenize Index. But some smaller cities, with less than 600,000 inhabitants deserve to be highlighted for their ambitious measures in favor of urban cycling. Ghent, a Belgian city of around 250,000 inhabitants is one of them.
Clotilde and Cécile from Copenhagenize Design Co. cycled with Ghent’s Mobility Councillor, Filip Watteeuw to observe the positive impacts of the City’s new circulation plan.


New Circulation Plan Makes Space for Bicycle Users
The new circulation plan, implemented in April 2017, was the outcome of a two-year process where the City of Ghent sought to strengthen an existing sustainable mobility policy and to give back the streets to people. The plan was inspired by the Van Der Berg traffic circulation plan implemented in Groningen, the Netherlands in the 1970s.
The Groningen’s plan divided the city-centre into four sections, forcing  car drivers who travel from one section to another to take the city’s inner ring-road, instead of driving through the local streets. This measure aimed to make motorists’ circulation more complicated and to promote other modes of transportation, like cycling.



“A pro-bicycle plan must have some anti-car measures” - Filip Watteeuw
Ghent took this approach a step further by enlarging the city’s pedestrian area and creating six distinct sections with no automobile accessibility between them without using the ring-road.

Ghent’s new circulation plan : the pedestrian area (dark purple) and the six areas.

Prior to the implementation of the plan, the City of Ghent recorded that 40% of its rush hour car traffic was due to through traffic – cars not even beginning or ending their journeys in Ghent, but merely passing through. The plan aims to controlling this traffic and thereby improve local streets and enhance  urban life.

“You can’t become a cycling city, if you don’t say something about cars. In order to increase the number of cyclists and develop a bicycle culture, it’s necessary to take some anti-car measures. If we get rid of the through traffic, you get fewer cars, more space for pedestrians and cyclists, and infrastructure gets an extra value” asserts Filip Watteeuw.

In 2018,  as a result of the circulation plan, the busiest cycle track located along the river will become a pedestrian path and the actual car lanes will be allocated to cyclists and a reduced number of cars.

Filip Watteeuw, Ghent’s Mobility Councillor and Clotilde Imbert from Copenhagenize Design Co.

25% more bicycle users vs. 12% less cars
Despite clear goals for local quality of life, the implementation of this ambitious circulation plan has not been a smooth road. In the face of scathing critics, Councillor Watteuw stood firm, and does not regret this political choice to improve living conditions in his city. While leaders of local political parties and some inhabitants opposed to the plan complain about congestion in some streets, a survey conducted by the City revealed that many inhabitants living inside the ring-road consider the streets quieter, with more space for bicycles. People from 25 to 34 years old are the most satisfied.

A noticeable impact of this measure comes from some inhabitants who were quite reticent to this plan, but have already changed their routines by adopting new mobility habits. Generally speaking, 25% of Ghent inhabitants made a decision to change their mobility habits by purchasing an (e-)bike, subscribing to the local public transports or starting car-sharing.

The plan is already having significant impacts on transportation choices. In a year, the impacts of the plan are: 25% increase in bicycle users, 8% increase in public transportation ridership, 12% decrease in car traffic during the rush hour, even 29% less cars on the most important routes within the ring road and 58% in the residential streets. Moreover, 6 interviewed inhabitants out of 10 consider cycling as safer than before. This plan highlights that marketing and public engagement campaigns alone are not enough to make people change their transportation habits, but it is necessary to create the urban conditions which will incentivize changed behaviour.



Although some local shopkeepers worry about decreased revenue, the number of pedestrians in the city-centre did not decline since the adoption of the circulation plan. On the contrary, counters reveal a slight increase from 2% to 10% from August to October 2017 compared with 2016. In order to more accurately evaluate the impacts of this plan, the City has recently decided to increase the number of pedestrian counter locations. In addition to changes in pedestrian traffic, Ghent’s police found the number of traffic accidents have decreased by 25% in the city-centre since the plan implementation. Regarding the air quality, in February 2018 the results of a study will reveal the impacts of the new circulation plan.

4 million Euros were invested the past two years for the preparation and the implementation of the circulation plan, the massive communication related to it and the creation of two shuttles. For reference, a renewal of only one avenue would be more costly.

To activate the urban life, the City of Ghent arranged life-size places to seat and play.
























Enhanced Park&Ride and even more bicycle infrastructure
For people living in the outskirts of Ghent, the City is also enlarging their Park&Ride offer (from 800 parking spots in 2016 to 3,500 in 2018) in order to allow them to park for free and to switch to bicycles or a free shuttle which will lead them to the city-centre.

Where the car traffic has not been reduced and where cyclists and car drivers can’t share the space, the City knows a plan must still be conducted to improve the standard of cycling infrastructure. During the next six years, the City is going to improve cycling conditions beyond the ring-road.


In conclusion, Ghent’s circulation plan showcases that in a short period smart actions and a rather low budget can lead to positive impacts both in terms of mobility and quality of urban life.


Bicycle infrastructure in Ghent
Vast waiting area for a two-step left turn.


Gently sloped ramps and underpasses allow bicycles to avoid busy car-centric intersections above.

Bicycle parking available at the edge of the city’s pedestrian-only  zone allows people to park for free in a safe and sheltered place.
Removing space allocated to cars offers more for bicycle parking.




by Cécile Delannoy, Daniel J. M. Hilhorst, Clotilde Imbert

26 February 2018

Farewell Papirøen, hello Nordhavn!

Park where you want outside our new Nordhavn office

For the last four years Copenhagenize Design Company has had the pleasure of calling Copenhagen’s Papirøen, or Paper Island, home. Alongside a handful of dynamic offices, studios, ateliers, galleries, and restaurants, we’ve watched as this tiny island smack dab in the middle of the city has grown from a collection of unassuming newsprint warehouses to a thriving destination. 

The transformation of the island was part of an innovative urban planning experiment exercised by the City to open the formerly closed off island before it is developed into a rich man’s ghetto/architectural gem (depending on how you look at it). Of course much of the success of Papirøen is owed to a relatively recent investment in a string of new bicycle bridges, stitching the areas of Christianshavn, Nyhavn, and Holmen together. 

The Island has served us well, hosting late night parties, international delegation visits, winter bathing sessions, impromptu meetings and drop-ins, harbour-front lunches, synchronized diving sessions (read fails), Master Class parties, not to mention a couple company milestones.

Participants from the 2017 Master Class enjoying life on Paper Island
But as of this week, we’ve packed up all our gear and headed out to Nordhavn, a new corner of the city, with similar DIY, urban/maritime vibes that make Copenhagen such a fascinating city. And yes, the district is one giant urban development experiment with cutting edge sustainable energy solutions, mobility models, iconic wind farms, historic fortresses, and new urban spaces. Pretty much all an urbanism office could ask for.

Inside the halls of our new space on Nordhavn
Here’s to our future at Nordhavn, with new neighbours, landscapes, and of course, a rolling start to the forthcoming CPH Bike Hub. As always, our doors are open, so shoot us a line or drop by for a coffee, you can find us on the second floor of Sundkaj 7.


08 January 2018

Copenhagen Bike Hub


by Stephanie Patterson

Copenhagenize Design Company’s time at our very cool co-working space on Paper Island/Papirøen is sadly coming to an end – the island's old industrial buildings are being demolished to make way for a new residential development. We’ll miss the creative vibe in our office - and on the island - that we have experienced daily for over four years. Paper Island was a freestyle creative hub that captured the imagination of Copenhageners and visitors alike.


Harbour bathing is a regular, year-round activity at our office

Instead of resigning ourselves to tristesse, or to merely search for new offices, we decided to finally dust off an old Copenhagenize idea. Luckily, some ideas get better with age. Back in 2008, Copenhagenize Design Co. CEO Mikael Colville-Andersen envisioned that "Danish bicycle culture needs a physical home. A place where ideas can be fostered and discussed. A launch pad and showcase for Danish bicycle innovation". Colville-Andersen had teamed up with Marie Kåstrup - who is now the head of the bicycle programme for the City of Copenhagen - and developed a list of ideas that would place focus internationally and nationally on Copenhagen as a bicycle city. A list that included harvested ideas from abroad but also original ideas like establishing a bicycle center and even a bicycle museum. The mayor of traffic at the time, Klaus Bondam, embraced the idea and worked, for a time, on the concept of an Urban Showroom, without completing the idea. However, the original idea from 2008 led to the establishment of the Bicycle Innovation Lab, the first cultural center for cycling complete with a bicycle library and events. We wrote about the launch of BIL here back in 2011.

With the impending need for new offices, the idea has surfaced once again and this time a strong tailwind is pushing it along. Enter: CPH Bike Hub. With the growing global interest in reestablishing the bicycle as a feasible transport form in cities, Danish bicycle planning, social cycling innovation and product design - among other aspects of the cycling community - can benefit from gathering under one roof.


Statement of support from Gil Penalosa from 8-80 Cities, who regularly bring delegations to Copenhagen.

We are thrilled that the idea has now gained purchase and is in a serious development stage, moving steadily towards becoming a reality. We're pleased to have a long list of colleagues join us on board. The core development team, apart from Copenhagenize Design Co. includes Cycling Without Age and the Danish Cyclists' Federation and Leader Lab. A veritable dream team.

The idea for the CPH Bike Hub is not just sharing office space and innovation with colleagues. It also includes creating a destination for visitors. With all the delegations that come to Copenhagen to learn about bicycle planning, we have plans to develop a conference space to host them. Not just the delegations that Copenhagenize Design Co hosts, but also the City of Copenhagen and the Danish Cyclists Federation will benefit from having dedicated space to host visitors. Plans also include an exhibition space, a café/bar and meeting rooms.


Indeed, the City of Copenhagen supports the general idea of creating a space for cycling:
"The City of Copenhagen’s Bicycle Program welcomes all initiatives that will accelerate local innovation and product design in the field of cycling, bringing global attention to Copenhagen’s unique cycling culture. Establishing a physical meeting point for co-creation and showcasing will be valuable to the city as well as to the global community."
Marie Kåstrup, City of Copenhagen


Core Concepts for the proposed CPH Bike Hub.

We have seen the emergence of similar bike hubs in places like Barcelona with BiciClot  and the Netherlands with the Dutch Bicycle Centre and we hope that the CPH Bike Hub will contribute to this growing trend and the global dissemination of knowledge and experience.

At time of writing, we are working hard with colleagues to establish the foundations of the CPH Bike Hub, secure financing and gather as many likeminded companies, organisations and individuals as possible. The list of colleagues continues to grow and includes the following:

· CYCLING WITHOUT AGE - Worldwide cycling non-profit for the elderly
· DANISH CYCLISTS' FEDERATION / CYKLISTFORBUNDET - National cycling NGO
· COPENHAGEN CYCLES - Global distributor of innovative bike trishaws
· LEADERLAB - Nordic sustainability business accelerators
· VELORBIS - Leading Danish bicycle brand
· MATE - Rapidly growing local E-Bike brand
· CYKELKOKKEN - Innovative and well-known Copenhagen cycling chef
· COH & CO - Sustainable materials bicycle producers
· SCANDINAVIAN SIDE CAR - Cutting-edge Danish cargo bikes solutions
· HOE360 CONSULTING - Danish green mobility consultancy

Morten Kabell – the former environmental and technical mayor of Copenhagen joined Copenhagenize Design Company in early January 2018 as COO and he is now also spearheading the work to establish CPH Bike Hub together with our colleagues. The timeline is still under development, but we are looking forward to letting the world know about the launch when the time comes.

Stay tuned. We're excited.

For more information about joining the CPH Bike Hub, email Morten at morten @ copenhagenize .eu

19 December 2017

2017 - A year in Review

2017 saw yet another instrumental increase in urban cycling in cities across the globe, further legitimizing pedal power as a mode of transport for citizens the world over. As another year has passed, another busy twelve months came and went for the team across our four Copenhagenize Design Co. offices. This year solidified the work of our newest office in Barcelona, developing new partnerships with the Municipality to study bicycling in Catalonia. We have had an exciting year collaborating with new client cities from Montréal to Antwerp, completing transformative mandates in Detroit and Strasbourg, and continuing progressive work to elevate the bicycle agenda in forward-thinking cities like Long Beach and Bordeaux. 2017 also marked an exciting point of growth for Copenhagenize Design Co. as our management team expanded to include partners James Thoem, Clotilde Imbert and Michael Seth Wexler. Our Year in Review (Download the PDF here) looks back at our highlights from the last calendar year as we gear up for an incredibly exciting 2018. 

THE LIFE SIZED CITY










Having launched in September of this year, Mikael released his first television series “The Life Sized City” – offering a fresh look at urbanism around the world. Premiering with Canadian broadcaster TVO, and produced by Montreal-based DBCom Media, Mikael travels the world, hearing from engaged locals involved in fascinating urban projects – at both the grassroots and government level. The first season went live across Canada this year with episodes featuring the cities of Medellín, Toronto, Paris, Bangkok, Tokyo and Tel Aviv, while Mikael continues his journeys into 2018, kicking off season two in Cape Town.

THE 2017 BICYCLE-FRIENDLY CITIES INDEX














For the fourth time since 2011, Copenhagenize Design Co. crunched the numbers and analysed over a hundred and thirty urban regions to reveal the 20 most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. These findings were seen by readers of WIRED magazine in all corners of the globe. Using 14 parameters – this year adding cargo bike logistics as a parameter – the crème de la crème emerged with some surprises, as Utrecht stole second place from Amsterdam, while others such as Copenhagen, Strasbourg, Malmö, Bordeaux and Antwerp remained stable in the top 10.

THE COPENHAGENIZE MASTER CLASS(ES)













A trip to Copenhagen is a must in order to understand what makes a truly bicycle friendly city. Every year, planners, engineers, city officials, politicians, community leaders and academics from around the world come visit our team in Copenhagen to learn firsthand how good bicycle infrastructure design really makes a difference. This June as every year, we welcomed back an international group of thirty participants for an immersive bicycle urbanism experience, and a whole lot of fun. Our master Class has connected a network of many engaged urbanists across the globe to bring a piece of Copenhagen to their home cities and share ideas with one another. 

Throughout the year, we also have the pleasure of welcoming international delegates to Copenhagen who aim to reach new levels of quality bicycle infrastructure design in their cities back home. Delegations of urban designers, traffic engineers and politicians from Barcelona, Bordeaux, St. Petersburg, and Burlington, Canada each visited our Copenhagen team at different points of the year for several days of lectures, workshop activities and lots of cycling around the city. These groups were able to fill their idea catalogues with best practice in design, bicycle policy and network planning. Planning for a number of delegation visits in the new year are already underway.

CYCLING PROJECTS IN THE U.S.A.



The past year was filled with a lot of positive change in American cities, as the number of protected bike lanes continued to rise, more innovative bike plans started popping up around the country, and we began to hear more cities talk about building a network for bikes as transport – an essential first step in the U.S. context. We got our hands dirty working hard with the City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department to draft a forward-thinking protected bicycle network strategy for the greater downtown area, helping to set a standard for many American cities to follow. 

We held public meetings and helped the City imagine a more connected future for all of  their vulnerable road users. The plan is now in the final drafting phase and will go public in the new year! At the same time, our North American team stayed active in Detroit through working on a collaborative team of planners, landscape architects and consultants to draft a neighbourhood plan for the Islandview and Greater Villages community – with our focus on mobility and extending safe and practical bike planning from the downtown to the neighbourhoods.



Long Beach, long proclaiming to be the most bicycle-friendly city in the U.S. continues to impress with their political will to continually build more and more protected bike lanes on major roads to fill in their pledge from their recent Bicycle Master Plan. We continued our work with this modern administration and Development Services Department, helping guide them on issues of backlash from parking removal, misconceptions in commercial corridors and dealing with the ever-present issue of NIMBYism. Our work reached even further, offering local cutting-edge traffic engineers innovative ideas for intersection design and conceptual bicycle and pedestrian bridge links over the LA River.

BICYCLE URBANISM IN OUR MONTRÉAL OFFICE

The year started busy in our North American office, with the international Winter Cycling Congress being held in Montreal, Mikael presenting stories from Copenhagen and Russia, and hosting a number of delegates at our Mile End office. Our team began a first mandate with the City of Montréal, consulting on how they might best link bicycle infrastructure through the abandoned Outremont train yards, as a new university district rises from the rails. Throughout the year, Copenhagenize Design Co. advised on the local administration’s new bicycle framework plan, shared ideas with local leaders, collaborated with a number of local organisations to create design recommendations for problematic intersections, and continued to document the City’s bicycle infrastructure as Copenhagen-style footrests began to appear across the city. Next year is bound to be exciting as our team has high hopes for the new bicycle-friendly city administration.

FRENCH CITIES AND DANISH DESIGN











French deputies are working on the production of a general law on mobility that will be voted by the Parliament in 2018. Copenhagenize Design Co. has contributed to workshops in the aims of  highlighting the importance of prioritising cycling as a serious means of transportation in order to change the modern transport paradigm in our cities. Our team has been continuing to do innovative work with the Eurometropole of Strasbourg on a comprehensive visual identity, a wayfinding strategy and the implementation of services to turn the bicycle superhighway network VéloStras into a world-class metropolitan network. Through the efforts of a pilot project, Copenhagenize Design Co. evaluated the reactions of the bicycle users to the modern and innovative wayfinding designed for the
VéloStras network. The new visual identity branding for the network will be implemented across the 130 km of cycling routes. Moreover, together with partners – Inddigo and UrbaPlan – our France office has contributed to the elaboration of a new bicycle plan which will be voted in 2018 and driven by ambitions for the most bicycle-friendly city in France.

BELGIUM HAS A THIRST FOR COPENHAGEN





































In 2017 and ongoing into the new year, the Copenhagenize European teams have been supporting Omgeving, De Urbanisten, and COBE architects in a project that will shape future of Antwerp’s West Bank. As the city looks to overdeck an outdated ring motorway that has long served as a barrier within the urban fabric, the project team has presented a vision that engages local residents, nurtures local watersheds, and provides real mobility options. Copenhagenize’s participation in the project ensures the bicycle will play a primary role as a legitimate mode of transportation for traversing the former ring road and connecting the West Bank to the Centre City. 

Additionally, Copenhagenize Design Co. focused new attention on studying people not using a bicycle as a mode of transportation.Together with Kwin and the researchers of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, our local office contributed to a profiling of non-cyclists of Brussels in order to get a understanding of their mobility habits and their perception of cycling. Based on this analysis and the target groups defined, our team is in the process of producing a catalogue of communication campaign ideas for Brussels Region Capital for the new year.

COPENHAGENIZING CATALONIA


The new Copenhagenize Barcelona office hit the ground running. The results of a comprehensive Desire Lines Analysis in the Eixample neighbourhood of Barcelona were presented to the local city administration. 7 hours of observation and 2,627 cyclists were tracked in late 2016 and subsequently displayed in an engaging document for the local client at the beginning of this year to show how Barcelona’s intersections might be better conceived for vulnerable road users. Following this success, the local team has begun a new study for the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona analysing the  distribution of urban goods in low carbon emission zones. This work continuing into 2018 will culminate in the action of launching a micro-distribution pilot project – elevating and testing ideas of cargo bike logistics. As summer continued on, the City of Barcelona trusted our local team to make a review of all strategic work that the municipality has been developing over the last couple of years to improve bicycle mobility. With this project our team will be offering the municipality a global document from the perspective of best-practice bicycle infrastructure inspired by Copenhagen.

THE RETURN TO ALMETYEVSK - RUSSIA’S BICYCLE GEM


In 2017 we had the exciting opportunity to revisit Almetyevsk, a City we worked exclusively with in guiding their transformation into the most bicycle friendly city in Russia. The project began back in 2015, when we were commissioned to develop a bicycle strategy for this small city in the oil fields of Tatarstan. Two years and 100 kilometres of bicycle infrastructure later (yes, you read that right, 100 kilometres in 2 years) we returned to Almetyevsk to see firsthand how the city has transformed.

We had heard the skeptics before: “Nobody in Russia will ride a bike” “It’s too dangerous to cycle in Russia” or “You can’t bike in Russia, they have winters!”. But of course, Almetyevsk proved to be another case showing the importance of a network of reliable and safe bicycle infrastructure. Upon arriving on a Thursday afternoon, we were pleasantly surprised to see dozens of everyday people cycling along cycle tracks as if it was the most natural thing. 

Where once bicycles were relegated to playgrounds, they have now become an everyday mode of transportation in Almetyevsk, with everyone from children to seniors seen comfortably riding through the city along dedicated cycle tracks, guided by dedicated bicycle traffic signals, and welcomed with reliable bicycle parking.

TALKING ABOUT BICYCLE URBANISM - OVER 25 INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTES IN 2017


Copenhagenize Design Co., together with partners from the BiTiBi project, organised a European conference in Utrecht (The Netherlands) to promote the efficient use of first and last mile bike-train combined trips. Over a hundred participants attended the event with speakers from Belgium, the  Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Catalonia. They shared their successful local experience with intermodal projects and design and stressed the importance of building well-designed bike parking at train stations as well as offering reliable bikeshare systems for train passenger last mile travel (see below).

POSTCARDS FROM THE MECCA OF BICYCLE URBANISM
Copenhagen never ceases to inspire. With a rapidly expanding network of cycle superhighways connecting the region, widened cycle tracks, improved wayfinding, and newly dedicated ‘cycle streets’, the City continues to prove itself as the world’s most bicycle friendly urban centre. And these efforts don’t go unnoticed. New statistics released in 2017 show cycling and cycling infrastructure in Copenhagen to be more valuable than ever:
  • 97% of citizens are generally satisfied with the Copenhagen’s efforts as a cycling city.
  • 41% of trips to work or school are done by bicycle
  • The risk of injury for citizen cyclists has dropped 23% in the last ten years
  • 70% of Copenhagen children get to school by cycling, walking, skateboarding or scootering.
  • Copenhagen invests €39 per resident per annum on cyclingrelated initiatives
  • 48,400 bicycle riders cross Queen Louise Bridge on a typical weekday
  • The Farum cycle superhighway route has seen a 61% increase in bicycle traffic since opening in 2013
But the work is not done in Copenhagen. Much is still to be done if the city is going to reach the ambitious goal of 50% modal share by 2025. So here’s to 2018, surely to be another year of great cycling in Copenhagen.

PREVIEW 2018...

THE COPENHAGENIZE TEAM GROWS

In January 2018, Copenhagenize Design Co. welcomes a new member to its international, multidisciplinary team. Morten Kabell is stepping down from four years as the Copenhagen mayor of the Technical and Environmental Administration and after a rewarding 20 year career in municipal politics. He has chosen to continue his work in urban development with Copenhagenize overseeing organisational structure and development, helping to orchestrate the company’s growth in the coming years. He will also act as another external face of the company, alongside CEO Mikael Colville-Andersen, representing the consultancy at conferences and events around the world.

COPENHAGENIZE – THE BOOK
Copenhagenize the book offers vivid project descriptions, engaging stories, and best practices, alongside beautiful and informative visuals to show the general public how to make the bicycle an easy, preferred part of everyday urban life. The book will serve as inspiration for everyone working to get the bicycle back into our cities. It will give planners and designers the ammunition to push back against the Automobile Age and convince the skeptics of the value of the lifesized city. This is not a guide on how to become Copenhagen, but how to learn from the successes and failures (yes, failures) of Copenhagen and other cities around the world that are striving to become more livable. The book goes live in 2018 through Island Press.

AMSTERDAM ANALYSIS
The Copenhagenize Design Co. European team has kicked off the second in a series of intersection studies in Amersterdam, to understand how the City can better improve bicycle flow, safety and comfort. Work is already deep underway from the end of 2017 and will continue on into the new year. Copenhagenize has now launched Desire Lines Analyses in cities around the world from Amsterdam and Copenhagen to Barcelona and Montreal.