01 September 2009

Bike Share Design Competition for Copenhagen

Copenhagen bike share design competition
Today's the day that the City of Copenhagen has launched an international Bike Share Design Competition.

Back in 1996, the Bycykel - City Bike - hit the streets. Copenhagen became the first major city to launch a bike share programme. Previously it was only La Rochelle that had managed to maintain a successful programme, albeit small scale.

The City Bike was a hit and it was widely covered in the global press. The bikes left much to be desired with their sturdy design but they managed to stick around for 13 years. Mostly the domain of tourists who love the gimmick, the ease-of-use of the bicycles is popular. Running on a shopping trolley system, you stick a 20 kroner coin in and ride it around until you're done, whereafter you get your 20 kroner back.
Tourist Bikes
All well and good, but the City of Copenhagen has decided that it's time to evolve.

As the Mayor Klaus Bondam puts it:
"Much has happened since this Bike Share v. 1.0 was launched and, over the past ten years, many large cities now enjoy exciting, new bike share systems. From Barcelona to Beijing, a new generation of bike share systems have blossomed. To the delight of locals, tourists and commuters alike.

Copenhagen is a unique, world-class cycling city and this fact should be refl ected in the city’s bike share system. Our city is the best example of how the bicycle can become the preferred form of transport in a modern city. An attractive and modern bike share system can contribute to strengthening Copenhagen’s bicycle culture. Therefore The City of Copenhagen is pleased to launch an open design competition in order to determine how a bike share system v. 3.0 would look and work in the city in the future."

There you have it. An international design competition for the next generation of city bikes in a modern bike share programme. More specifically, the design competition is the first step towards Copenhagen implementing a new bike share system that is...

- an attractive product for the city's guests
- an indispensible piece of the transport puzzle for train passengers
- a faithful friend in an hour of need for Copenhageners
- easily integrated and implemented in an existing city
- unique, elegant and attractive
- robust.

The website is www.cphbikeshare.com. You can download the Competition Programme from the website or right here. All the information you need is on the website.

Deadline for entries is November 18, 2009.

It's going to be exciting to see what the competition participants come up with.

Good luck!

copenhagen bike share design competition


spitfire said...

Interesting. If you think the existing bikes in Amsterdam out of all cities are inadequate, then no one can help reduce this paranoia that leads one to believe that with better bikes, more people will cycle. Unfortunately, what comes out of design competitions usually are nothing but marketing hoopla in fine color print, such as spokeless wheels, weird folding contraptions made of plastic and other nonsense that creates more problems than what they started out with in the existing bicycle design. Next...

Jurich said...

I agree with spitfire. More bicycle designs are not the problem.

Mikael said...

i don't get the point. it's a bike share programme design competition.

sure, that includes bicycles, but it is a transport programme.

read the competition guidelines. it's about how people who arrive by train from other parts of the country/europe can easily hop onto a bicycle, like the Velib / Velov / Bicing / etc systems. The whole package, from finding a bike, booking a bike, paying for it, and delivering it back elsewhere. it's not just about the bicycles.

I think you'll find that there won't be any plastic fantastic contraptions in the Bike Share v. 03. The City of Copenhagen has an expressed wish that elegance plays a role in the design of the bicycles.

Mikael said...

oh, and i didn't get what amsterdam had to do with this, either. :-)

Amsterdamize said...

yeah, spitfire, explain yourself :). There's no bike share program in Amsterdam. So you must be talking about the 'Red Monsters' or the 'Yellow Mellows', or perhaps the brand new Public Transportation bikes? As far as I know, and I know A'dam bikes, they are pretty good and up to par.

The only (perceived by visitors) 'inadequate' bikes I can think of our the Amsterdam people's clunkers, beaters, rat bikes, you know, the shitty-almost-falling-apart-but-will-still-last-another-century ones that are part of that unofficial public transportation programs...'How not to get your bike stolen' & 'My bike got stolen, but I don't weep, I'll get another one. I was more bummed about losing my chain lock'.

tongue firmly planted in cheek :-p

MUN said...

Amsterdam did have a bike share program in the sixties, the so-called 'witte fietsenplan' (white bikes plan). It was created by PROVO, a group of artist-revolutionairies who wanted to make Amsterdam the magic center of the world and car free. It was a protest against the polution caused by cars and more than that:the total destruction of city life by the four wheeled monster. The plan failed. see: http://www.marijuanalibrary.org/HT_provos_0190.html
Anyways, i cannot imagine that Copenhagen has more active bikers than in any Dutch city. So it is inadequate to claim that Copenhagen is the foremost modern city when it comes to biking. Great initiative though and i would love to check it out one day. One more thing, although there are no white bikes it is very easy and inexpensive to rent a bike here in Amsterdam and any other place where there is a train station. You pay two euro a day (that is if you have a special public transport card).

Mikael said...

mun: copenhagen and amsterdam are equals when it comes to bicycles. they have the same numbers of cyclists.

this has been the case for forty years. funny you just heard of it now. :-)

your Fietsberaad were here on a study trip earlier this year and Fietsersbond is coming next month.

We're all inspiring each other.

Bragi said...

I'm glad to see this happening. I just came back from a (very fun!) vacation including several days in Copenhagen. We used the free city bikes for a while one day. What's unfortunate is there is no place (rack or basket) for a bag, and my girlfriend (who is 5') found them too tall even in the lowest seat position. The coaster brake, while it took some getting used to, was handy while riding in the rain with an umbrella. The single speed was not a big limitation on the mostly (except bridges!) flat terrain, though 3 speeds might be nice.

We ended up renting better bikes for taking a longer ride, but it was nice to have the city bikes available!


V. said...

i used the city bikes as a visitor to Copenhagen, in year 2006. It took me sometime to figure out how to find them. The locals were not knowledgable about the program to direct clueless tourists. Sign posts scattered around the city center might be a great use.
I found the whole experience very refreshing. Free bikes in a cosmopolitan area? just mind blowing :)

Anonymous said...

As an avid bicyclist I can only ask why would a BikeShare Program be limited to only renting bikes?

What about public parking?

Why not rent cargo and family carrier types as well?

Is off street parking and clearing the sidewaks of the cluttered bikes racks important?

Perry said...

I had read the BikeShare Design Competition RFP closely before we submitted our design for consideration. We even included our own version of a bike so that our proposal was complete. How we differed from the other entrants was that we addressed public parking within our design(#85417). We felt that Copenhagen, as well as other cities, would appreciate having clear sidewalks and roadways vs the racks and kiosks. With our Spring 2010 Launch (www.bikevalet-us.com) we'll let the public speak as they use the system. Perhaps those locations(i.e. Groningen) will be interested in converting to our high density storage system. Thanks........