23 February 2010

Hungarian Bike to Work Campaign

If there were a World Championship for Promoting Cycling Positively, the Hungarians would be the bookmakers favourites to win every time.

There's simply very little competition out there to compete with them. The Dutch would be the only real competitors. Even so the Hungarians would probably win by a spoke simply because they're working towards increasing urban cycling and estabishing a bicycle culture and that energy would put them over the line first.

The above film is for the national Bike to Work campaign - Bringázz a Munkába. Showing cycling as normal and accepted. Highlighting community. Here's another one from the same campaign, showing what many might consider to be an unlikely candidate for cycling to work enjoying his commute. Selling it positively:

The Hungarian Cyclists Federation - Magyar Kerékpárosklub - are legends at promoting cycling positively. I've had the pleasure to meet with them and discuss promotion and behavioural campaigns. They are extremely well-informed and passionate and just sitting around a table with them is infectious. Their focus is, rightly, on mainstreaming urban cycling. Reestablishing the bicycle as a respected transport option. Respecting the sub-cultural aspects but aiming high at getting regular citizens to ride. For more about that there's always the Behavourial Challenges for Urban Cycling essay.

Here's another film from the campaign. We have enough Hungarian readers on this blog to be able to muster a translation, don't we? Chuck 'em into the comments.

And here's an advert from a previous Bike to Work campaign:

Rest assured, there are other cities doing the right thing and investing in campaigns that portray urban cycling for what it is; quick, effortless, enjoyable, etc. We have a few of them in this post about How Other Cities are Promoting Cycling.

But then there are cities who haven't understood the marketing basics. Like the last film in the above post about other cities, or the laughable attempt at 'promoting' cycling from Los Angeles DoT.

If we're talking World Championships, with the prize being a sharp rise in the number of Citizen Cyclists, cities that promote cycling with fear myths and car-centric angles won't even finish the race while cities like Budapest et al will win all the amazing societal benefits to be won.

I've been toying with the idea of a series of Copenhagenize Heroes photos. Portraits of people I've been lucky enough to meet on my bicycle travels and who inspire me and Copenhagenize. Let's start tout suite.
The President
Copenhagenize Hero #1 - Janos Laszlo, President of the Hungarian Cyclists Club. For his undying optimism, passion and visionary goals for putting the bike back into Hungary, under the bottoms of Citizen Cyclists across the land.


Sarah said...

Hi Copenhagenize,

Just wanted to give you a heads-up on an exciting new biking article in Sierra Magazine.

Although mostly known as a hiking club, we are also tackling some of the most important environmental issues we face – including cleaning up transportation, one of the main sources of climate change pollution.

In our current issue (March/April) of our Magazine, we feature a compelling story about innovative cycling infrastructure. This story is a must-read for committed bikers looking for ways to make their communities more livable and sustainable. And it will be read by hundred of thousands of non-cyclists who will learn just how important cycling is in the battle against climate change.

Here's a link to the article: http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/201003/nocar.aspx

Would you be interested in writing about this story?


Laca said...

I'm here to translate if anybody's interested.
Good to read about our campaign here. :)

Green Idea Factory said...

Brilliant communications, I agree!

Curious about response from both citizens and politicians: Financial support for infrastructure and amenities from the latter and behavior change and pressure on the politicians from the former.

Wijnandt said...

Fine article, but don't forget our own Dutch minister for social services, mr Piet Hein Donner, who has recently acquired a townie with gears, and traditionally has a reserved bike parking space: http://fietsen.web-log.nl/photos/uncategorized/2010/02/24/donnerfiets.jpg

It's worth noticing that mr Donner always cycles to our Queen's palace 'Noordeinde' when he has to meet her for govt. business.

gabor said...

About the response from polititians and people: this campaign is is organized by the mentioned Cyclists Federation and the Ministry of Transport together. Thus, it is actually already a response from politicians on the huge success of the Critical Mass movement that we've seen in the past years here.
Critical Mass and the Cyclists Federation (and other smaller NGOs) have been making significant changes in people's way of thinking about biking (and transport in the city) in the past few years. Each year we see more cyclists on the streets we have more and more politicians wanting to fund biking infrastructure. But it's still a big struggle with politicians. Each time a road is reconstructed, bikers still have to fight a lot to get the bike lanes become part of the project.

greg said...

freaking beautiful...enough said!

LGV said...

Congratulation to hungary ! i love the last video !

Anonymous said...

Love all the videos. I especially like the sense of fun that this series has.

aronman said...

hey all,
love to see bringázz a munkába on copenhagenize.com

at cyclechic.hu we came out with a video to say goodbye to the winter. although this was the coldest winter of the last years, no winter had so many bikers like this.

"the fascinating impossibility of biking in the winter"

aron from cyclechic.hu

aronman said...

ohh, i forgot: the almost one year old cyclechic.hu :)))

Cristina said...

@aronman: do you have any other Budapest biking links you can share? I'm very interested in the Hungarian biking culture. A group of 9 international students and myself are currently living in the Hague, but will be moving to Budapest in the fall. We love the Dutch bike culture here and hope we can find something like it in Budapest too!

@Laca: any brief translations would be great!

Kata said...

Hi there! Glad to see the post!
As I see there was a call for a translation, but no posted yet, so here's a quick and rough one (altough the message is clear without it i guess..):

video #1 (the bald guy)
Why to wait til the weekend? Ride your bike!

video #2 (crane guy)
Everybody can bike to work!

video #3 (random cyclists)

woman in green:
- Can I ask you something?
[already knew what the reporter wanted]
- Yes, I like to ride the bike very much!

old guy in purple:
- And what if there's snow?
- I bike then too!

guy in yellow:
- ..especially now, during the public transport stirke. But i'm not interested in the strike anyway, because I always bike everywhere!

guy in grey&cap:
- Several layers of clothes, that's what matters. And if it gets dark soon: visibility!

woman in green coat again:
- It's only that it's not the right time because I'm on holiday now.
- What do you wear when you're not on holiday?
- Pretty clothes, my work suit. "Important person costume":-D

old man in purple again:
- I'm wearing the same that I wear anytime. It's warm, I'm not cold!

last guy:
- I make 15-20 kilmetres [a day]..

video #4 (with the younger couple and the postman)
- would you like a cup of tea?
- thank you, that would be very nice!
- You'd better bike too, Dezső!...
(and then the postman is coming up..:-)

Laca said...

So, the lines being spoken are:

'Why would you wait until weekend?'

"Everybody can get to work by bicycle - bike to work!"

-May I ask you something?
-Yes, it's fun to ride a bike! :)

-What if there's snow?
-I'll bike anyway.

-...especially now, when it's BKV [local public transport company] strike - but I don't care about it, because I bike everywhere, anyway.

-Multi-layered clothing, nothing else...now, as it gets dark earlier, visibility - up front, and backwards.

-It's not a proper shoot now, because I'm having a week off.
-So tell me what you wear going to work?
-Normal, nice clothes. "Important-woman costume" :)

-I have the same clothes on, as any other time. It's warm, and I don't feel cold at all.

-It takes 15-20 km [a day].

-How about a cup of tea?
-Thank you, that would be very enjoyable.
-You should rather bike, too, Rezső!

You should rather bike, too!

Laca said...

@Kata: you've overtaken me during writing my version in the commentbox - but I'm glad to see the similarities. :)

aronman said...

@ Cristina:
send me a mail! aronman at gmail. dot com