29 January 2012

A Kickstand for Halifax

Copenhagenize Halifax
Off to Halifax in the morning. The purpose of the visit is to kick off The Kickstand Sessions - Bicycle Policy Training Sessions. Copenhagenize Consulting has teamed up with Mobycon from the Netherlands to host comprehensive bicycle policy training sessions for professional planners, traffic engineers, architects, marketing people and NGOs. Both Mobycon and Copenhagenize Consulting see more value in combining Dutch AND Danish best practice and policy in order to provide inspiration for local solutions in cities. There seems to be a bit of "bicycle nationalism" gaining purchase and when the goal is inspiring cities around the world to starting placing the bicycle higher up on the traffic pyramid, all the good experience should be presented all at once. The "bicycle embassies", it would seem, are interested in providing a platform for local companies to present their products to a wider market. Fair enough, it's a market economy. Goods and services must be sold.

We just think cities should be given the chance to see the wealth of ideas at their disposal, regardless of national origin, in order to kickstart an urban planning and traffic engineering revolution.

We're looking forward to launching the Kickstand Sessions in Halifax. Our partners in the city have informed us that a number of city councillors will be attending and the Premier of Nova Scotia, Darrell Dexter, will also be present on the last day to hear what kind of solutions the training session participants have come up with for Halifax and other towns in the province. It's going to be great.

On Tuesday, I'll be also speaking at Dalhousie University with my Four Goals for Promoting Urban Cycling talk - as well as a bit of Bicycle Culture by Design. Thanks so much to the Halifax Cycling Coalition for producing the above poster.

Atlantic Canada, here we come.


Anonymous said...

You will love Halifax. It is a beautiful, walkable city. It is sorely lacking in bicycle infrastructure, though. If the city can just get over this hurdle, I think it will be a world class city where anyone would want to live.

Kevin Love said...

Welcome to Canada!

Coming to Toronto any time soon?

Kevin Love said...

I agree with Anonymous.

One reason why Halifax is such a wonderful walkable city is its role as a major port city. There are a lot of both civilian and military vessels using the port. When thousands of sailors with money to burn in their pockets hit the port, they don't carry cars with them.

For Halifax to achieve its goal of efficiently separating sailors from their money, it absolutely has to be pedestrian-friendly.

It is a rather fun time to be downtown when a NATO North Atlantic fleet is in.

Here are the Royal Canadian Navy ships based in Halifax:


Erik Griswold said...

Go' rejse! I hope they booked you through somewhere sane like Keflavik and not insane like Heathrow.

Erik Griswold said...

"Fair enough, it's a market economy. Goods and services must be sold. "

Wait what? The U.S. media (and some of the Canadian) tells us that those Scandidutch countries are "socializmist"!

Erik Sandblom said...

So true about bike advocacy nationalism. There's more than one way to do things! I think Portland's neighborhood greenways are simple and effective. Traffic calming lets cyclists use the streets that are already there. I love bike paths too, but those two-stop arrangements for left turns just seem like a kludge to me... even if they're Dutch.

lagatta à montréal said...

I hope this will also be a boost to the valliant Haligonians who are struggling against a bluidy helmet law in Nova Scotia.

Perhaps they should do a punk ride in Scottish headgear.

Yes, Halifax is a great, walkable city.

Anonymous said...

Love the poster for the event! so sexy and stylish!

Slow Factory said...

Erik Sandblom, you mean the DANISH two-step kludge?

Also wonder why they used an Electra in this nationalistic graphic.