14 July 2013

Episode 01 - The Big Picture - Top 10 Design Elements in Copenhagen's Bicycle Culture


At Copenhagenize Design Co. we have the pleasure of having Ivan Conte interning for us for six months. Ivan is from Italy and he is working on his thesis whilst working with us.

Ivan is producing a series of ten films and this is the first. We wanted to explore the Top 10 Design Elements that make Copenhagen a bicycle-friendly city.

What does it take? What are the design ingredients that have been mixed together to create the bicycle-friendly Copenhagen outside our office windows?

In this first episode we talk about the Big Picture. The design of an overall network of bicycle infrastructure that prioritizes cycling, encourages citizens to choose the bicycle and that keeps them safe.

The Big Picture is the key. As we get through the other design elements episodes we'll explore the details. But this is where we start.

We'll roll out the other episodes over the next eight weeks.


FILM SERIES: TOP TEN DESIGN ELEMENTS IN BICYCLE-FRIENDLY COPENHAGEN
- EPISODE 01 - THE BIG PICTURE
- EPISODE 02 - THE GREEN WAVE
- EPISODE 03 - INTERMODALITY
- EPISODE 04 - SAFETY DETAILS
- EPISODE 05 - NØRREBROGADE
- EPISODE 06 - MACRO DESIGN
- EPISODE 07 - MICRO DESIGN
- EPISODE 08 - CARGO BIKES
- EPISODE 09 - DESIRE LINES
- EPISODE 10 - POLITICAL WILL

2 comments:

Helge said...

Interestingly, in Berlin, protected bike lanes are not being build anymore. At cross roads these are the main hazard spots of bike related accidents. Instead there are wide bike lanes painted onto the streets, where cyclists are being seen much better. This also leads to car drivers being much more aware of cyclists.

hamburger said...

Of course these painted bike lanes are an improvement to the safety of vehicular cyclists.

In fact figures of bike related acidents will turn down.

Those who are afraid of mixing up with car traffic, e.g the elderly, those who are accompanied by children, those who feel uncomfortable or frightened of close-by car traffic, all those people are kept back from going by bicycle.
The effect: Bike related accident figures are expected to turn down.
Operation well done!
But what about the patient?

In Germany bicycle safety discussion has taken an entirely wrong direction.
Bicycle safety is seen as an purely technical matter.
They pretend to create more bicycle use by decrease of bicycle accident figures.

There is strong evidence, that things go exactly the other way round.
Traffic science and a look on European countries show that bicycle accidents per km will suffer a strong decline, when bicycle traffic increases.

The very first thing to be done is to increase bicycle traffic. Safety will follow.

To come to an increase bicycle traffic, the aim of cycle planning must be to provide a quality cycling environment which meets ALL cyclists’ travel needs.

Thus, by safety in numbers, cyclist's safety increases.
And this is not only a technical outcome, as drivers are more aware of cyclists due to pure cyclists' numbers.
The safety-in-numbers not only causes urban development.
It is also reflected in a political and judicial process, it changes cultural and societal behaviours in traffic towards bicycle safety.

Unluckily, the interests of vehicular cycling and Big Car Business, which is Germany's most influencal industry, meet at that point of, in fact, preventing people from cycling.

Taken Big Car, the German kind of bicycle politics is a long searched for defense-line against uncontrollable further increasing of bicycle traffic and the gravely troubling of car business.

Making things worse, the car related and debt pressured local politics takes the chance of greenwashing itself for merely the cost of a bucket of white paint.