Here on the cusp of a new year, Copenhagenize Design Company looks back on our activities in 2016. All of our offices have been busy and we are, in retrospect, thrilled and humbled by the past 12 months.
Our offices in Copenhagen and France - the latter being the HQ for all our work in French speaking countries - have experienced an unprecedented level of work for client cities. Our new office in Barcelona is gearing up and our most recent new office, in Montreal, hit the ground running.
Here is a summary of our work in 2016.
Bicycle Planning and Coaching
Planning and coaching for client cities is, of course, still our primary focus and core competence at Copenhagenize Design Company. It is also in this area that we are experiencing an exponential growth in our client base.
City of Almetyevsk, Tatarstan, Russia
Starting with the City of Almetyevsk is obvious for us. It is simply the most exciting project we are involved in - and wilder than our wildest dreams. We were hired by the city after an email exchange back in October 2015, to develop a bicycle infrastructure network and strategy for this city of 150,000. We were no stranger to the task but we didn’t quite realise what kind of visionary client had hired us at the time.
Ayrat Khayrullin is the young, ambitious mayor who acknowledged the importance of a holistic bicycle strategy that values Best Practice, world-class facilities, constructive communication strategies and above all, dedicated cycle tracks. From the get-go, Khayrullin expressed one clear goal: to transform Almetyevsk into the most bicycle friendly city in Russia, one where he would feel confident sending his young year-old son off to school by bike.
In our preliminary meetings with the city, we quickly agreed on the process and the goals. 200 km of bicycle infrastructure in a cohesive network of Best Practice infrastructure. Nothing less. At our meetings in the city in Fall 2015, we were told that they wanted to get to work on construction in Spring 2016.
We developed a vision for a not-so-distant future Almetyevsk: “A place where the young and old, rich and poor, can cycle alongside one another on a safe and connected network of best practice bicycle infrastructure.” Some more quantifiable goals will help in guiding this vision forward into the future.
Construction on the project began in late May, 2016, coinciding with Russia’s annual bicycle parade day and a ribbon cutting ceremony, celebrating the first 50 km of Best Practice, separated bicycle infrastructure in a cohesive network.
Read more about the Almetyevsk project here.
City of Long Beach, California
With a large bicycle sculpture mounted on the side of their City Hall, the City of Long Beach has quite literally seized the title of “America’s most bicycle friendly city”. This year they’ve continued to champion the bicycle as a legitimate mode of transportation by bringing Copenhagenize Design Co. on board with two separate projects. The first has us advising the City not only on collecting new data on the who, where, why and hows of cycling in Long Beach, but ensuring the newfound data will be presented to the public in an accessible and informative manner. We’ve also been working with Long Beach’s endlessly impressive Department of Public Works, coaching them through more difficult infrastructure solutions from a bicycle user’s perspective.
The bicycle urbanism future in Long Beach is as bright as the sun that shines down on it.
City of Detroit
In the American city synonymous with the automotive industry, the bicycle is returning to the urban landscape. In a big way. Copenhagenize Design Co. has been brought onboard to develop a network strategy for Detroit’s greater downtown. Connecting the downtown core with surrounding universities, hospitals, cultural destinations and surrounding neighbourhoods, the project aims to introduce a network of protected, connected bicycle infrastructure. Accompanying the infrastructure plan will be public education campaigns presents cycling in a normative, accessible, and affirmative tone.
We are thrilled by the energy and drive coming out of the planning department and City Hall about remodelling Detroit into a city of the future.
City of Paris - Bike Share
The City of Paris has plans to upgrade and expand their much lauded bike share programme, Velib, farther into the Greater Paris area. Paris was one of the first major cities to launch a large-scale bike-share scheme in 2007. Almost 10 years later, the contract with the bike share provider had to be renewed and the City of Paris hired the French consulting firm Inddigo and Copenhagenize Design Co. to assist in defining the future of the scheme and the expansion into the suburbs of Greater Paris. Copenhagenize brought our focus on user-friendliness and an international benchmark of qualitative bike share programmes to the table. We presented new services and technology that have been developed to meet users’ expectations.
City of Paris – Cycling Superhighway
All the cool kids are thinking about bicycle superhighways as a transport solution and Paris is no exception. Copenhagenize Design Co. was hired by the City of Paris to provide a study on the current cycling climate and the upcoming plans for a network of protected cycle tracks throughout the city. Copenhagenize profiled cyclists and analysed seven intersections with our Desire Line Analysis Tool in order to provide the city with a comprehensive understanding of cycling conditions before turning the main boulevards into a network of safe infrastructure for bicycle users. In addition, we provided them with a range of international best practices to manage intersections that will allow the city to upgrade the current cycling climate in the city.
City of Bordeaux
The City of Bordeaux employed Copenhagenize Design Co. to organise workshops, an inspirational keynote and a study trip to Copenhagen - The City of Cyclists.
Before setting up an action plan for improving cycling conditions of their territory, Bordeaux Métropole asked us to provide advice and inspiration based on the Danish bicycle urbanism model. After attending a keynote in Bordeaux and participating in a study trip to Copenhagen, the politicians unanimously voted for an ambitious Cycling Strategy for the next four years in order to make cycling a comfortable and competitive means of transportation in the Greater Bordeaux area. Moreover, Bordeaux Métropole is working on developing bicycle-friendly areas which will be used to set up a new standard of both qualitative infrastructure and services for cyclists.
City of Strasbourg
Copenhagenize Design Co. and our partner, Inddigo, were hired by Strasbourg Eurométropole to advise the local authority on all topics related to cycling for the next four years. It’s exciting for us to work in a city where political will to develop cycling infrastructure has been consistent for many years. In 2016, this partnership started by the creation of a visual identity and a new wayfinding for the well-structured cycling superhighway network, VéloStras, running through the whole metropolitan area. We look forward to the next four years of work with Strasbourg.
City of Amsterdam
After working with the City of Amsterdam on Desire Line Analyses, we were tasked with designing urban solutions and ideas for how the city could inspire local cyclists and provide them with facilities that would both make them feel welcome and benefit safety.
Keynotes and Presentations
Regarding keynotes and presentations, we continued where we left off in inspiring cities and local stakeholder about the possibilities of taking the bicycle seriously as transport once again. Our CEO, Mikael Colville-Andersen, continues to do his renowned keynotes around the world, as he has done for the past eight years. Now, with our growing team in our international offices, we are reaching out to a broader range of audiences and sharing our experience, expertise and core philosophies. Between Mikael, James Thoem (Copenhagen), Clotilde Imbert (Brussels), Jordi & Marie Elisa (Barcelona) and Michael Wexler (Montreal) we have spoken at conferences in, among other cities, Berlin, Rome, Graz, Oslo, Salt Lake City, Barcelona, Denver, Cairo, Vancouver, Montreal, Bordeaux and Moscow.
Delegations and Study Tours
It’s one thing telling the story to audiences around the world. It’s quite another hosting delegations right here in Copenhagen. It is inspiring for us to be able to show Copenhagen for what it is, cycling around with groups from all over the world. There is no shortage of study groups and delegations making the journey to Copenhagen and Copenhagenize Design Co. is a primary choice for foreign engineers, planners, policymakers and student groups looking to decode the Danish bicycle urbanism model. In 2016 we hosted delegations from eight countries, with a total of over 250 participants.
The Master Class by Copenhagenize
Again this year we cast ourselves headlong into the Master Class fray in June. Twenty participants from four continents were selected to attend our three day, total immersion Master Class in the City of Cyclists. Sharing concepts, thoughts, and ideas with such an amazing group of participants remains one of our educational highlights year after year.
This year saw an increase in the number of exhibitions that featured our work.
- Bikeology Cycling Exhibition, Museum of Applied Arts, in Budapest, Hungary.
- Bike To The Future, Design Museum Ghent, in Belgium.
- Mutations Urbaines: la ville est à nous!, Cité des sciences & de l’industrie in Paris, France.
After such an inspiring year, all the crew at Copenhagenize Design Co. around the world are looking forward to 2017. Thanks to all our clients for making 2016 so brilliant.