Danish Bicycle Pioneers: Larry vs Harry from Copenhagenize on Vimeo. The second portrait in the series of Danish Bicycle Pioneers for Bicycle Innovation Lab. The first was a portrait of Carl Georg Rasmussen - father of the modern velomobile. This time it's Lars Malmborg and Hans Bullitt Fogh - Larry vs Harry - designers of the Bullitt cargo bike. Probably the hottest bicycle on the planet right now. The classic Danish longjohn, which transformed cargo bike culture back in the early 1920s, remained unchanged for more than 85 years. Nobody thought to make it better, lighter, faster. Until Larry vs Harry.
22 January 2013
05 December 2012
An American-style shopping centre on the outskirts of Copenhagen - Fields - has now created specific bicycle parking for cargo bikes. With 40,000 cargo bikes in Copenhagen, it really is a no brainer. Architect Lasse Schelde, head of the Bicycle Innovation Lab and environmental NGO Miljøpunkt Amager was responsible for this little pocket of visionaryness. I know that's not a word. Well, maybe it is now.
Great to see cargo bikes prioritised, not least because so many people use them. And a sensible solution, too, with railings to lock your bike to.
Copenhagenize Consulting is working on similar projects with our Cyclelogistics EU project.
22 May 2012
If you're wondering about the sporadic publishing here on the blog over the past while, it's simply because we have so many exciting projects on the go around the world at Copenhagenize Consulting.
One of the projects has been preparing our offering for the upcoming exhbition The Good City - Visions for a City on the Move, which the Bicycle Innovation Lab is curating. The exhibition opens on June 8th in Copenhagen, the first stop on a world tour.
It's an exciting exhibition. We're presenting our own vision from here at the company but we are also curating the vision from a third-grade class at LaCour Vej School. Nine and ten year old urbanists. They have been working hard on the redesign of the roundabout next to their school.
Here's the spiel about the exhibition from Bicycle Innovation Lab:
THE GOOD CITY
MINI-CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION
Friday the 8th of June at 12 o'clock, Bicycle Innovation Lab will inaugurate the international traveling exhibition The Good City. To herald the opening of the exhibition and the issues behind it, a mini-conference will be held the same day at the Danish Architecture Centre from 9.00 to 12.30. The exhibition runs from June 8th to July 8th.
“The world loves us. Copenhagen is a constant source of inspiration for cities around the planet, not least because of our bicycle culture, which has peaked at 37% of our citizens on bicycles. Our politicians have promised us that 50% of Copenhageners will use the bike in 2010... then 2012... then 2015 and now 2025. Since the promises were made, cycling levels have fallen to 35%. Copenhagen is the only city in the western world where cycling levels are falling, not rising.”
With these words, international bicycle culture consultant Mikael Colville-Andersen, of Copenhagenize Consulting, pinpoints the notion of Copenhagen as a pioneer in the field of cycling and urban development. Despite all good intentions and strategies, it has proven difficult to motivate an additional 15% of Copenhageners to choose the bicycle.
With The Good City exhibition, we seek to reverse this negative trend and inspire new visions and action. We have asked a number of prominent Danish and international architects, traffic planners, city planners, researchers and organisations to guide us toward the goal of 50% of people on bicycles, at the same time transforming Copenhagen into a better city to live in.
Official opening and reception on Friday, June 8th from 12.00 to 15.00 In Havnegaden – around No. 3, 1058 Copenhagen K.
The Good City exhibition is designed on a series of posters, with graphics and text portraying the history of Danish cycling, and how we imagine the city can further develop this tradition.
The exhibition is located outdoors at the new waterfront park on Port Street at the Custom House from June 8th to June 22nd and at Amagerbro Square from June 22nd to July 8th. Thereafter the exhibition will be an international traveling exhibition.
Friday June 8th from 9.00 to 12.30. At Danish Archtecture Centre, Strandgade 27B,1401
In preparation for the exhibition, we will hold a mini-conference that focuses on Copenhagen as a Bicycle City. Bicycle Culture in Copenhagen has become one of the city's major international brands. When it comes to cycling, Copenhagen is so far advanced that there is no turning back. But can we continue to be one of the world's most innovative cycling cities if we fail to develop and innovate our city and bicycle culture? There is a strong focus on increasing the number of cyclists, but how do we move from an abstract idea to reach that definitive goal? How do we create an innovative bicycle culture? And how can it be combined with concrete steps towards a better city?
To reflect on this we have invited four speakers:
• Architect for the City of Copenhagen, Tina Saaby works with architecture policy, which places emphasis on the sustainable city as a place with room for diversity, more bikes and more life between houses.
• International urban mobility consultant Mikael Colville-Andersen, of Copenhagenize Consulting,works to create and promote bicycle culture in cities around the world.
• Researcher in mobility behavior and the modern everyday life Malene Freudendal-Pedersen from Roskilde University who among other things, works on sustainable mobility as a possible future utopia.
• Project leader and one of the instigators of Bicycle Innovation Lab, Lasse Schelde, works with new ways to develop and promote bicycle culture in Copenhagen and internationally.
Participants will be asked about their own innovative task. The presentations will be followed by a visit to The Good City exhibition. After the program has officially ended, there will be a reception with time for refreshments and discussion.
You can register for the conference by sending an email to email@example.com no later than June 2nd with name, contact info, and company and position. Participation is free, however any cancellations must be reported no later than Monday June 4th or a fee of DKK 150 will be charged for catering.
10 December 2011
At long last, here is the first film in the series of Danish Cycling Pioneers, complete with subtitles. A portrait of Carl Georg Rasmussen, inventor of the Leitra - the first velomobile of the modern age.
At the opening of the Bicycle Innovation Lab last month, Carl Georg was honoured for his contribution to Danish cycling culture.
Here are some of the photos from the opening day:
We were overwhelmed by the response and the gifts/greetings from the City of Copenhagen's mayor in charge of traffic and enivironment, Danish State Railways, Danish Eco-Council, Copenhagen's Bicycle Office, you name it. Basically, all the important players on the bicycle culture front supported us at the opening.
We're humbled and thrilled.
11 November 2011
At today's opening of the Bicycle Innovation Lab in Copenhagen we presented the first film in our series about Danish Cycling Pioneers. First up is the Grand Old Man of velomobiles, Carl Georg Rasmussen, inventor of the Leitra.
We spent the day at his workshop in the country north of Copenhagen and filmed him talking about his passion, his career and his love of his product.
Carl Georg is 76 years old now and he still cycles 10000-12000 km a year. He recently returned from Stockholm in one of his velomobiles (as they're called today).
The series is about these individuals and the products they invented. The formation of the idea, the techniques used in developing them and their entire journey.
It took two energy crisises in the 1970s for Carl Georg to finally go to work on the Leitra - the granddaddy of all modern velomobiles. He is a civil engineer and he worked on designing planes and gliders. This expertise led to his basic idea for the Leitra. His philosphy was to make a cycle that worked and then afterwards place a cover onto it.
His first prototype was finished in the early 1980s and he continued to improve upon the design for many years afterwards. As a boy of 15 he saw a drawing of a kabinecykel - "cabin bike" - in a hobby book from a 1930s model made of wood and he went to work building a version for himself which he rode around in for a couple of years. It was heavy, however, and his work in airplane design later led to his use of plastic and carbon fibre for the shell.
He called it Let individuelt transport - or Light Individual Transport - and shortened it to Leitra.
Interviewing Carl Georg was a pleasure. So many fantastic anecdotes. Like when he was pulled over in 1982 by the Copenhagen police. They wanted to know what on earth he was riding in. "A cycle with weather protection", he replied. They called the station and were told to confiscate it immediately. It sounded dangerous, the way the officers described it. He got it back after writing to the Ministry of Justice's traffic division after convincing them that it was actually a great machine. He took it to the State's car inspection and they approved it except for one point. His eye level was too low and they wouldn't approve it.
Fortunately, he had a friend with an MG sportscar and he went to his place and measured the eye level with a ruler. Discovering that his friend actually sat 2 centimetres lower in the MG than Carl Georg in the Leitra.
Another letter to the Ministry. He asked them how they could let MG cars drive around, approved, on the streets with such a low eye level. Shortly afterwards he recieved approval to ride the Leitra in Denmark.
Denmark has never been a great velomobile nation. Carl Georg has survived thanks to loyal customers in Germany, Holland and Austria. He mentions that the Dutch brands, who started ten years after him - and inspired directly by him - had a much easier time of it. They had a home market right away, whereas 80% of the Leitras produced were exported.
Carl Georg has taken part in all manner of bicycle events. Paris-Brest-Paris, Sjælland Rundt in Denmark and many others. His Leitra performs impeccably.
I had a go, as well. I can't see myself ever owning one, to be honest, but my goodness what a brilliant ride. I got out smiling like a Cheshire cat.
Choosing Carl Georg as the first in the series of Danish Cycling Pioneers was a given. The man who gave Europe the velomobile and who dedicated his life to his work. We salute him. And thank him for his contribution to cycling.
See also www.leitra.dk
09 November 2011
Copenhagenize Consulting is proud to present the opening of Denmark's first cultural centre for cycling - Bicycle Innovation Laboratory. Together with our colleagues at the NGO Miljøpunkt Amager we've created a space where Danish bicycle culture can be celebrated, as well as further developed.
The Bicycle Innovation Lab - B.I.L. for short (which, by some strange coincedence looks remarkably like the Danish word for car - 'bil'... hmm) has been made possible through funding from the government's Bicycle Fund (Cykelpuljen) administered by the Danish Road Directorate.
We had long thought that Danish bicycle culture needed a physical home. A place where ideas could be fostered and discussed. A launch pad for innovation.
This Friday that home will open its doors to the public. Danish bicycle culture enjoys global exposure thanks to the internet and not least thanks to both Copenhagenize and Cycle Chic. We can now offer not only citizens but visitors to the city a place where they can enjoy a focused view of our diverse bicycle culture.
Our inspriation sources for the cultural centre include the Danish Design Centre and the Danish Architectural Centre.
B.I.L. will be many things gathered under a big bicycle umbrella. The nature of the funding means that B.I.L. will grow along a upwards curve. In the first phase:
- There will be a Bikeotheque - a library where people can borrow various bicycles for three or four days.
- We will create a forum for keynote speakers from around the world to present their ideas on urban cycling.
- We have built a workshop for citizens to come and learn to build their own frames, work on their bicycles and, hopefully, develop new ideas.
- We'll be leading urban planning bicycle tours in 2012 for interested parties.
The list of upcoming projects is long and exciting but let's just get this puppy inaugurated first, shall we? We're done painting, welding, sawing and building. We are looking forward to sharing now.
And we'll kick it off at 11:11 on 11.11.2011.
Here's the Facebook group, too.
If you're in Copenhagen on Friday, you're welcome to come to an Open House between 14 - 17.
Bicycle Innovation Laboratory is located at:
2300 Copenhagen S.
Hope to see you there!