Showing posts with label graphics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label graphics. Show all posts

22 April 2014

The New Question for 21st Century Cities

The New Question for Cities
It's all so simple if we want it to be. For almost a century we have been asking the same question in our cities.

"How many cars can we move down a street?"

It's time to change the question.

If you ask "How many PEOPLE can we move down a street?", the answer becomes much more modern and visionary. And simple. Oh, and cheaper.

When I travel with my Bicycle Urbanism by Design keynote, I often step on the toes of traffic engineers all around the world. Not all of them, however. I am always approached by engineers who are grateful that someone is questioning the unchanged nature of traffic engineering and the unmerited emphasis placed on it. I find it brilliant that individual traffic engineers in six different nations have all said the same thing to me: "We're problem solvers. But we're only ever asked to solve the same problem."

This graphic is inspired by the wonderful conversations I've had around the world about my keynote. How many people we can move down the street is the New Question for liveability and transport in The Life-Sized City.

With urbanisation on the rapid rise, we need to think big. Think modern. We need to travel Back to the Future for the solutions that will serve our growing populations best. Cycle tracks. Trams. Wider sidewalks. It's all right there for the taking if we dare to take it.

04 April 2014

Bikes Beat Metro in Copenhagen

Travel Times in Copenhagen
Like anyone interested in city life, we at Copenhagenize Design Co. like to keep our eyes on the street life of our city. Currently however, the City of Copenhagen is planning to take some away from the street, by forcing  people underground, with the 'Cityringen' expansion of the Metro. Instead of investing in the reestablishment of our tram network - so rudely removed by the ironically-named mayor Urban Hansen in the 1970s - like cities all over Europe, Copenhagen seems keen to get people off the street.

This doesn’t come cheap: 3 billion Euros gets you an additional 17 stations added to the existing Metro network. In a nice circle shape. Perhaps some of the cost can be explained by the fact that It is not easy to build a Metro in Copenhagen, a city that is on the whole scarcely above sea level, and with a dense urban fabric too.  It's due for completion in 2018, but that's later than the initial estimate and with the date still some way off who knows whether it will actually be ready by then - just ask the planners in Amsterdam, where a new metro line has been under construction since 2002 and is still not finished, although it was supposed to have been operating for several years by now. As well as that, Amsterdam's costs more than doubled from initial estimates.

But this article is not only about the Metro extension in Copenhagen; it deals with the question of which kinds of transportation are needed to support cities in becoming more liveable. We realise that we won't be stopping the Metro, but we are keen to highlight - even years before it's finished - that it ain't "all that".

The projections for the Metro also have an alarming statistic buried in the paperwork. Cycling levels in Copenhagen are expected to drop by an estimated 2.8%. That is a lot of cyclists we'll be losing. 

We know what people want. We want to move fast, safe and cheap from A to B. Also, the transportation system has to be sustainable, namely environmentally friendly, at a reasonable cost to society and it should not exclude anyone.

Since we are hands-on people here at Copenhagenize, we decided to just test it ourselves. We were curious how the different transport modes score compared to each other and especially how the bike performs against trains, buses and the new Metro.

What we did was simple. For some days we tracked all our journeys from our homes to the Copenhagenize office (and vice versa) or other routes with the GPS-based App Endomondo. A great app - also because it includes Cycling - Transport as an option. Not surprisingly, it's a Danish app. Sometimes we came by public transport, sometimes, as normal, by bike.

As the new metro is not operating yet, we had to be a bit creative when comparing it to the bike. We built scenarios to challenge the totally unrealistic times which are published on the project website of the Metro extension. If false advertising is a thing, the Metro are guility of it. "7 minutes from Nørrebro Runddel to Enghave Plads!", they declare, without anyone bothering to check if it's true. Until now.

To be clear about that point: It is probably very realistic that the time you will need to spend on the metro carriage itself between the future stations Nørrebro Runddel and Enghave Plads is seven minutes. The unrealistic part about that is that nobody lives or works in those stations.

To have a realistic Home to Work scenario with which we could compare travel times with the bicycle, we took addresses in potential residential areas in a range of less than one kilometre to a future Metro station and tracked the time it takes to walk from the address to the future station. We then added the two minutes that it takes to get down to the train and wait for it. (We actually timed this at a number of stations and worked out an average. We like details.)

And then comes the time you actually spend in the train, followed by the fact that it will take another minute (again, on average based on our timings) to get off the Metro and reach the street level again. Lastly we added the walking time from the station to an address in a potential working area, again in a range of less than one kilometre to the Metro station. As you can imagine, a trip incorporating the journey from Nørrebro Runddel and Enghave Plads doesn't take seven minutes any more.

Here you can see the results of our Bike vs. Metro study.  
TIME bike vs. future metro - copie copie
TIME bike vs. future metro - 2nd map - copie copieFor the bike trips we assumed that we were travelling at an average speed of 16kph, which is the average pace people cycle in Copenhagen. Very relaxed, without having to sweat, and doable for all cyclists. We also added two minutes to unlock, park and lock the bike. The results are impressive: in three out of five scenarios the bike is faster door to door than the Cityringen line will ever be.

In one scenario there is a tie between Metro and bike and in only one instance is the Metro slightly faster. The longer you have to walk to and from the station (last mile) the higher are the chances that the bike will be faster. From our data we see that 700m can be seen as a threshold: if you take the metro to work and have to walk more than 700m (about 10 minutes) on the way from door to door, you almost certainly would have been faster by bike.

We're asking why the City of Copenhagen and the Danish government put so much money into something which does not bring a significant advantage to the people in the city? We're not saying that a Metro never makes sense. There are cities where the Metro is an indispensable element in the transportation system, carrying millions of people a day, like in London, Paris or New York. But does it make sense in cities like Copenhagen or Amsterdam, where you can reach almost everything in the centre within 20 minutes on a bike?

Of course, we understand that not everybody is able to ride a bike. And we definitely want a transport system which does not exclude anybody.

So, where is your tram, Copenhagen?

Imagine what a fantastic tram network we could have for €3 billion. Look at France, where new tram systems are popping up like mushrooms. Also, there would be plenty of money left to further improve the cycling infrastructure within the city. What we get now is a new line with 17 stations which runs in a circle and only connects to other lines at two points. It doesn't seem like the main effect of this project will be to make Copenhagen more liveable. The City of Copenhagen is clearly afraid of reducing car traffic. Despite the goodness in the city, they still are intent on maintaining the car-centric status quo.

Back to the competition: What about our commuting trips we tracked? Also in those cases the bicycle is highly competitive as you can see in the graphics below.  
TIME bike vs.bus - Map 1
TIME bike vs.bus - Map 2 - copie copie
On trips less than ten kilometres the bike is usually the fastest option. The longer the trips are, for example from Frederiksberg to the Airport at Kastrup or from Glostrup to the new Copenhagenize office on Papirøen (Paper Island on the Harbour), the better public transport scores. That makes sense and it is also in line with the fact that cycling drops significantly for trips longer than eight kilometres.

But we also have to mention that we set the average speed for cyclists even on the longer commuter trips to 16kph. It can be assumed however, that commuters who cycle everyday between 10 and 15 kilometres to work are faster than that. The bicycle superhighway network for greater Copenhagen for instance is designed for an average speed of 20kph. And then, the bicycle is even very competitive up to distances around 15 kilometres.

So, what’s the message of our short study about getting from A to B in Copenhagen? First: there's no obvious need to invest billions in mega projects if the effect is as small as in Copenhagen’s current Metro extension project. Secondly: Invest the money instead in cycling infrastructure.

Our little experiment has shown again that the bicycle is the best mean of transport to get from A to B in a city. And thirdly: Invest in public transport solutions which cover a larger geographical area at a lower cost. Like trams or light rail.

And lastly, you might wonder why we did not include the car in our comparison. Well, because a car wouldn't make sense at all for daily trips in a city and because only 14% of Copenhageners transport themselves by car each day. 

05 March 2014

Where Do You Want to Go?

Copenhagenize Traffic Planning Guide II
Things are changing, no doubt about it. All over the world. Like in every paradigm shift there are cities that move fast, cities that try to play catch up and cities that are still tying their shoelaces in the starting blocks.

One of the primary challenges that remains is the perception of who infrastructure is for. I meet many politicians and planners around the world who clearly think that they are expected to provide safe infrastructure for the few people riding bicycles in their city right now. They fail to understand that they should be building infrastructure for all the citizens who COULD be riding a bicycle if they felt safe on a complete network of infrastructure.

The Zeros to Heroes cities that are way ahead of the curve - for example Barcelona, Seville, Dublin, Bordeaux, Paris, Buenos Aires - have just rolled up their sleeves and built infrastructure. Infrastructure that actually reflects where the citizens want to go in a city. Which is basically the same as where everyone else wants to go.

In many other cities, bits and pieces of infrastructure are put in where it won't bother the motorised traffic too much. Often such bits and pieces are launched with much fanfare. "See! We are thinking about bicycles!" Even though the bits and pieces are symbolic gestures that do little to reestablish the bicycle as transport on the urban landscape. Here in 2014, after seven or eight years since the bicycle returned to the public consciousness, there are only 370 km of protected bicycle infrastructure in all of the United States, compared to 1000 km in Greater Copenhagen alone.

What I often see around the world is attempts by cities to put cyclists where they want them to ride, based on false assumptions that this is want cyclists also want. "Ooh, those cyclists must really want to ride on quiet roads, away from traffic.... yeah... that's what they want." Then follows symbolic routes following all the vague principles of detours.

Citizen Cyclists are sent out of the way of basically everywhere that city-dwellers want to go. Shops, businesses, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, workplaces. The existing, historical Desire Lines of a city - aka roads - remain the domain of automobiles.

While Copenhagen may be "all that" these days, mistakes have been made. Lessons have been learned. Back in the 1980s when citizens were returning to the bicycle thanks to the reestablishment of cycle tracks, the City learned a valuable lesson. Cyclists were following the busy streets to get to and from the city centre. Normal behaviour for homo sapiens.

The City decided that this couldn't possibly be what they wanted. They assume cycling citizens wanted quiet routes, even if it meant they would have to go a bit out of they way. They constructed a pilot project route roughly parallel to Nørrebrogade - along Guldbergsgade - that they were sure would please the cycling citizens.

It was a flop. A2Bism will dictate that people want to travel along the most direct Desire Line, regardless of transport form. To the City of Copenhagen's credit, they respected this simple anthropological desire and started building cycle tracks along the pre-existing Desire Routes - the main arteries leading the city centre.

The rest is history.

If you live in a car-dominated city you might be pleased with symbolic municipal gestures like "bicycle boulevards" or whatever they call them, or bits of narrow "bike lanes". You are, however, being handed the short end of the stick. Bicycle urbanism may be a phrase I coined but the principles have existed since cities first were formed. Best Practice is right there, for the taking. With a bit of balance you might be able to rest your weary bones on a two-legged chair. Definately better than no chair. But four-legged chairs are on the market. Demand them.

29 December 2013

How Cities Should be Designed

Another graphic illustration of the paradigm shift that is necessary for our cities.

25 December 2013

My Family Tree as a Metro Transit Map

I was thinking about designing a family tree. I have a huge family and it's often hard to keep track of all of them. I had a look around the internet and realised that there was little inspiration for designing a family tree, from a graphic design perspective. Shockingly little inspiration.

So I thought... what if my family was a metropolitan transit system? What would the metro map look like?

It took a while to figure out the details and the design. It's basically an infographic. Family trees are limited to a certain flow and order, which is maybe why there is so little new developments in the design of them.

Anyway, here's the result. The Andersen Metropolitan Transportation Map.

It goes without saying that bicycles are allowed on all these trains.

16 October 2013

The Copenhagenize Guide to Liveable Cities

Copenhagenize Guide to Liveable Cities
It's simple if you want it to be.

Copenhagenize Design Co.

A Short History of Traffic Engineering Copenhagenize Traffic Planning Guide The Copenhagenize Bicycle Planning Guide Don't Be a Square Motorists Dismount

28 May 2013

Bike Share Graph Gauging Public Opinion

The Bike Share Whine-o-meter

In light of the recent launch of New York City's Citibike bike share system, Copenhagenize Design Co. has produced this highly-scientific and frightfully academic statistical graph.

Based on the 500-odd bike share systems now in place in the world we have gathered all the public perception of the systems and crunched the data - compressing it rudely but effectively into one easy graph - for use by cities who are considering implementing a bike share system.

We have also assisted some NIMBYs in New York. One of them was quoted as saying that he couldn't imagine the Mayor of Paris - the city of arts - placing a bike share rack in front of the Louvre:

14 May 2013

I Vacuum Copenhagen

Vacuum Cleaner Culture
Vacuum cleaner transporting a ... vacuum cleaner.

I've been saying for years that we don't have bicycle culture in Copenhagen. We just have vacuum cleaner culture. We all have one, we all have learned to use it, we use it. End of story.
We don't have bicycle culture in #copenhagen. We have vacuum cleaner culture
Another vacuum cleaner transporting a vacuum cleaner.

We don't buy vacuum cleaning clothes at a specialty store, we don't wave at other vacuum cleaning enthusiasts on the street, we don't keep 7 vacuum cleaners polished in our shed. It's not a hobby or a fetish or a sub-cultural membership card.

Our vacuums, like our bicycles, are just tools that make everyday life easier.

So I figured I needed a logo.
I Vacuum Copenhagen

19 April 2013

The Copenhagenize Bicycle Planning Guide

Best Practice Explained 002
In the interest of expediting the journey towards bicycle-friendly cities and eliminating misconceptions, Copenhagenize Design Co. has produced The Copenhagenize Bicycle Planning Guide.

The beauty of the bicycle infrastructure network in Copenhagen is the uniform design of the infrastructure. There are, by and large, four types of infrastructure - all represented in this graphic. Based on the speed limit for cars, you select the appropriate style of infrastructure and off you go.

If you fancy sending your local planner/engineer a gift that keeps on giving, this graphic is also available as a poster.

13 February 2013

Motorists Dismount

Motorists Dismount
Buttons that pedestrians or cyclists are forced to push in order for a computer program - programmed by a car-centric engineer - to grant them authorisation to cross a street in their city have to be among the most archaeic remnants of a century of city planning that caters only to the automobile.

And that was a long sentence. Sorry.

I wish for their immediate demise. The only thing goofier is the pedestrian flags in some American cities. Talk about ignoring the bull. Not to mention engineering instead of designing our cities.

One of the things I like most about cycling in Copenhagen is that I don't have to push any of these buttons. There have been a few but they tend to get removed and thank goodness for that.

Here's one from the archives:
The Power is Mine
(Although now I'll have to check if it's still there...) Still, they are a rarity here and I've only seen them at t-intersections.

So why not signage like the graphic up top? If we're going to level the playing field - which we should - after this centuria horribilis. Let this sign be posted in densely-populated urban centres, near schools and kindergartens and basically anywhere we're keen to reestablish liveable cities.

More wacky buttons from around the world:
Ljubljana Bicycle Life_5 DC Overcomplication Sao Paulo Streets 052
Ljubljana, Slovenia & Washington DC & Sao Paulo

Pedestrian Crossing Button Halifax Ignoring the Bull
Berlin & Halifax, Canada

Ottawa Application Form Lean on your city. #cyclechic #amsterdam #bike
Ottawa & Amsterdam

03 February 2013

Don't Be a Square, Kids

Don't Be a Square

26 January 2013

A Short History of Traffic "Engineering"

A Short History of Traffic Engineering
A Short History of Traffic "Engineering"

28 February 2012

Hi, Cyclist! Your Bicycle is Here

Hej Cyclist Here is Your Bicycle_2
The area surrounding the nation's busiest train station, Nørreport, is a labyrinth of construction as the City is renovating the on-street facilities and making it a nicer place. The result is that there is less space available so the City of Copenhagen has these signs up on Købmagergade, near the station. We are always thrilled to Copenhagenize Consulting's "Hej Cyklist" behavourial communication template in use. This campaign was developed for the City by the consultancy Atkins Danmark. It reads:

Hej Cyclist! Can't you find your bicycle?
It's now parked in Rosenborggade.

In order to create space for everyone, we've drawn a bicycle parking zone here on Købmagergade. Bicycles parked outside the zone may be moved to the bicycle parking zone in Rosenborggade.

They include a little map so you can find your bicycle. How lovely.
Hej Cyclist Here is Your Bicycle
Around the corner, here are the bicycles that have been moved. A cool design of the photo that combines the bicycles on the sign with the bicycles parked behind it.

It reads:

Hi, Cyclist!

Your bicycle is here. If your bicycle wasn't parked in the parking zone on Købmagergade, we moved it here. Now there is better space for everyone.

Hej Cyclist Here is Your Bicycle_1
Here's the other angle.

Nørreport Temporary Parking
Up by the station, here is some more temporary parking. Looking forward to when the station area is finished being renovated, but we like the fact that these racks are placed smack in the middle of what used to be motor vehicle lanes.

Here are some related signage examples:
"Maybe We Moved Your Bicycle" - polite signs from the City of Copenhagen let bicycle users know where to find their bicycle when it's been moved away from emergency exits leading up from the Metro.

"Copenhagen's Bicycle Butlers - Park Illegally and get your chain oiled and tires pumped". The Bicycle Butlers have been a massive success.

"Walk your bicycle on the train station platform" - A firm message but with a soft and appealing graphic.

13 February 2012

Straightforward Traffic Planning for Liveable Cities

Copenhagenize Traffic Planning Guide

28 November 2011

Copenhagen Bicycle Traffic Flow

Copenhagen Bicycle Volume / Traffic Flow
I often return to this graphic that shows the flow of bicycle traffic in Copenhagen between 06:00 and 18:00 on weekdays. I found it in a City of Copenhagen brochure a couple of years ago and spiced it up a bit. For a larger version, view it over at Copenhagen Consulting's website.

This is the traffic volume for bicycles and scooters - although scooters hardly amount to anything so you're basically looking at bicycle traffic. Only the main streets are featured and the thinnest lines represent 2000-2999 cyclists a day. They get thicker as they approach the city centre as other cyclists join the flocks from the neighbourhoods.

The thickest lines in the middle represent 20,000 + cyclists.

The graphic shows the municipality of Copenhagen and primarily the flow of traffic to and from the city centre. It excludes the urban sprawl surrounding the city and all the bicycle traffic there - to and from work/train stations/schools.

Here is the map that corresponds to the graphic:

Vis stort kort

24 September 2011

Brilliantly Overdone

Nice. However it could have been 2 minutes shorter and with lyrics that didn't refer to all the yadayada about the benefits of cycling and it would have been even more powerful.
Just slap on "Here Comes The Sun" by the Beatles and you'll say the same thing without force-feeding the eco-rhetoric down people's throats.

Beautiful graphics, though.

29 August 2011

Bizarre Bicycle Posters

Vintage Bicycle Posters: Columbia Bicycle
There are hundreds of fantastic bicycle posters from a long history of bicycle adverts out there. So many of them are brilliant. There are, however, some that are just plain weird. Copenhagenize offers you two of the weirdest we have come across.

Above, a poster for Columbia Bicycles from the kinky hand of one C.M. Coolidge in 1895

Vintage Bicycle Posters: La Verité
And here we have more bicycle kinkyness. An artist signing his name as Decam whipped together this poster in 1897 for Caténol Bicycles. We have absolutely no idea what it's about but perhaps we have been given an insight into the sexual life of the artist.

One of our readers - "Kordite" - found this description of the last poster on an auction website:
"Utilizing the allegorical imagery frequently associated with the French proverb "La Verité sort du puits" (The Truth comes out of a well), in which a nude female representing Truth is seen leaping forth from a well, here we are presented with an advertisement for a bicycle chain. Rather than the usual rope-pulley system, a bike-chain like mechanism is depicted behind her as she makes a superstitious hand gesture against bad luck. Apparently, if you use this brand of bicycle chain, you will be protected from all harm -- no lie. "

If you're interested, the starting bid is $1300 at

11 April 2011

Child's Play

Bicycle Commuting - It’s Child’s Play
Another graphic doodad from our friend Antoine in NZ. Click through to get a larger version, print it out, give it to the kids. Or a politician near you.

03 February 2011

Drive Nice

After the last post about the culture of fear crap we have to put up with here in Copenhagen it was a pleasure to recieve a link to these posters from Tacoma, Washington and thanks to Nicholas for the heads up.

This campaign is an instant collectors item simply because it's so rare. Seriously. The number of safety/awareness/behavourial campaigns out there that speak to motorists like this is extremely low. And we're talking on a global scale. So it is refreshing and hopeful to see something like this.

With that said, I must admit that I favour a more direct messaging that spells it out in no uncertain terms that cars are dangerous and the cause of most of our urban problems. This Tacoma campaign is positive and its use of humour is commendable but it isn't really geared at getting people to change transport modes. By grabbing the bull by the cajones and yanking hard we will be able to affect behaviour more effectively and, in the process, speed the transformation to more liveable cities by branding car traffic in cities more negatively.

For the record, my favourite rational campaign is the No Ridiculous Car Trips one out of Malmö, Sweden. Let's not forget the always brilliant Hungarians. So far. I'm aching for new favourites.

The posters were designed by the Rusty George Creative agency for The City of Tacoma, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Washington State Department of Health. Rusty George Creative also created the branding and logo for a bicycle-friendly pub called The Hub, in Tacoma, using a famous French bicycle poster as inspiration:

The Drive Nice, Tacoma posters were spotted on the Tacoma Downtown website, run by the BIA.

17 November 2010

"Go Bicycle Before It's Too Late" Poster Exhibition in Copenhagen

This Friday, Sanitov Studios is opening their "Go Bicycle Before It's Too Late" exhibition here in Copenhagen, featuring artwork from a variety of artists and designers who designed posters based on a single theme. I have a poster in the exhibition, too.

Sanitov Studio and Sons of Studio are happy to invite you to attend the Sanitov Studios exhibition, “Go Bicycle Before It’s Too Late”. The exhibition will present art and design related to sustainable urban movement.

The subject of sustainable living has received much attention over the last couple of years, and rightly so. Unfortunately, the issue is often presented exclusively in quantitative terms, with quotas, percentages and pie charts taking centre stage. Sustainability, however, is an aesthetic issue just as much as a statistical issue. To demonstrate this, Sanitov Studio has invited artists from Copenhagen, Barcelona, Tokyo, Montreal and London to interpret two of the main components of modern living – the urban landscape and human movement – from an aesthetical perspective. The exhibition will exhibit the artists’ interpretations and the audience is invited to take home replica-posters.

Sanitov Studio is a think-tank developing theories and designs related to urban living and sustainability. It is currently developing design concepts for bicycles, accessories and houseboats, which can accommodate the needs of urban dwellers. The exhibition will provide the first sneak-peak of the Sanitov Cargo-cycle 1. 0, a modern bicycle developed from a traditional Chinese cargo bicycle. Sanitov Studio exclusively develops theories and artifacts, which contribute to improving our urban environment both aesthetically and in terms of performance. As such, a big part of Sanitov’s repertoire is centered around collaborations with artists, designers and theoreticians.

Here's Copenhagenize/Mikael Colville-Andersen's version of the poster.

What: Go Bicycle Before It’s Too Late
When: 19-21 November
Opening: 19.11.2010 at 5.30 PM.
Where: Sons of Studio, Kødboderne 14