Here I am - I can't believe it - with Mikael Colville Andersen, the blogger who has created the phenomenon of Copenhagen cycle chic. I heard him speak twice this week - and as is often the case with speakers - he was even better once he had left his slides behind and was speaking freely.
He takes a culturally inspired approach to the bicycle [rather than a transportation or mobility driven approach]
Some of the points he made were :
- just make riding a bike the easiest way to get from A to B
- use happy, pleasant, positive imagery to stimulate urban bike riding
- lowered speeds enable bicyling to flourish - Barcelona and Dublin both now have 30 kms on local roads
- reclaiming space for bikes rather than cars is a process of re-democratisation, rehumanising, re-creating liveability
- its not about the bicycle - its about the broader urban context
Some great quotes from Mikael:
- 'follow their [bike riders] desire lines - make it easy
- he likes 'being elbow to elbow with fellow citizens'
- he finds 'the upright bicycle the 'most anthropologically pleasing' and the 'most suitable for citizen cyclists'
- 'plant the bicycle on the urban landscape' or more expanisively 'planting seeds of a meadow cycling'
- inner urban areas should be 'saturated with bicycles'
- In Copenhagen, bikes are like 'a fifth limb'