The ages of the pedestrian, then the train, and most recently the car, all gave rise to unique building types and particular models of land subdivision. The building types and models of land subdivision you will find on this website are particular to mass bicycle transport. They incentivise cycling. They are for a world in need of zero-energy and zero-maintenance cities.They are for the age of the bike.

Why would wealthy societies wish such an age on themselves? You can see in cities where cycling now dominates  (Groningen in the Netherlands for example) that access to jobs is faster than in a car or train city of the same population. How much more efficient would Groningen be, if its typological and morphological patterns traced to the dynamics of cycling, rather than pedestrian motion? Much faster, and proportionally faster still if Groningen had a population of millions. 

But how can hypothetical models be built in real cities? The answer: in fragments, in the same way that pedestrian, train and car-centric districts have been built side by side in real cities. Specifically, the bike city can happen on brownfields. Those heterotopian pockets could then be connected by greenways built in the linear voids of the post-industrial city. Cities would participate in 4 planning models, not 3, all interwoven like a four colour tartan. May the most prosperous kind of district be a beacon of change to the others!

The protagonist of this vision is a mother who needs to go shopping while her baby is sleeping. That would be awkward in a district designed around driving, train travel or walking. But in a city designed around bakfietsen (box bikes) she could shop any time and get exercise in the process. Her routes would be covered from rain. Store layouts would allow her to manoeuvre her bike like a trolley. Apartment blocks would have spiralling floor plates and aerial streets that lead to the ground. If she lived in a district from the age of the bike, she would have time in her day to relax, or be even more productive than she already is.

The R&D for this vision has been conducted in university settings, in accordance with strict building codes, and with input from commercial, government and development agencies. Cycle Space International was incorporated in 2015 to commercialise that research through keynote talks, workshops and consultancy. Watch this space too for news of the first realised projects: early instalments in the future bike city.

— Dr. Steven Fleming, Director, Cycle Space International Pty. Ltd.