5 things every architect should know about bicycle transport

1: Public health

Available research tells us that safe and convenient bicycle transport would significantly  improve public health.

2: Economics

Per dollar spent, bicycle infrastructure is more effective in reducing commute times than road or rail.

3: New development paradigm

Bike infrastructure can be decoupled from roads, instead using rail routes and waterways, thus unlocking redundant industrial land for bicycle oriented redevelopment (having parking for bikes, rather than cars).

4: Consolidation

It is better that a fraction of a city have the whole of its trips made by bike, than for a whole city to have only a fraction of trips made by bike.

5: We’re making architectural history

Just as architects of the 1920s brought on the car city of the 1950s with their avant-garde visions, architects of the 2010s can bring on tomorrow’s bike city with progressive new visions.

More in Steven Fleming, Cycle Space: Architecture and Urban Design in the Age of the Bicycle, Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers, 2012.

About Steven

I'm on a mission to put cycling on the agendas of architects, urban designers and fellow academics, who see the potential for bicycles to change cities and buildings. My PhD is in architectural history and my interdisciplinary research spans art theory, philosophy and cultural studies. I teach architectural history and theory and design studio at The University of Tasmania, Australia, and formerly worked as an architect designing large public housing projects in Singapore. My favourite bikes are a titanium racing bike I use for racing, a Velorbis retro commuter for riding to cafes and work, a single speed ultra light Brompton that I take with me when I travel on planes, a 29er hard tail mountain bike that I get lost on in remote places, an old track bike that scares me, a 1984 Colnago Super with all original campagnolo components that is plugged into a virtual realm that I train in, and a Dutch-made Bakfiets, that could easily replace half of the bikes I just mentioned.
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3 Responses to 5 things every architect should know about bicycle transport

  1. Edward says:

    Point 4 is interesting. Not something I have heard before. Is it something you can expand on – perhaps in a later post? It’s not something that’s intuitively obvious.

  2. Lukas Junker says:

    Edward, I think you will find Steven is looking for his herd…:)

    • Steven says:

      not the stampeding herd of drivers, who will graze over there, but the gentle herd of bike riders who will choose less obvious pastures. Nice analogy Professor Junker!!

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