Architects are not known for their grace, shaping the world to suit themselves and people just like them. Few though can poo poo the need to design for an ageing society. Maybe they show grace on this front, because most of our profession’s luminaries are themselves senior citizens. Shall we therefore give some thought to making a world in which granny, and Glenn Murcutt, can cycle?
I saw this woman pushing a heavy men’s bike in Ravenna, one of my current most favouritest cycling cities in Northern Italy. The next image was sent from a reader, of this full carbon oma style bike. Though it lacks lights, fenders, racks and durability, it does weigh 7.5kg. From my recent experience procuring carbon forks direct from a factory in China, I know bikes like these don’t actually cost much to produce—it is Cervelo’s marketing that you are paying for, not their air-blown carbon frames.
If the principle of Universal Access were extended to include not only Vietnam vets in their wheelchairs, but Granny’s with bikes they can comfortably ride, we would be on our way to more liveable cities for all, yes, even poor old Glenn Murcutt.
Now if you will excuse me, I must go back to aimlessly riding around Copenhagen. Where Rome was all about Baroque churches and shops, Copenhagen this time of year is about beaches, shady trails "taking the nature" (as Skandos say) and long lonely stretches. You know, I might even retain my club grading after this trip!