About Cycle Space
In his 2012 book Cycle Space, Dr. Steven Fleming identified an organic phenomenon occurring in cities: from New York to Sydney, safe bike routes were catalysing construction. The phenomenon is Bicycle Centric Development. Fleming’s latest book, Velotopia, shows how to pursue it with purpose.
Cycle Space is the agency researching, defining and championing Bicycle Centric Development. Our clients include cities wanting to attract employment and development, property developers wanting to increase site yield, and an array of bicycling enterprises and events organisers. We are the choice of leaders who follow reason, not others.
Thought for the day: car centric cities are failing.
They have the worst commute times, poorest health and highest emissions. Not surprisingly, jobs, people and wealth are shifting to cities with more transport choices.
Conventional wisdom tells us to densify city centres and add public transport, in other words, replicate the late nineteenth-century booms of Paris, New York, etc.. But with today’s governments being much smaller mass rapid transit is not keeping pace with densification. In any dense city where the ground plane has to cope with most transportation, average car speeds drop below 18km/ph. At that point car transport hinders bike transport, that if freed of impediments could deliver average speeds of 15 to 20km/ph, no matter how dense a city became.
That image describes a modal shift that is occurring naturally as densities rise and people opt for the bike out of frustration with driving and transit. What it doesn’t describe are cities that see the inherent superiority of cycling as the mode for the city, so prioritise cycling at every road junction. Insofar as cities are machines for connecting the greatest number of people to the largest possible markets, cities of the Randstad conurbation—Amsterdam and its neighbours joined by frequent/fast trains—are emerging as winning examples. Recent modal share data shows cycling dwarfs driving, especially near the centre and the central train station.
Twentieth-century development was done on the cheap in Amsterdam, with more bike infrastructure than transit investment or freeways. But out of those superficially dispiriting circumstances Europe’s capital of innovation was born. Most of Amsterdam’s 800,000 inhabitants enjoy a lighting fast, healthy and free bike-centric lifestyle in the four inner boroughs, while at the scale of the Randstad megalopolis (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, etc) cycling is the lynchpin of a rail network that connects 7 million people. Cycling is a mode cities can afford, that affords them greater connectivity. And let’s not forget that Amsterdam was not even purpose built for the bike. So much more could be done in growing cities.
Architect and academic Dr. Steven Fleming has published over 40 peer reviewed articles and scholarly books including the two seminal texts on bicycle centric environmental design: Cycle Space, Architecture and Urban Design in the Age of the Bicycle (NAi010, 2012) and Velotopia: The Production of CycleSpace in Our Minds and Our Cities (NAi010, 2017). He is a founding partner of Cycle Space Amsterdam, the public/private partner of the municipality of Amsterdam, representing that city’s bicycling expertise to the world. Exhibitions include the 2017 Bicycle Architecture Biennale he curated in Amsterdam, and the Freewheeling exhibition of the National Museum of Australia that features his work. His work continues to receive press coverage in influential corners including The Guardian, CityLab, FastCompany, ArchDaily, Architectural Digest etc.. He is a draw-card speaker to institutes of Architecture (New York, Rotterdam, Vancouver, Singapore, Sydney etc.) and major events (the launch of Europe by People, VeloCity, La Ciudad de las Bicis, etc.). Clients include cities (Singapore, Amsterdam, Bogota, Oslo, Ryde), agencies (FutureBuilt Norway, the Property Council of Australia and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia), corporations (Shimano, Univa America), and property developers (Boston Global Investors and Mavid Group). Since 2001 he has held academic positions at the Universities of Canberra, Tasmania and Newcastle in Australia and visiting positions at Harvard and Columbia universities in the US. As a government architect in Singapore he designed and project managed 4 major developments including a total of 1810 dwelling units and designed a 2.4 hectare park, an early example of his life mission to design active environments.
Professor Angelina Russo is a Designer and Academic with 25 years of experience in cultural research and design practice. She has a PhD in Architecture and Design and an MBA in Higher Education Management form University College London (2014). She is an invited Associate Scholar in the Centre for Research in Digital Education, Moray House, University of Edinburgh and a former Board Member of CraftACT. In 2017 she co-founded Fabricate Studio, a business that focuses on bespoke digital fabrication training and lab development. In this role she has delivered digital fabrication training to refugees and new migrants through the New Creative Futures Textile Enterprise. Prior to this she held leadership roles in academia including: Associate Dean Research, University of Canberra; Director of Higher Degrees Research, RMIT University; Chief Investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation and Head of Communication Design, Queensland University of Technology. She has received national and international awards including: Queensland Premiers’ Smithsonian Fellowship (undertaken in New York); Australian Post-graduate Industry Awards (resulting in 1.1millionAUD grant); Australian Wool Fashion Awards (first prize, twice). She is recognised for her extensive social enterprise experience through her work as a co-founder of the 4000 member global network, Museum3 which ran for 8 years and provided an invaluable resource to the cultural sector in the early years of social media. She is a member of the Fulbright Scholarship Committee, an Australian Research Council Assessor and a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Specialities: research, leadership, strategy and ,innovation, cultural co-creation, social network development, museum communication, design.
Ben Thorp is a graduate architect who has been instrumental in developing the mapping techniques employed by Cycle Space to help cities. Part of his degree was completed in Poland where he developed a keen interest in constructivist housing and new town experiments. Clients of Cycle Space benefit from Ben’s professional experience in this and other design firms, his enthusiasm for research, his membership of bicycle advocacy advisory groups and, or course, his formal training in architecture. Ben is also very well known among Tasmanian rock climbers.
Terms of Engagement: Cycle Space International P/L is a privately owned and completely independent consultancy serving clients who are sharing our mission. If you have ambitions that would increase bicycle transport, we have the expertise in research, lobbying and built environment design to win the support of your partners and government agencies. All inquiries are assumed to be confidential.
Trademarks in Australia and The Netherlands.