Interview with Mikael Colville-Andersen
July 18, 2008, 7:03 pm
Filed under: amsterdamize, news | Tags: , , ,

Cycloculture just posted their excellent interview with Mikael “The Sartorialist On Two Wheels” Colville-Andersen of Copenhagen Cycle Chic, Copenhagenize & The Slow Bicycle Movement. An excerpt of what can be applied to cycling in the Netherlands and Amsterdam as well:

“Q: How have Copenhagen and other European cities made travel by bicycle so easy, accepted, and fashionable? What can cities in the USA and other parts of the world do to emulate the best elements of Copenhagen’s cycling culture?

A: Copenhagen has been dedicated to creating ‘liveable spaces for living people’ for the better part of four decades. Bicycle infrastructure is a big part of it, but not the only part. It is a classic tale of ‘if you build it, they will come.’ If you give your citizens the opportunity to ride, by providing separated bike lanes and facilities, they will ride. If you help present cycling as easy and fast and accessible, branding it as an acceptable form of transport, they will ride. Less focus on safety – people aren’t stupid – more focus on the benefits of cycling – personal and societal – and you are planting the seeds of bicycle culture. In North America, the sports industry have worked hard for decades to sell cycling as a sport or a hobby. Now we need to get people to realise it doesn’t have to be only a sport. It is transport for people in normal clothes. 54% of Copenhageners ride their bikes because it’s easy and fast. Using your bike is a given here. It’s second nature. It’s not something you think about. You just do it.”

5 Comments so far
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This is soo sooo true. I noticed in the last 5 years, the university town of Waterloo 15-minutes from where I live has started to build this sort of infrastructure. Considering the age of the town and its small streets it has seen new road width expansion each year since even the time I was studying at the University of Waterloo. Ten years later and the projects continue–about 5 years ago the bike lanes started to appear. University Ave, with it’s two universities, has increased traffic flow significantly with each year of incoming students being greater than the next. Bike mobility is still not entirely safe and effective, but it’s a start!

Building a proper and strategic bike infrastructure requires early conception and implimentation as seen in Holland.

Comment by Nuno Teixeira

thanks, Nuno! True dat, and whether slow or fast, it will be built and it WILL come. πŸ™‚

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