February 22, 2010

Innovative Bicycle Storage Solutions from Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang, designer of Cycloc Photograph: Luke Hayes/guardian.co.uk
"Bicycles no longer need to clutter entryways." Time Magazine

The theory that states that the simplest ideas are the best is proved in spades by the Cycloc – the brainchild of product and industrial designer Andrew Lang. That's not to undervalue its genius, which delivers a practical solution with an injection of edgy art installation style. So, what exactly is it? Put simply, the device is a cycle storage solution that dexterously solves the problem of bike storage in confined spaces.

February 19, 2010

Seoul Transforms Freeway Into a River (Video)

Cheonggyecheon stream in downtown Seoul

Below is an excellent 5 minute video from Fast Company describing why in 2003, city officials in Seoul decided to demolish a two-storey freeway feeding directly into the centre of the city...and replace it with a stream. I actually visited Cheonggyecheon when I was in Seoul last year and the river had seems like it was always there, and in fact it was. The demolished thoroughfare was built above the site of an ancient stream.

February 18, 2010

Copenhagen by Bicycle Exhibition

Postcard from 1950's entitled "Bicycle Traffic in Rush Hour"

We all know that Copenhagen is the best cycling city in the world, but what is the history behind its vibrant culture? Following on from the 1937 travel video of Copenhagen reported last year, here is some images from the 'Copenhagen by bicycle' exhibition currently running at the Museum of Copenhagen.

February 17, 2010

Electric folding bikes

With more and more electric bikes starting to appear everywhere, its not just your friendly Chinese neighbour silently whizzing past you on a CIE bike, electric folding bikes are quickly gaining significant interest. While earlier this month we had a look at PUMA's $1,000 folding bicycle, this offers nothing to the sweat conscious, suit-clad commuters. Those who choose to take their folding bike on the train or bus with them can breath a sigh of relief with the advent of electric powered folding bikes. Here are some fine examples found at Treehugger and RideThisBike. Thankfully smug looks will be keep at bay as it appears that these bikes won't be whizzing past toiling cyclists anytime soon.

February 16, 2010

Augmented Reality Mapping

In this very recent TED talk, Blaise Aguera y Arca takes his Photosynth technology one step further and incorporates the technology into   mapping. The really amazing advance comes at the end with the introduction of live video data into mapping thanks to a 4G mobile network.

Blaise Aguera y Arcas is an special kind of architect. He is an architect at Microsoft Live Labs, and the co-creator of Photosynth, an amazing piece of technology that co-ordinates online photographs of a physical object or place and arranges them into a 3d model that one can orbit about and zoom in and out to discover new levels of detail.

February 15, 2010

Kolelinia / Martin Angelov

Martin Angelov shared his funky concept for a new urban way of transportation dubbed “Kolelinia” with us . Kolelinia proposes that we ride our bicycles on a steel wire as a new type of bicycle lane. The idea was awarded first for the international “Line of Site” competition.

February 12, 2010

A history of Wooden Bikes

Designer Nicholas Belly won second prize in L'ARGUS design competition with his flatpack bike and scooter. I think I'll categorize this innovation up there with the disposal mobile phone, remember that one? That said, Wooden bicycles have been produced for centuries, going back to the very invention of the bicycle itself. 

February 10, 2010

Bicycle problems in Japan

Beautifully illustrated Japanese poster depicting a speeding cyclist disturbing the peace.

L.A. plans freeway system for bikes

L.A. officials currently has plans aloof to retrofit the city of angels into a more bicycle-friendly city. Comments on the plans have been both positive and negative, with some people finding the maps over-elaborate and confusing. To address this, a group of L.A. cycle activists have created their own map named the 'Central Los Angeles Backbone Bikeway Network' (shown below).

February 9, 2010

The Pizza-delivery Bike

I was recently flicking through the channels on tv and came to watch the end of Mr. Deeds, Adam Sandler's epic masterpiece of comedy...well, er not really. In one scene where the small town pizza restaurant owner notices Winona Ryder drowning, he pulls up in a vintage classic pizza delivery bicycle. Why haven't I seen these before? They are perfect, one would think, for a small local pizza shop trying to challenge the iconic might of the likes of the domino's scooter. That said, Domino's in China does in fact do its delivery by bicycle.

Roll up 'Pizza Schmizza', a pizza company based in Portland (OR), a city that has cropped up in the past for its vibrant cycle culture. Pizza Gourmet Express is another pizza company that delivers by bike (for free) and is located in the university district of San Diego. Over in New York, you can get your bicycle-delivered pizza from Pronto Pizza.

February 8, 2010

David Byrne Bike Racks NYC

While acting as a judge for a bike rack design competition last year David Byrne - musician, artist and avid New York cyclist - decided it would be a great idea to make his own stamps on the streets of the city. The tongue-in-check street icons were made with their locations in mind. Speaking to the NY Times, Byrne noted “It was important to me that these new racks be the same thickness and material as the existing racks—to help identify them as practical bike racks and not just modern art, the locations about as perfect as one could imagine — Wall Street for the dollar sign and Bergdorf’s for the giant high heel!”
Janette Sadik-Khan, current transportation commissioner has taken on the promotion of cycling in the city as her main priority. “By bringing attractive yet functional sculptures to our streets, we are elevating the profile of cycling, and we believe that more and more people will begin to think about cycling as a mode of transportation, and not just a mode of recreation,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said in a statement. “Regular bike riders have an eagle eye for our current bike racks but these nine installations will capture the attention of all New Yorkers.”

February 5, 2010

Cities for the people | Jan Gehl, Gehl Architects

Jan Gehl graduated from Architecture in 1960, a time to him represents an all time low point in city planning, when architects were big and people were quite small. After marrying a psychologist he started questioning why architecture solely focused on form and did not focus at all on people? For Jan Gehl, Architecture is the interaction between form and life. Cue Jan Gehl’s one stone, five birds policy. If you are sweet to people it is possible to create Lively, Attractive, Safe, Sustainable, and Healthy cities. Modernism, one of the evil of society according to Mr. Gehl, interpreted cities as bad and buildings as good. 1960, the year he graduated was also the year when post-war reconstruction started big time. At the same time there was an invasion on the city ten years after the war, the car invasion. Of course cheap petroleum fuelled this and all the city planner’s energy went into trying to make the car happy. Using Westport, a small town in the west of Ireland as an example, he argues that as a result of the car invasion, human dignity was being eroded. The ideologies of modernity need to be broken.

February 3, 2010

Why Puma is the best fold-up bike

Combining fashion, fun, functionality and a unique design, this new environment-friendly 8-Speed PUMA Bike will surprise with its amazing color blocking and its retro flair. The Duo Loop Bike features an Easy Semi-Folding Mechanism with rubber on the quick release handle that allows you to take your bike everywhere you wish. An Integrated DT Locking System replaces the down tube and makes the bike unusable for thieves if the wire is cut. The bike also has mechanical twin-disc breaks that provide the ultimate breaking power in stop-and-go city traffic.

Dublin @ 30km/hr circa 1930's

Dublin was a nice city, a civilised city. This of course is before the car invasion of the 1960's. Below are some transport maps and some video footage of Dublin City Centre from the 1930's to prove this. Lets give the new speed limits time to bed it and hopefully, the civilised city that Dublin once was may return.

February 2, 2010

Dublin is one of the worst

Dublin has been ranked 21st out of 30 in a list of the greenest cities in Europe.
According to the Siemens European Green Cities Index, which was compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Dublin is the worst city in Europe in terms of its transport infrastructure.

February 1, 2010

New 30km/h Speed limit in Dublin

AS EXPECTED, motorists have criticised and environmental groups have welcomed the extension of the 30km/h speed limit zone in Dublin city centre. The AA has described the move as a “misapplication” of speed limits that it said other cities had primarily restricted to residential areas. The Dublin Business Association expressed concerns about car-borne shoppers going elsewhere.