July 16, 2010

Cycling Copenhagen, Through North American Eyes

This is a fantastic video made by Clarence Eckerson, Jr. from Streetfilms.org. The video, filmed in Copenhagen during the recent Velo-City 2010 conference, documents the reflections on Copenhagen's cycling culture from various North American cycling advocates.

In my opinion, I dislike the way Copenhageners go on about their city being 'the best cycle city in the world'. It's an attitude that buys into this madness whereby every city needs a tagline, needs to be #1 at something....anything. For example, Dublin at the moment in preparing a bid to become the World Design Capital in 2013. Now I visited Helsinki last summer, which will be World Design Capital in 2012, and it has a huge design history and even a design district in the city centre. Dublin has none of this and I don't understand why it would want to become World Design Capital only other than for the sake of the title.

So, in conclusion, I believe that what we need to do is think about smart cities. How smart is my city? What is my city's equivalent to an IQ? A smart city is one that combines the three i's; intellect integrated with infrastructure. Yes, Copenhagen is a super smart city and yes please tell us about how super smart you are, because you know what, we all can't be the world's best cycle city so stop telling us you are.
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